Latest progress on lithium and geothermal in Southern California's Imperial Valley has seen mining firm Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings Inc. break ground on a Phase One of a twin facility set to produce 50MW via geothermal, and extract 25,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide annually. The Hell's Kitchen location is located 150 miles south of Los Angeles alongside the disappearing Salton Sea.
Covering CTR's progress for the Los Angeles Times, climate reporter Sammy Roth outlines the state of play.
- Maximum planned extraction/production after completion: 175,00 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year, and 350MW of (constant) electricity.
- 480 people will be hired during construction, then 280 permanent staff to manage Phase One - "good jobs" according to John Podesta (Clintons' former Chief of Staff and now Biden's clean energy advisor).
- Lithium extraction can be processed to manufacture batteries for 382 millions EVs.
- 68 acres required for Phase One
Wider considerations mentioned by Roth
- The facility will plug into Imperial Irrigation District
- SunZia electric line wind energy from New Mexico = 550 miles but 17 years of Federal planning.
- Concerns for air quality - Army Corps of Engineers speed up permitting for wetland.
- General Motors has pledged to source lithium from CTR