Sacramento Municipal Utility District: SMUD to Receive 100 Megawatts of Geothermal Power from Calpine Corporation

April 4, 2022

Contract for power from The Geysers supports 2030 Zero Carbon Plan

Sacramento, CA — SMUD approved a 100-megawatt contract with Calpine Corporation for geothermal power from The Geysers, marking a major step forward toward the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan.

“SMUD is on course to eliminate all carbon emissions from the power supply by 2030, and our new partnership with Calpine and The Geysers brings us a step closer to that vision,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau. “Wind, solar, emerging battery storage systems and geothermal resources are the types of investments we will pursue to achieve a clean energy future that leaves no community behind.”

The 10-year power purchase agreement for 100 megawatts of energy from Calpine’s operations at The Geysers was approved by the SMUD Board of Directors on March 16. Once the contract takes effect on January 1, 2023, it will add 100 megawatts of geothermal energy to SMUD’s portfolio, enough to power about 100,000 homes for a year. The addition of this renewable energy source is equivalent to removing 342,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Located north of San Francisco, The Geysers is the single largest geothermal electrical operation in the world. A geothermal resource occurs when water deep below the earth’s surface is heated by exposure to hot, porous and permeable rock resulting in dry steam or hot water. At The Geysers, dry, superheated steam is produced. Steam production wells about two miles deep are drilled to tap this naturally occurring steam. Once the steam reaches the surface, it is piped overland to a network of interconnected power plants where it spins conventional steam turbines that drive generators to produce clean, reliable electricity for California.

“Calpine is proud to support SMUD’s ambitious approach to clean energy under the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan,” said, Calpine’s Vice President of Origination Gevan Reeves. “Geothermal power from The Geysers is available every hour of every day, which means we can help SMUD deliver reliable, renewable energy to customers across Sacramento County and its service area in portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. We’re grateful to SMUD for choosing Calpine for this bold effort, which will strengthen our entire community, including Lake and Sonoma Counties, where hundreds of hardworking employees help produce reliable, geothermal energy for California.”

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for more than 75 years. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. In 2020, SMUD’s power supply was more than 60 percent carbon free, and SMUD has a goal to reach zero carbon in its electricity production by 2030. For more information on SMUD’s Zero Carbon Plan and its customer programs, visit

About Calpine Corporation

Calpine is charting the course to a cleaner future for California. Our state has set ambitious clean energy goals, and The Geysers is helping energy providers meet those targets with green, reliable, geothermal energy. Located north of San Francisco in the Mayacamas Mountains and spanning 45 square miles, The Geysers is the single largest geothermal electrical operation in the world. With 13 power plants owned and operated by The Geysers, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Calpine Corporation, The Geysers reliably supports California with up to 725 MW of clean, geothermal energy every hour of every day. Each year, Calpine’s operations at The Geysers prevent the emission of 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide that would have otherwise been emitted by existing power generation facilities – the equivalent of removing 432,500 cars from the road. Calpine and The Geysers are committed to sustainable management and through innovative recycled water projects, environmental problems for local communities are solved while simultaneously generating reliable energy for California from The Geysers. To learn more visit

Original release from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District can be viewed here.


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