Oil, Gas & Geothermal - Geothermal - Geothermal Facts

​Geothermal Facts

Electrical Power

  • California produces more electricity from geothermal resources than any other state or country.

  • About 5.7 percent of California’s total electrical power generation in 2017 came from geothermal resources, according to the California Energy Commission.

  • Six California counties produced geothermal resources hot enough for electrical power generation in 2016.

Geothermal Fields

  • California’s deepest producing geothermal well is over 2 miles deep and located in The Geysers Geothermal field, about 60 miles northeast of San Francisco.

  • Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Gerald Ford all visited The Geysers. The first four saw it as a world-famous resort and the last as a modern geothermal field.

  • A well drilled in the 1920s at The Geysers was named “Whistling Annie.” Once the hot springs and fumaroles had fanciful names, including “The Devil’s Wash Tub,” the “Witches’ Cauldron,” and “Lemonade Spring.”

  • Drilled in Southern California’s Salton Sea Geothermal field, well “Vonderahe”1 is one of the largest and hottest geothermal wells in the world. It can produce nearly 2.2 million pounds of hot water in an hour, enough to power a 30-megawatt power plant.

  • Geothermal waters produced from the Salton Sea Geothermal field can have total dissolved solids reaching 250,000 parts per million, about seven times higher than sea water.

Low-temperature Geothermal Resources

  • Twenty-eight California counties have low-temperature geothermal resources used in commercial, direct-use projects.

  • California fish farms in Imperial County raise tilapia and catfish in low-temperature geothermal waters.