BLM Officials Approve Geothermal Power Plant South of Malta
BURLEY, Idaho (KLIX) A new geothermal power plan has been given a green light by public land managers in Cassia County.
The Bureau of Land Management announced plans for a 25 megawatt geothermal plant were approved by BLM Field Manager Ken Crane this week. The plant, known as Walker Ranch Energy, will be located 13 miles south of Malta.
Officials say once the project is complete and fully functional the plant will generate royalties that both BLM and the State of Idaho with share. The plant will be located on private property, but 22 wells are located on 200 acres of public land under the Burley Field Office's supervision. Geothermal water from the wells will be piped to the power plant that will heat fluid to steam and turn turbines to produce electricity.
“While the timeline for power production is not yet known, we are pleased to move forward with Walker Ranch Energy as they begin the process of adding clean, renewable energy resources to Idaho’s portfolio,” said Ken Crane.
According to BLM officials the project has been designed to reduce impacts to wildlife, visual resources, vegetation, soils, and air quality. It has also taken steps to protect sage grouse and their habitat by using submersible pumps to eliminate noise disturbance. Construction and maintenance will also be limited to protect sage-grouse and ferruginous hawks. No timeline was given for completion of the project.