Geothermal energy and lithium extraction at Salton Sea

Controlled Thermal Resources lithium-geothermal
Controlled Thermal Resources

The Salton Sea is an inland saline lake in southern California. It gets seriously hot in the summer. How hot? Well, one area is called Hell’s Kitchen. That’s where Controlled Thermal Resources is building a highly innovative geothermal energy plant and a facility to extract lithium from the brine. When completed, it will produce 40 MW of baseload renewable energy and lithium for use in batteries.

Geothermal is one of the few sources of renewable energy that produces electricity 24 / 7. Demand for lithium is soaring. This make economic sense. The big news is the Imperial Irrigation District has agreed to purchase the power for 25 years, once the geothermal plant is done. This guarantees steady income to developer Controlled Thermal Resources. In addition, it will create hundreds of jobs in an area that badly needs them.

This is a win-win for everyone.

Controlled Thermal Resources and Imperial Irrigation District are pleased to announce the successful completion of a power purchase agreement that indicates a promising new decade for baseload renewable energy in California and the United States.

The geothermal power facility is expected to be operational in 2023 and will coincide with the development of CTR’s integrated direct lithium extraction and conversion facility Hell’s Kitchen LithiumCo.

Puerto Rico microgrids operational after earthquakes

Microgrids were installed in ten Puerto Rico schools after Hurricane Maria. They are running and providing electricity to buildings and water pumps after the recent earthquakes. Puerto Rico could use hundreds more microgrids (as could we all!) The important thing here is that the relatively new idea of microgrids are is being proven successful under strenuous, high stress conditions in Puerto Rico.

Microgrids are designed and built by a community to provide power when the grid is down. They are much more than just solar panels on roofs. Microgrids generally are solar, plus battery storage, with controllers that can isolate from a grid instantly and generate power, and do so on a neighborhood scale. They can use wind power, hydro, with backup generators as needed. They are designed for the locale they are in.

Solar panels by themselves are great for lowering electric bills and helping the environment. But, as many Puerto Ricans discovered after Maria, electric safety regulations require panels to be automatically shut down during power outages (to prevent back-feeding electricity onto the grid that could kill utility workers repairing downed power lines). In contrast, solar microgrids can disconnect from the grid during a blackout and operate on their own (called islanding). They achieve this by combining four components: traditional solar panels, batteries, a controller and a switch that can disconnect the home or building from the grid.

Despite the obstructions to development, several microgrids have been built in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria, some by the military, others by communities, private entities and organizations.

Small, remote microgrids have avoided interconnection delays because they are completely independent from the grid.

“This earthquake is a tragedy. It does really test government institutions at a time when Puerto Rico is already suffering from the last disaster,” said RMI’s Torbert. “I think what you can learn from the microgrids and the way they’ve performed is that so much of community resilience is happening from the bottom up.”

Lincoln Project is hunting for Trump. Bannon is worried. Good.

Lincoln Project mission

Who better to convince Republicans and independents to vote Democratic than Never Trump Republicans? They know the territory, where the bodies are buried (maybe because they buried some of them), and have run pitbull ad campaigns against Democrats. Now they want to run brass knuckle ad campaigns against Trump. Good. Support them with contributions. I am. These will be professionally done ads, using focus groups to determine how best to peel off votes from Trump and convince them to vote Democratic.

The Lincoln Project is a Super PAC. Advisors are Rick “Everything Trump Touches Dies” Wilson, George Conway, Reed Galen, Jennifer Horn, Mike Madrid, Steve Schmidt, Ron Steslow, and John Weaver. They have decades of experience and know how to reach Republicans. And they worry Steve Bannon.


[Bannon] referenced the recent birth of an anti-Trump group dubbed the Lincoln Project, led by veteran Republican strategists who are planning a nationwide campaign to convince disaffected Republicans and independent voters to vote Democrat. The group’s leadership features conservative attorney George Conway, who is the husband of Trump’s chief White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

“If these guys can peel off 3% or 4%, that’s going to be serious,” he said of Trump’s Republican rivals.

Lincoln Project says

Steve Bannon is scared.

Donald Trump’s chief strategist of his 2016 campaign knows what we know: The Lincoln Project is the key to defeating Donald Trump in November.

Over the weekend, Bannon expressed his fear about The Lincoln Project—even going so far as to say our effort is a “serious” problem for Trump.

Bannon knows that Trump only won the presidency because of “an inside straight” that consisted of about 80,000 votes spread over a few states.

We’ve been saying this for months: The fight against Trumpism can be won. And now even they’re admitting it.”

Contribute now.

Renewable energy projects approved by Trump administration

Solar energy. Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners

Astonishingly (and happily), massive renewable energy projects on public land are being approved by the federal government, even as Dementia Donald babbles about windmill cancer and the high cost of renewable energy. He’s wrong on both of course. Wind turbines do not cause cancer nor does any rational person suggest they do. And onshore wind and solar are now the cheapest sources of electricity generation. Yes, the cheapest. Cheaper than natural gas. Cheaper than coal. And non-polluting as well.

The Gemini Project is approaching final approval by the Department on the Interior. It will be the biggest solar PV farm in the country, 690 MW, with 380 MW of four-hour battery storage. Thus, it can supply power when it is dark. It will be located near Moapa NV, which is 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas. NV Energy has contracted to buy all its power for 25 years.

The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project in Wyoming looks like it will be approved. It will be the biggest wind farm in the country, with 3,000 wind turbines generating 3 GW (which is ginormous.)

Other big renewable energy projects are coming too. And yes, billionaires are involved. NV Energy is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Chokecherry and Sierra Madre is being developed by Philip Anschutz, a conservative activist billionaire who started out doing oil drilling, has branched into many businesses (including the Coachella Festival), and now has few oil / natural gas properties. Which might well be a sign of the times.

The investment bank Lazard reported in November that onshore wind and solar power are two of the cheapest sources of new electricity generation in the United States, averaging $28 per megawatt-hour and $36 per megawatt-hour, respectively. Electricity from a new natural gas plant, by comparison, typically costs $44 to $68 per megawatt-hour.

A bill signed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak last year required utilities to get half of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and set a goal of 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2050. NV Energy, which is owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy and is the state’s largest power provider, estimated that 24% of its electricity came from renewables in 2018.