Hollis Chin, VP Marketing, GreenFire Energy
On the last day of the recent Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting & Expo in Palm Springs, California, 52 GRC attendees boarded a bus for a GRC field trip to visit the Coso Geothermal Fields and the GreenFire Energy closed-loop geothermal demonstration project.
The Coso Geothermal Field is located in the central Coso Range, approximately 160 miles north-northeast of Los Angeles and bounded by the Sierra Nevada Range to the west and the Mojave Desert to the southeast. This trip was particularly intriguing because the Coso Geothermal Field lies within the boundaries of the U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS), China Lake, where access is extremely limited as it serves as a research and development facility for air-to-air and air-to-ground testing. The military geothermal program is managed by the Navy Geothermal Program Office and has the broad function of geothermal resource development and resource management on land that the military services.
On the first evening of the trip, a dinner was held and Andrew Sabin, Ph.D., of the Navy Geothermal Program Office, Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) and current President of the GRC gave a presentation on the geology of the Coso area. Joseph Scherer, CEO, GreenFire Energy Inc., gave a brief technical overview of the company’s demonstration project and the initial testing results.
The early morning bus ride from Ridgecrest, California to the Coso Geothermal Field was fascinating. Andrew Sabin described the sites along the way including Fossil Falls, the Red Hill comprised of volcanic cinder, and the location of more than 6,000 petroglyphs in the nearby canyons. Kelly Blake, Director of the Geothermal Program Office, also accompanied us. The bus traveled north on scenic Highway 395 and then turned off onto a non-descript road to arrive at the secured gates of the Coso Geothermal Field.