Eric Gneckow, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Sonoma County’s startup public power agency is set to consider the purchase a portion of its electricity supply locally from the Geysers, the world’s largest complex of geothermal power plants located along the Sonoma and Lake County border, according to material presented to the agency’s governing board.
The contract with Calpine Energy Service would constitute approximately 10 percent of Sonoma Clean Power’s electricity through 2023, ramping up to 18 megawatts — 158,000 megawatt-hours annually — as the renewable energy-focused power provider increases its customer volume in the coming years. Houston-based Calpine operates 15 geothermal power plants at the Geysers, with a combined capacity of 725 megawatts.
The item does not disclose the wholesale pricing per megawatt-hour currently under discussion, but notes that agency staff are currently acting within an approved framework for negotiations that would set a ceiling for average retail rates that are equal to or below the anticipated 2014 average rate from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. — 9.72 cents per kilowatt-hour, or $972 per megawatt-hour.