(IID reveals their Salton Sea Renewable Initiative)….IID General Manager Kevin Kelley read the initiative from a prepared statement Tuesday.
He said the solution to the restoration of the Salton Sea lies within the Sea itself. Kelley said that was because the renewable energy development potential around and currently beneath the Salton Sea, including an estimated 2,000 megawatts of untapped geothermal energy, can provide the state and its ratepayers with a diverse resource stream of baseload and intermittent energy that will promote grid reliability and serve as the funding and implementation springboard for restoration. The statement said at the same time, it would go a long way in bolstering the long-term viability of the QSA. He said the plan is simple, realistic and achievable, relying on an updated version of the restoration model favored by the Salton Sea Authority and endorsed by IID and Imperial County. Kelley said it calls for the county to designate the Salton Sea as a renewable energy zone and for the IID to pledge the use of its extensive land holdings for generation projects ranging from utility-scale geothermal, solar and wind, subsurface mining operations and such emerging resources as algae and solar gradient ponds. The generation projects on the exposed lakebed become a catalyst for restoration, doubling as ground cover to mitigate for air emissions while contributing to, and making possible, a smaller but sustainable Salton Sea. He said the cost of this public/private approach is valued at $3 billion.