Vulcan Power Company has filed for permission to build a geothermal power plant 10 miles east of Fernley.

The plant would be located at Patua which has been studied as a potential geothermal site for more than 40 years.


The application to the Public Utilities Commission seeks permits to build a plant with six turbine generators capable of producing 60 megawatts of electric power. The company’s plan states that the geothermal water would be injected back into the ground after running through the generators.

As part of the project, Vulcan also needs permits to build just over six miles of transmission lines to an existing power substation.

The Patua plant would be within 30 miles of five existing geothermal plants in Churchill and Lyon counties.

A Vulcan statement on the project says interest in the geothermal field dates to 1962 when Magma Power drilled three shallow exploration wells at Patua, the deepest being 750 feet with temperatures of up to 270 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Oregon based company hopes to have the plant in operation by 2012.

No hearing has yet been scheduled on the applications.

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