Western Geothermal announced this week that drilling permits have been secured for the first two wells in its bid to revive the old PGE Unit 15 in the southwest corner of the known geothermal resource area. The company expects that they will drill 8 wells to reach production capacity for commercial operations which are expected to commence in 2010. Thermasource will be the prime contractor on drilling operations and will use the Northern California Power Association’s drill rig to perform the work.
Unlike most geothermal drilling projects, this is a pretty sure bet since there were production wells sited here in the past and the geological structure has been studied for decades. When the Western Geothermal project comes online, it will be the second project (Bottlerock being the other) to bring more production online in the Geysers region. Between Calpine and NCPA, the two active producers today, the total output of the area is around 900MW.