The treated effluent pipeline system is capable of delivering approximately 3.2 billion gallons of treated effluent and make-up water to the Geysers annually.
Effluent-Derived Steam For Power Generation
Over time, the amount of injected treated effluent that will be converted to steam is estimated to range from 40% to 100%. Based on an average steam recovery rate of approximately 50%, electrical output capacity at the Geysers has increased by approximately 100 Megawatt (MW). The injected effluent will significantly increase/extend steam reserves in the southeast portion of the Geysers, and help extend the viability of geothermal power generation in this area. A summary of the Effluent Power Generation Graph (PDF) can be downloaded for more information.
The effluent-derived steam also helps the environment by producing fewer contaminants requiring chemical abatement. According to power plant operators, the amount or fraction of non-condensable gases found previously in Geysers steam has dropped notably since effluent injection commenced. Of these gases, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is of the greatest concern because it requires costly removal and recycling after being separated into elemental sulfur. With effluent-derived steam producing less H2S, abatement costs are down, truck traffic on local roads is reduced, and Geyser's operational life is extended!