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Appendix C Information Requirements for a Geothermal Notice of Intent

20 CA ADC Div. 2 Ch. 5 App. CBarclays Official California Code of Regulations

Barclays California Code of Regulations
Title 20. Public Utilities and Energy
Division 2. State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 5. Power Plant Site Certification
20 CCR Div. 2 Ch. 5 App. C
Appendix C Information Requirements for a Geothermal Notice of Intent
(a) In a section entitled “Project Description,” the notice shall contain:
(1) A map indicating the location or tentative location of the geothermal leasehold and the location or tentative location of each proposed power plant site and related facility, along with a description by section, township, range, and county of the leasehold.
(2) The location or tentative location of production and reinjection well sites, resource conveyance lines, access roads, and waste disposal sites in relation to each geothermal power plant.
(3) Photographic and/or other suitable graphic representations of the geothermal leasehold and each proposed geothermal power plant, and the visual appearance and general surroundings of such proposed power plant.
(4) A description of the process by which the tentative site was selected within the geothermal leasehold and the consideration given to site geology and ease of engineering, physical environmental impact, socioeconomic impacts, resource conveyance constraints, electric transmission constraints, land use constraints, and any other factors considered by the applicant and not listed herein.
(5) A preliminary description of the type, quality, and characteristics of the geothermal resource encountered or expected, including, to the extent known, pressure and temperature, flow rates, concentrations of non-condensible gases, concentrations of dissolved solids, and descriptions and concentrations of any substances potentially harmful to the environment or to the public health and safety.
(6) Where a notice is filed early in the resource development process, and where the pressure, temperature, flow rate, and constituency and concentration of dissolved solids in the geothermal resources are uncertain, an estimate of the probable range of the various resource parameters based upon nearby development, leasehold exploration if it has occurred, or any other information sources available to the applicant and resource developer. In addition, the basis for such estimations shall be clearly identified.
COMMENT: The 18-month certification process is particularly appropriate for the instances described in this subsection.
(7) The maximum estimated generating capacity of each proposed power plant.
(8) A tentative project schedule including permit approvals from the commission and other agencies from which permits must be issued prior to construction or operation, construction lead times, anticipated date of commercial operation, and anticipated operating plant life.
(9) For each of the following facilities and/or systems a general description, which includes dimensions, surface area requirements, and typical operating data, performance and design criteria for protection from impacts due to geotechnical hazards, flood hazards, and meteorological extremes, performance and design criteria for assurance of public health and safety and protection of the environment.
(A) Power generation system;
(B) Heat dissipation system;
(C) Cooling water supply system;
(D) Reinjection system;
(E) Atmospheric emission control system;
(F) Waste disposal systems and disposal sites;
(G) Geothermal resource conveyance lines;
(H) Pre-plant cooling water treatment systems, where applicable;
(I) Switchyards/transformer systems; and
(J) Other significant facilities, structures or system components proposed by the applicant not listed above.
COMMENT: The term “performance criteria,” when used in these regulations, refers to performance goals which the applicant proposes to use in designing the proposed facilities. For example, a component of the seismic performance criteria would be designing a turbine generator so as to allow continued operation of the proposed facility at full load after the occurrence of a design basis earthquake at the site. Performance criteria are an alternate statement of acceptable risk and are usually semi-quantitative in nature.
The term “design criteria” refers to the limiting criteria used for detailed design of a structure or component. The design criteria produce a design which will meet or exceed the desired performance criteria. For example, design criteria include design loads and the methods for determining loads.
(10) A list of all project participants and their legal interests in the power plant facilities, the geothermal leasehold, the geothermal resource conveyance lines, the geothermal reinjection system, and the electric transmission facilities.
(b) In a section entitled “Need for Project,” the notice shall contain:
(1) A discussion of the conformity of the proposed facilities with the level of statewide and service area electrical demand adopted by the commission pursuant to Section 25309 of the Public Resources Code. The discussion shall specify the reasons why the applicant has concluded that the facilities should be added to the applicant's electrical system, including a discussion of whether the facilities are being proposed to meet projected capacity or energy deficits, to displace existing units scheduled for retirement, or to meet requirements for additional reserves.
COMMENT: In the discussion of need, the applicant may incorporate by reference any other relevant filings or submittals to the commission and must include a summary of the referenced material and a discussion of the relevance of such filings or submittals.
(2) An energy and capacity balance showing the forecast of electricity demand as adopted pursuant to Section 25309(b) of the Public Resources Code and generating resources expected to be available to the applicant when the proposed plant is scheduled to begin operation.
(3) The anticipated generating capacity of each proposed facility or facilities, and:
(A) The expected annual capacity factor from the date of initial operation through the 12-year forecast period; and
(B) The expected average annual capacity factor over the anticipated operating life of the facility.
(4) The applicant may demonstrate need for a geothermal facility by reference to the most recent Biennial Report, and in making such demonstration the applicant may cite any findings and conclusions resulting from any generic proceedings conducted by the commission.
(c) In a section entitled “Financial Impacts,” the notice shall contain:
(1) A discussion of the preliminary financial requirements for constructing and operating the proposed facilities, including a table summarizing capital requirements and operating expenses, and their principal components. The discussion shall indicate and explain the basis for any assumed escalation rates and costs of capital, fuel, or other principal components. If more than one site is proposed, significant cost differences between alternative sites should be identified.
(2) A preliminary summary of the cost of the installed generating capacity (expressed in $/kw) and of the cost of energy at the busbar (expressed in H/kwhr). A list of principal cost components, an explanation of the source of derivation of each, and the calculations used to arrive at the summary costs above shall be provided. Any major uncertainties in the cost figures used or assumptions relied upon shall be explicitly identified and their significance shall be discussed.
(3) In situations where electric transmission facilities serve more than one geothermal power plant, the notice shall identify costs associated with such transmission facilities in a manner which recognizes the allocation of such costs over more than one unit.
(4) A general discussion of the estimated impact of the proposed facilities on customer rates during construction and after commencement of operation.
(d) In a section entitled “Applicable Laws, Ordinances, Standards, Permits, and Approvals,” the notice shall contain tables which identify:
(1) Laws, regulations, standards, adopted local, regional, state, and federal land use plans, permits, and approvals applicable to the proposed project, and a discussion of the applicability of each.
(2) The agency with jurisdiction to issue applicable permits and approvals or to enforce such identified laws, regulations, standards, and adopted local, regional, state, and federal land use plans, or agencies which would have permit approval or enforcement authority but for the exclusive authority of the commission to certify geothermal sites and related facilities.
(3) The name, title, and address, if known, of an official within each agency who will serve as a contract person for each respective agency.
(4) References to the text of the notice wherein the compatibility of the proposed project with each identified law, regulation, standard, adopted local, regional, state, and federal land use plans, permits and approvals, is discussed.
COMMENT: The information requirements set forth in portion IV of Appendix A applies only to facilities to be constructed by the applicant, and not to the geothermal field. The applicant's discussion in this portion shall give particular consideration to those county hydrologic elements, county solid waste management laws, state water use plans, and water basin plans identified in Appendix A.V.B.
(e) In a section entitled “Environmental Description and Project Effects,” the notice shall identify potential physical, biological, social, economic and cultural effects of the proposed project and contain:
(1) With respect to air quality:
(A) Available baseline air quality data including concentrations of pollutants, and a comparison of air quality data with applicable ambient air standards.
(B) Available meteorological data, including wind speed and direction, ambient temperature, relative humidity, stability and mixing height, and available upper air data.
(C) A discussion of the extent to which the data in subsections 1 and 2 above are typical of conditions at the proposed site and the KGRA; also, provide a description of the monitoring program, if any, used to obtain required data, including the location and elevation of monitoring stations, parameters measured, and duration of monitoring.
(D) A worst case air quality impact analysis for each proposed site and related facility and source of air emissions, assuming worst case meteorological conditions and emissions consistent with applicable emission standards, including the cumulative effect of wells and pipelines in normal and shutdown modes of operation, in order to determine the worst case impact on potential sensitive receptors. Such analysis shall include the basis of the worst case and consider topography, meteorology, and contributions from other sources in the KGRA.
(E) A general description of normal and shutdown modes of operation for the proposed facility or facilities that affect the release of pollutant emissions into the atmosphere for existing and proposed sources or groups of sources that would have additive effects, including estimated frequency of occurrence, duration, location, and estimated emission rate for each pollutant of interest.
(F) A general discussion of expected or confirmed chemical constituencies of gaseous and particulate pollutants from the proposed project including wells and resource conveyance lines.
(G) For facilities using an external water supply, an estimate of cooling tower particulate and gaseous emissions associated with each alternative cooling water source considered.
(H) A discussion of applicable rules, including but not limited to standards, new source review, and significant deterioration rules established pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with # 39000) of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, and the methods proposed to satisfy these rules.
(2). With respect to hydrology, water supply, and water quality:
(A) A description of surface waters which may be a source of cooling water or which may be potentially impacted by the proposed project. Such description shall indicate the proximity of such surface waters to the geothermal field and power plant site, availability of cooling water for the project, competitive uses for the cooling water supply, quality of cooling water supply, and available data on existing quality of surface waters potentially impacted or any programs proposed to identify and monitor water quality.
(B) A description of local and regional groundwater aquifers and related geologic formations, structures, recharge areas, and major groundwater uses.
(C) A description of existing regional and local precipitation and storm runoff data, including maximum probable precipitation and flood potential.
COMMENT: If the applicant proposes to use other than maximum probable precipitation for flood hazard mitigation design criteria, other historical extreme precipitation values used for design criteria shall be provided.
(D) A general discussion of any liquid discharges, permitted or accidental, or disposals of solid waste materials which could impact the quality of surface or groundwater.
(E) A general discussion of potential project impacts on local hydrologic flows and runoff.
(F) A general discussion of the potential for flood hazard to the proposed facilities.
(G) A general discussion of potential mitigation measures to protect surface and groundwaters from project impacts, including the identification of any spill clean-up contingency plans proposed or under consideration at the time of filing of the notice.
(H) A discussion of potential project impacts on the temperature, mineral content, rate of flow, and other aspects of nearby utilized thermal springs.
(3) With respect to geology and seismicity:
(A) A general description based on existing data, including maps, of the tectonic history, fault activity, and historical seismicity within 50 km of the site, including all known or inferred potentially active and active faults, an estimate of the magnitude of MCE and MPE derived for each active fault, and the epicenter and date of any earthquake with a magnitude equal to or in excess of M4 or which could be reasonably inferred to have caused ground acceleration of greater than 0.1 G at the site.
(B) The MCE and MPE peak bedrock or ground accelerations derived for the proposed site.
(C) A brief discussion of the known stratigraphic units and significant geologic structures within 10 km of the site with emphasis on those potentially associate with geotechnical problems.
(D) A map and detailed description, based on existing data, of all recognized stratigraphic units, geologic structures, and geomorphic features or processes within the leasehold boundaries or two km of the site, whichever is greater, with emphasis on those associated with geotechnical problems in the site area. The discussion should include the following anticipated site conditions: ground rupture from faulting, mass wasting and slope stability, liquefaction or settlement, subsidence and associated ground rupture, expansion or collapse of soil structures, cavities, and other adverse site or foundation conditions.
(E) A description, with maps, of commercially developed mines, gem, mineral, and fossil collecting localities, fumaroles, geysers, hot springs, or other geologic resources of unique recreational or scientific value which may be affected by the proposed project.
(F) A detailed description, including maps showing location, of potential impacts to the geological environment resulting from construction, operation, or failure of the proposed facilities including inducement or acceleration of mass wasting, subsidence seismicity, and fault rupture.
COMMENT: The geological environment includes, but is not limited to, developed mines, gem, mineral and fossil collecting localities, fumeroles, geysers, and thermal springs.
(G) A general description of typical mitigation measures, if any, under consideration to eliminate or reduce identified geologic hazards and impacts to the geologic environment.
COMMENT: The 2, 10 and 50 km distances in items 4, 3, and 1 respectively, are intended as guidelines, and may decrease, if reasons are given, or increase, as geologic conditions warrant.
COMMENT: Also, for purposes of the proceedings on the notice, the MCE, MPE and associated accelerations requested in items 1 through 7 above are intended to establish a common data base with respect to seismic setting and are not meant to imply proposed levels of seismic design.
Furthermore, where an applicant pursues a certification process pursuant to Section 1803(a) and files a notice early in the resource development process information related to the geologic environment may be based on existing information without performing original research and investigation.
Finally, the geotechnical information requested above is consistent with the policy adopted by the State Board of Registration for Geologists and Geophysicists on July 17, 1978.
(4) With respect to agriculture and soils:
(A) A map of soils at the site and within geothermal, the leasehold based on available soils information, and a description of mapped soils including soil erodability, soil taxonomy, and physical and chemical characteristics. The description of soils shall be sufficient to allow an evaluation of soil erodability, infiltration rate, permeability, and of the potential for leaching of pollutant deposition and cycling of pollutants in the soil-vegetation system.
(B) An assessment of the general effects of construction and operation of each proposed geothermal power plant facility on soils including, but not limited to, accelerated soil loss, soil dispersal and deposition patterns and quantities, the effects of power plant emissions on surrounding soil-vegetation systems, and the methods used to determine such effects.
(C) A discussion of the effects of construction and operation of each proposed geothermal power plant facility on agricultural resources, including the effects of cooling tower drift on crops and the removal of prime agricultural land from production. The discussion of these effects should be based on land capability classifications and storied ratings for all soil series of the proposed site.
(D) A discussion of mitigation measures under consideration to minimize effects on agricultural resources and soil-vegetation systems and to prevent off-site sediment transport.
(5) With respect to biological resources:
(A) A description of vegetational communities, general wildlife and aquatic resources, and dominant species within the area potentially impacted by the proposed project.
(B) An identification on a map and a description of the known probable distribution of fully protected, rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species, and commercially or recreationally valued species and habitats that may be adversely affected by the project.
(C) An identification of biological species of special concern and areas of critical biological concern.
COMMENT: In the notice, an attempt shall be made to identify species of special concern and areas of critical concern that may be, or are known by the applicant to be, of special interest to: (1) local, state, and federal agencies responsible for biological resources within the area potentially biologically impacted by the project; and/or (2) educational institutions, museums, biological societies and members of the public that might have specific knowledge of the biological resources within the area.
(D) A description of the potential effects of the proposed project on legally protected and commercially and recreationally valued biological resources, species of special concern, and areas of critical biological concern.
(E) A discussion of measures proposed or under consideration to mitigate impacts to identified biological resources.
(F) A general discussion of the effects of the proposed project upon timber and forest land.
(6) With respect to noise:
(A) A land use map which identifies noise sensitive receptors or groups of receptors in the vicinity of the proposed site and related facility, and geothermal leasehold, which includes future land uses identifiable from adopted land use plans and filed development plans at the time of filing the notice.
(B) A discussion of either the results of daytime and nighttime ambient noise surveys at the site and at sensitive receptors, including the general weather conditions during the surveys, or any plans to conduct such surveys.
COMMENT: If noise concerns are likely to be a significant consideration for site acceptability due to the proximity of the proposed facilities to sensitive noise receptors, the applicant should conduct ambient noise surveys for inclusion in the notice; without such information, no conclusive findings shall be made during the proceedings on the notice regarding the acceptability of project noise impacts.
(C) A description of major plant noise sources and the estimated range of noise emission levels and characteristics.
(D) An estimation of the plant construction and operational noise levels at sensitive receptors potentially impacted by project noise.
(E) A discussion of applicable noise standards and ordinances and the general conformance of the proposed project therewith.
(7) With respect to cultural resources:
(A) A description of all cultural resource properties (archaeological, historical, paleontological, and areas of unique religious or scientific value) within the area potentially impacted by the project identifiable from a literature and reconnaissance survey.
(B) A discussion of those cultural resources listed in, declared eligible for, or nominated to the National Register of Historic Places; those resources that are listed as state or local landmarks or points of historic interest; and those resources that are otherwise protected by existing law.
(C) A description of the methodology and techniques used to identify and evaluate site area cultural resources and any plans for future studies.
(D) A description of potential impacts on identified cultural resources from construction and operation of each proposed geothermal power plant, and the measures under consideration for mitigation of such impacts.
(8) With respect to social and economic effects:
(A) A general description, with an accompanying map, of the existing and proposed future land uses of the proposed power plant site and geothermal leasehold as designated by applicable land use plans or guidelines of local, regional, state, and federal agencies; of the present and proposed land use classifications for the site, leasehold and adjoining areas which are potentially impacted by the project; and the location of municipal, county, regional, state and federal parks, recreational areas, scenic areas, wildlife sanctuaries, religious sanctuaries, or natural areas in the vicinity of the site and leasehold.
(B) A general description of the social and economic setting of the area subject to impact from the proposed project.
(C) An estimation of labor required during construction and operation of the proposed geothermal power plant and the geothermal field.
(D) An estimation of the level of temporary and permanent project-related immigration to the local area.
(E) An estimation of the impact of construction activities and project operation on the local economy and on the availability of public services and facilities fixtures.
(f) In a section entitled “Public Health Impacts,” the notice shall contain the following information on the potential public health effects from the construction and operation of the proposed power plant and geothermal field:
(1) An identification, to the extent known, of solid gaseous, and water-borne emissions, such 2S, SO2, NH3, and B, total suspended and respirable particulates, trace metals, and radioactive materials, which may cause adverse health effects in the surrounding population.
(2) An estimation of the ambient concentrations for the pollutants identified in subsection A of this section, and the worst case incremental increase expected as a result of project emissions.
(3) A general discussion of concentrations, to the extent known, required for the creation of potentially significant adverse health effects from identified pollutants as disclosed in available literature. The discussion shall include variables due to differing age groups within the general population and portions of the general population which may be particularly affected by any identified emissions. The discussion shall also include the age distribution and size of the population which may be potentially affected by these emissions.
(4) A discussion of all existing federal, state, and local health standards for identified project emissions.
(g) In a section entitled “Power Plant Reliability” the notice shall contain the following information on site dependent reliability-related factors:
(1) A general discussion of the impact on plant reliability from potential hazards to each proposed facility caused by, but not limited to, ground rupture by faulting, mass wasting, and slope stability, liquefaction or settlement, subsidence and associated ground rupture, expansion or collapse of soil structures, cavities or other adverse foundation conditions, flooding, meteorological and climatic extremes, and cooling water supply reliability.
(2) A general discussion of performance and design criteria for protecting the facilities from potential hazards.
(3) A general description of the basis for formulation or selection of performance and design criteria discussed in subsection B of this section.
(h) In a section entitled “Electric Transmission Facilities,” the notice shall contain the following information:
(1) A description of any electric transmission facilities, lines, stations, or other equipment, whether or not within the exclusive permit authority of the commission, which will be required to carry electrical power from each proposed geothermal power plant at each of the sites presented in the notice to the principal load centers to be served by the new power plant. Such description shall include the width of rights-of-way and the physical and electrical characteristics of towers, conductors, and insulators. For electric transmission facilities outside the exclusive permit authority of the commission, response to this subsection may be limited to information, such as capacity and voltage levels and right-of-way widths, which will allow the commission staff to perform an electric transmission system planning analysis and to assess the cumulative environmental impacts.
(2) A discussion of the need for the additional electric transmission lines, stations, or other equipment referred to in the notice, the basis for selecting principal points of junction with the existing electric transmission system, and the capacity and voltage levels of the proposed lines along with the basis for selection of the capacity and voltage levels.
(3) A discussion of the extent to which the proposed electric transmission facilities have been designed, planned, and/or routed to meet the transmission requirements created by additional generating facilities planned by the applicant or any other entity in the same general area.
COMMENT: A precise definition for “general area” as used here cannot be provided. In some instances the KGRA in which the proposed geothermal power plant is to be located would comprise the “general area.” In all cases the applicant should acknowledge whether or not power plants proposed in an area which could be served by common transmission to the main transmission grid where considered in determining the capacity and general route of the proposed electric transmission facilities.
(4) An identification of the owners and operators of the proposed electric transmission facilities and their legal interest in the proposed route or corridor.
(5) A discussion of alternative methods of transmitting power from each proposed geothermal power plant that were considered by the applicant, and the basis for selection of such methods.
(6) A map or maps showing the potential corridor or corridors proposed or alternative points of interconnection, and existing and proposed land uses at and adjoining the corridor(s) as designated by local, regional, state, and federal agencies.
(7) A description of the corridor or route selection process.
(8) A discussion of the physical, biological, social and cultural, environmental, and engineering advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives considered.
(9) A preliminary estimate of the costs of lines, stations, and other equipment that would be required.
(10) If the applicant does not or will not have an ownership interest in those electric transmission lines proposed to transmit power from the power plant to a point of junction with an interconnected system, a discussion of contracts executed or arrangements contemplated for the transmission of electric power from the proposed geothermal power plant.
COMMENT: Where tap lines are proposed, the discussion may be route-specific due to their limited length.


Note: Authority cited: Section 25218(e), Public Resources Code. Reference: Sections 25001, 25006, 25110, 25502, 25504, 25506 and 25506.5, Public Resources Code.
1. Renumbering of subsections I-VIII to (a)-(h), and new subsection (e)(4)(F) filed 1-11-83; designated effective 2-1-83 pursuant to Government Code section 11346.2(d) (Register 83, No. 3).
2. Relocation and relabeling of Appendix filed 8-10-93; operative 9-9-93 (Register 93, No. 33).
This database is current through 3/10/23 Register 2023, No. 10.
Cal. Admin. Code tit. 20, Div. 2 Ch. 5 App. C, 20 CA ADC Div. 2 Ch. 5 App. C
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