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Valley Fire Devastates Facilities At The Geysers Geothermal Power Plant

(CBS SF) -- Calpine, the operator of The Geysers geothermal power facilities in Lake and Sonoma counties, said the Valley Fire has caused severe damage to its cooling towers, communication equipment and local power distribution lines.

The 67,000-acre fire that started Saturday in Lake County has affected five of Calpine's 14 power plants. All employees and contractors were safely evacuated and accounted for, Calpine officials said.

There is no known damage to any of the main power houses at those sites, according to the company.

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The fire also damaged some third-party transmission lines that transmit geothermal power to the grid, according to Calpine. The company's insurance includes coverage for wildfire risks and they anticipate that repairs will be covered under the policy.

Calpine is continuing to generate and deliver renewable electricity to the grid from the non-affected plants at the Geysers, company officials said.

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The Geysers is the world's largest geothermal complex, comprising about 45 square miles along the Lake and Sonoma counties' border, according to Calpine. The 14 power plants at the site have a net operating capacity of approximately 725 megawatts.

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