The Salton Sea in southern California contains one-third of the world’s lithium supply. It’s an inland saline sea in a baking hot, unforgiving area. The lithium is contained in geothermal liquids, which have been harnessed for decades to create electricity.
Controlled Thermal Resources is building a geothermal plant that will also extract lithium from the fluids. If successful, it will provide enormous amounts of lithium, which is used in batteries, and in huge demand.
The plant will be quite eco-friendly. It will not connect to the sea, there will be no open pit mining or evaporation ponds. Plus, the entire process is a closed-loop with near-zero emissions. Hundreds, maybe thousands of jobs will be crated too, in an area that really needs economic development.
Hell’s Kitchen is the first geothermal project to be built at the Salton Sea in ten years and is the world’s first, fully integrated, new geothermal-lithium facility to commence construction. Drilling of the first two wells represent an important milestone for the company and for Imperial County, where geothermal plants at the Salton Sea have produced around 450 megawatts of renewable energy for decades.