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Paradise Lost?

Proposed Clearwood Geothermal Power Plant at Sulphur Bank Mine Road, Clearlake Oaks

Consider this spectacular view and its history ...

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Lake County is California's family recreation and getaway destination. In Lake County you'll find friendly communities, attractions, outdoor recreation, activities, beautiful rural scenery, and the best air quality in the state (as determined by the California Air Resources Board).

Lake County is home to Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake within California and possibly the oldest lake in North America. Blue Lakes, Lake Pillsbury, and Indian Valley Reservoir are the county's other major bodies of water. The region is rich with historical and cultural resources, as well as recreational opportunities.


On Dec. 3rd, 2002 Recurrent Resources unveiled plans to build a closed-loop geothermal power plant at Sulphur Bank Mine Road. The plant and wells would be located partially upon the Mercury Superfund Cleanup, 500 yards from Clear Lake and just East of Rattlesnake Island and the Elem Indian Reservation.

Recurrent Resources is a Palo Alto-based subsidiary of AMP Capital Partners holding company. This is the first geothermal project for the year-old business, and will be done in two steps. The first phase consists of drilling up to 6 test wells mile to one mile deep, to determine feasibility. The second phase consists of building a 25 ft high, one-acre (in size) power plant in close proximity, as well as running power transmission lines to hook up with an electrical substation. Each phase is subject to an Environmental Impact Study (EIR).

Recurrent Resources already holds geothermal lease agreements with Dennis Pluth, Bradley Mining and others, as well as a contract with the California Department of Water Resources, which will purchase up to 30 megawatts of energy from the proposed site. This is enough electricity for 12,500 homes, but in all probability will be sent out of Lake County to service other locations.

While the project is estimated at $60 million, the drilling project will employ about 10 or 11 people while the plant itself will employ 15 people. Very little of this money will actually filter into Lake County.

Now consider the new proposed view ...

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What Are The Concerns?
CLO residents want the EIR to examine every possible aspect that could affect/change our community - noise (particularly as magnified across the water), visual impact to the community, hazardous waste exposure, toxicity to the environment, potential increased seismic activity, light pollution, etc. Environmentally speaking, the site choice at the Mercury Superfund Clean-Up site leaves a lot to be desired, as well as its position on the edge of Clear Lake.

The site itself is quite close to one of the most incredible bird-viewing and fishing sites on the Lake - Rattlesnake Island - where herons, bufflehead, osprey, cormorants, grebes, and the occasional eagle can be seen. The drill rigs will be quite noisy, with potential noise and vibration impacting the wildlife as well the community. The site is quite close to the water, which will increase the noise travel and volume, as well as being quite visible to anyone overlooking the Lake. The proposed plant will be at least 25 feet high and cover 1 acre of land. There will probably be 24-hour lighting at the plant. Property values may be adversely affected.

Has this been approved? No!

What You Need To Do:
Attend one of the upcoming Community Action Meetings!

Upcoming Community Action Meetings, Aug. 13,2003 Moose Lodge at 6 P.M, Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge at Hwys 53 & 20.

Please attend this meeting to discuss what we need to do now!

Please send letters voicing your concerns/comments regarding the project to: Linda Campion, Associate Oil & Gas Engineer; Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources; 801 K Street, 20th Floor, MS 20-20, Sacramento, CA 95814-3530. Telephone (916) 324-1268. All comments will be considered prior to CDOGGR making any decisions.

If you are concerned about the project in general or have questions, call/write your supervisors. For the Clearlake Oaks area, contact Gary Lewis, Lake County District Supervisor 3, at 263-2368 phone; 263-2207 fax, email. 255 N. Forbes St., Lakeport, CA 95453

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