AMP pulls out of Geysers project
Alameda Municipal Power is pulling out of the Geysers geothermal energy project to avoid a planned price increase for the power the project would produce.
Western GeoPower increased the price from $98 per kilowatt hour to $117 in order to come up with more funds to help pay for the project. But the folks at AMP, who were slated to get just shy of 6 percent of the power from the project, are saying that’s up to 20 percent more than the power should cost, and the city’s Public Utilities Board agreed. Power from another small hydroelectric project is expected to come in at under $90 per kilowatt hour, the staff report says.
The total cost for the power at the new cost, which would serve 2 to 3 percent of the city’s need, would be $1.4 million a year.
The project, which is in the Geysers Geothermal Field in the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma and Lake counties, was slated to start construction in February and be up and running by April 2010, according to a city staff report. But it stalled out when the company ran out of money to build the project and couldn’t secure additional financing.
AMP would have had a 20-year contract for power from the facility. The cities of Lodi and Roseville, BART and the Truckee-Donner Public Utilities District are also pulling out of the contract for Geysers power.
The utility doesn’t expect it will need the additional power for another five to six years.
Separately, Western GeoPower’s president and chief executive officer resigned his job Tuesday, in advance of the Vancouver renewable energy company’s merger with two other geothermal companies.