San Emidio Desert Geothermal Area

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San Emidio Desert Geothermal Area

Area Overview

Geothermal Area Profile

Location: Nevada

Exploration Region: Northwest Basin and Range Geothermal Region

GEA Development Phase: Operational"Operational" is not in the list of possible values (Phase I - Resource Procurement and Identification, Phase II - Resource Exploration and Confirmation, Phase III - Permitting and Initial Development, Phase IV - Resource Production and Power Plant Construction) for this property.

Coordinates: 40.38°, -119.4°

Resource Estimate

Mean Reservoir Temp: 153°C426.15 K
307.4 °F
767.07 °R

Estimated Reservoir Volume: 2.582.58 m³
2.58e-9 km³
6.189749e-10 mi³
91.112 ft³
3.375 yd³

Mean Capacity: 14.22 MW14,220 kW
14,220,000 W
14,220,000,000 mW
0.0142 GW
1.422e-5 TW

USGS Mean Reservoir Temp: 190°C463.15 K
374 °F
833.67 °R

USGS Estimated Reservoir Volume: 7 km³ [3]

USGS Mean Capacity: 65 MW [3]

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History and Infrastructure

Operating Power Plants: 1

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Developing Power Projects: 1

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Power Production Profile

Gross Production Capacity:

Net Production Capacity:

Owners  :
  • U.S. Geothermal Inc.

Power Purchasers :

Other Uses:

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Regulatory and Environmental Issues

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Exploration History

First Discovery Well

Completion Date:

Well Name:



Initial Flow Rate:
  • "c" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.
  • The given value was not understood.

Flow Test Comment:

Initial Temperature:

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Well Field Description

Well Field Information

Development Area:

Number of Production Wells:

Number of Injection Wells:

Number of Replacement Wells:

Average Temperature of Geofluid: 155°C428.15 K
311 °F
770.67 °R

Sanyal Classification (Wellhead): Low Temperature

Reservoir Temp (Geothermometry):

Reservoir Temp (Measured):

Sanyal Classification (Reservoir):

Depth to Top of Reservoir: 518m0.518 km
0.322 mi
1,699.475 ft
566.49 yd

Depth to Bottom of Reservoir: 1128m1.128 km
0.701 mi
3,700.788 ft
1,233.592 yd

Average Depth to Reservoir: 823m0.823 km
0.511 mi
2,700.131 ft
900.041 yd

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Geology of the Area

Geologic Setting

Tectonic Setting: Extensional Tectonics

Controlling Structure:

Topographic Features: Horst and Graben

Brophy Model: Type E: Extensional Tectonic, Fault-Controlled Resource

Moeck-Beardsmore Play Type: CV-3: Extensional Domain

Geologic Features

Modern Geothermal Features:

Relict Geothermal Features: Hydrothermal Alteration

Volcanic Age: No volcanism

Host Rock Age:

Host Rock Lithology:

Cap Rock Age:

Cap Rock Lithology:

San Emidio lies within the Basin and Range province of northwestern Nevada, ~100 km north of Reno. This area is dominated by middle to late Miocene volcanic rocks and late Miocene to recent sediments, all overlying Mesozoic metasedimentary rocks. Currently, a small power plant produces 2.3 MW from a 155°C reservoir at 520 m depth at the south end of an active fault system. Abundant altered rocks, native sulfur deposits, and boiling groundwater at depths less than 100 m suggest, however, that the San Emidio geothermal resource extends several kilometers northward from the currently producing well field. The San Emidio geothermal system appears to occupy a right step in a hard-linked, N-striking, W-dipping normal fault zone along the west flank of the northern Lake Range. Much of the hydrothermal activity is associated with a N-trending, W-dipping Holocene scarp. Abundant silicified fault and hydrothermal breccias, as well as open-space textures, are concentrated along the sinistral oblique-slip fault that links two strands of the N-striking normal fault zone within the right step. Kinematic features preserved in these silicified units indicate a WNW-trending slip direction, thus inducing minor dilation within the right-step of the northerly striking fault system. Minor dilation accompanied by high fault density within the right step likely produces the permeability necessary for deep fluid circulation within the San Emidio system.[6]

Geofluid Geochemistry


Salinity (low): 4000

Salinity (high): 6000

Salinity (average):

Brine Constituents:

Water Resistivity:

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NEPA-Related Analyses (5)

Below is a list of NEPA-related analyses that have been conducted in the area - and logged on OpenEI. To add an additional NEPA-related analysis, see the NEPA Database.


Document # Analysis
Applicant Application
DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2010-0006-EA EA US Geothermal Inc 29 October 2010 United States Department of Energy Geothermal/Exploration Flow Test
DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2010-0021-CX CX US Geothermal Inc 23 April 2010 2 September 2010 Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Exploration Seismic Techniques
DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2011-0007-CX CX US Geothermal Inc 17 February 2011 28 March 2011 BLM Geothermal/Exploration Seismic Techniques
DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2012-0011-DNA DNA US Geothermal Inc 1 March 2012 30 May 2012 Bureau of Land Management Geothermal/Well Field Observation Wells
San Emido Geothermal Energy North Project EA USG Nevada LLC 5 July 2013 BLM Geothermal/Power Plant
Geothermal/Well Field
Production Wells

Exploration Activities (0)

Below is a list of Exploration that have been conducted in the area - and cataloged on OpenEI. Add.png Add a new Exploration Activity

No exploration activities listed on OpenEI.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 U.S Geothermal Provides Corporate Update [Internet]. 04/20/2012. U.S. Geothermal Inc.. [cited 2015/05/05]. Available from:
  2. Geothermex Inc.. 2004. New Geothermal Site Identification and Qualification. Richmond, CA: California Energy Commission. Report No.: P500-04-051. Contract No.: 500-04-051.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 U.S. Geological Survey. 2008. Assessment of Moderate- and High-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States. USA: U.S. Geological Survey. Report No.: Fact Sheet 2008-3082.
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List of existing Geothermal Resource Areas.

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