Tours and Events
UKC is offering a full-day tour of three renewable energy demonstration project sites: Geothermal plants near Salton Sea, various Solar Photo Voltaic projects, and Windmill projects. This is a rare opportunity for comprehensive briefing and observation of three real world projects.
Geothermal power plants use the natural heat of the earth to generate electricity for homes and businesses. It is a renewable source of energy and does not rely on coal or other fossil fuels to create electricity.
This project consists of 10 generating plants in the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area in Southern California's Imperial Valley. The plants produce electricity solely from naturally occurring geothermal steam. Geothermal production wells tap into superheated water reservoirs thousands of feet beneath the Earth's surface to release tremendous pressure, caused by the hot water, which rushes to the surface. There, steam is separated and used to drive turbines to generate electricity. Eight of the Imperial Valley facilities – Vulcan, Hoch, Elmore, Leathers and Salton Sea 1, 2, 3 and 4 – are under contract to sell power to Southern California Edison Company under 30-year power purchase agreements. Salton Sea 5 and the CE Turbo plant sell virtually all of their power to third parties. The combined capacity at Imperial Valley is approximately 327 net megawatts (nominal).
Coachella Valley Windmill Farm
This wind farm contains more than 4000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley.
Coachella Valley is a large valley landform in Southern California that extends for approximately 45 miles in Riverside County southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains to the saltwater Salton Sea, the largest lake in California. The valley's northwest entrance from the San Bernardino-Riverside along Interstate 10 is known as the San Gorgonio Pass and is one of the windiest places on earth. Cool coastal air is forced through the pass and mixes with the hot desert air, making the San Gorgonio Pass one of only three ideal places in California for steady, wind-generated electricity. At the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, hundreds of huge wind turbines spread across the desert and hills on either side of the highway greet visitors as they approach the crest of the pass and have become somewhat of a symbol of the area.
Noble Energy Solar PV Plant
Noble Energy Completes New 300kW Solar Project for Xavier Prep-school, which is one of the largest private installation fields, built in the Coachella Valley to date. The 300kW system will supply enough electricity to more than cover the school’s daytime power demands, saving the institution thousands of dollars in electricity bills each year. The facility is be owned and managed by Noble & Company LLC through its role as project developer.
The ground mount system (GMS) includes nearly 1,500 photovoltaic panels, 240kW each, and covers approximately 65,000 square feet of land. Noble designed the project to accommodate possible future expansion at Xavier Prep, including a solar-powered thermal water heating system for a proposed aquatic center. The solar panels are mounted on low-impact ballasts/posts that preclude the need for digging deep holes or trenches. This low profile, single-row design is highly portable, facilitating easy relocation, should that be required for possible future campus expansion.
- Date and Time: Aug. 8, Wednesday, 7:00am - 5:30pm
- Transportation: Bus provided by UKC
- Cost: Free
- Eligibility: All UKC participants and spouses
- Maximum number of the tourists: 40 people (first-come, first-served)
- 7:00 AM Depart Hyatt Regency Orange County Hotel - Garden Grove
- 10:00 AM California Energy Geothermal Power Plant - Salton Sea
- 12:00 PM Lunch
- 1:00 PM Noble Energy Solar PV Plant - Indio
- 2:00 PM Wintec Energy Windmill Plant - Palm Desert
- 3:00 PM Leave
- 5:30 PM Arrive Hyatt Regency Hotel
Desert Warning: We are visiting hot and dry areas in the middle of summer. Please be prepared for desert weather with sunglasses, sun creams, hats, and by carrying plenty of water. Please wear comfortably with loosely fitted clothes, minimize the skin exposure.
Opt for a jacket, even in the heat. As long as it is not made of waterproof material, it can protect you from the heat. It's tempting to dress as minimally as possible in the desert, but that isn't ideal for desert or even just brief trips. Porous material can allow ventilation without overheating your body.
This tour is full and the registration is closed
Note: No-shows will be charged $50 during registration.
- Dr. Chan Seung Park, University of California, Riverside (firstname.lastname@example.org)