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ABSTRACT: Coso Geothermal--the Quiet Giant

Carl F. Austin, James L. Moore

Now second in size in the United States and exceeded in production only by Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States as a whole, the Coso geothermal project remains relatively unknown to both academia and industry. An entrepreneurial minded group of people in the U.S. Navy teamed up with private industry, the California Energy Company, to create a legal/institutional environment within which a fast-track geothermal project could go into production. The problems and hurdles were legion--was there even a resource, could Navy weapons projects tolerate a multiple-use mineral project on military lands, could resource people team up with the electron makers to grasp this novel opportunity the navy was making available, could the banking community accept this hybrid ype of project? The answers have been consistently yes, but not without work by a lot of people. Coso, presently, has six turbines running and three nearing completion for a total of 230 MW. This successful multiple-use mineral project located on a military weapons test range, offers industry and the military community an example and a guide for future multiple-use projects.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990