Valley legislators rally support for geothermal energy
State Sen. Ben Hueso and Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez on Friday will try to rally support for legislation that would boost geothermal energy production.
Senate Bill 1139, which the Senate is expected to debate next week, would require that energy retail sellers and local publicly owned electric utilities have more geothermal energy in their renewable energy portfolios.
By 2024, utilities would need to procure 500 megawatts of electricity from base-load geothermal power plants.
“Senator Hueso and I have teamed up on this bill recognizing that the development of geothermal resources in the Salton Sea basin supports local economic development and job creation, while helping the state meet its renewable energy goals and creating a potential revenue sources for Salton Sea restoration,” Pérez said in a statement.
Pérez and Hueso are both Democrats whose legislative districts include parts of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea.
They have planned a news conference for 11:30 a.m. Friday in La Quinta to discuss the bill.
SB 1139 passed the Senate’s Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee on a 6-2 vote in April.
“With the right plan in place, geothermal power can be a key to achieving an expanded post-33 percent renewable power portfolio at the lowest total cost,” Hueso said in a statement.