Calpine has had a variety of opportunities to partner with others in establishing new programs that protect and preserve the environment while strengthening regional infrastructure and offering specific educational benefits.
The Metcalf Energy Center Ecological Preserve
While planning for the development and construction of the Metcalf Energy Center, Calpine purchased a parcel of land that included 131 acres of prime wildlife habitat. This land, sensitive hillside habitat, was then donated to the Land Trust of Santa Clara County, along with a land management endowment of $1.3 million. The hillside has been identified as valuable serpentine habitat which supports the endangered bay checkerspot butterfly and the host plants that the butterfly requires during its life cycle. A nearby creek is significant because it is seen as potential habitat of the red-legged frog and the tiger salamander. This new ecological preserve established a precedent in the area that prompted regional planning to conserve the serpentine ecosystem. For more information, visit the website at www.landtrustscc.org.
This project was also supported by the local chapter of the Sierra Club and highlighted in Science Magazine.
> Sierra Club resolution
> Science Magazine article
> Bay Checkerspot butterfly facts
Regional Habitat Conservation Program
Calpine provided funding for new permanent habitat land in association with the development of Calpine's Pastoria Energy Facility in California. The funds were used by the Center of Natural Lands Management (CNLM) to purchase 245 acres of habitat in Kern County for the specific benefit of the San Joaquin Kit Fox. In addition, the 245 acres will also benefit the California Condor since the habitat is located within the California Condor historic range. This funding also included an endowment feature for maintainance of the land.
Use of Recycled Water
Many cities have trouble dealing with the amount of wastewater created by their communities and in some areas, there are firm limits to the amounts of treated wastewater that can be legally discharged into rivers or bays. In some locations, Calpine has been able to partner with cities in a way that is beneficial to both parties.
Lake County and Santa Rosa Pipelines, CA
For example, since 1998, approximately 8 million gallons per day of treated wastewater originating from Lake County, California has been pumped up to The Geysers and injected into the steam reservoir to help sustain electricity production. This is an excellent example of a successful public/private partnerships, enabling the county to meet discharge standards while providing clean reliable electricity. Based on the success of the Lake County pipeline, a similar project is under construction to utilize at The Geysers 11 million gallons per day of treated wastewater from the city of Santa Rosa and its neighbors. The Santa Rosa pipeline is expected to be operational in mid-2003.
Water Treatment Programs, Pittsburg, CA
Using recycled water is an important component of operating several Calpine power plants located in the San Francisco Bay Area. To provide mutual benefits to the Delta and Los Medanos Energy Centers and to the local sanitation district, Calpine built a state-of-the-art recycled water facility. The water treatment facility processes and disinfects the wastewater to a tertiary level. After being processed at the water facility, the recycled water is piped to the energy centers and used to circulate through the cooling towers, transforming the heat created by the turbines into steam. Together, the energy centers will use four to six million gallons of recycled wastewater per day. Approximately eighty percent of this water will evaporate into the atmosphere as steam. The remaining water will then be sent back into the city’s sewer system for reuse. Another beneficial outcome of this process is the protection of endangered species by avoiding the need to dispose of the treated water into the bay. When Bay Area communities cannot sell enough of their recycled "fresh" water to industrial users, they discharge it into the bay. Unfortunately, too much fresh water can impact certain saltwater plants and fish species by diluting the salinity of the bay habitat that supports their fragile ecosystem. Calpine's daily use of large amounts of recycled water will significantly reduce the current impacts of fresh water discharges to the Bay. To learn more about recycled water, visit www.ddsd.org/services.html.