Blasting at the Central California
Power Agency Geothermal Plant #1
On August 7, 2000, work began on the blasting of the
Coldwater Creek turbine / generator pedestals in the Central
California Power Agency Plant #1, located near Kelseyville, CA., in
a region known as "The Geysers." The plant was built in 1988 and
operated until it was decommissioned in 1994 because of
inefficiency in its operation.
The Coldwater Creek generator facility was a dry
steam geothermal power plant. Work is currently underway to remove
the power plant and restore the area around it to the original state
prior to construction.
is Geothermal Energy?
energy is renewable heat energy from deep in the earth. Heat is
brought to the near-surface by thermal conduction and by intrusion
into the earth's crust of molten magma originating from great depth.
Ground water is heated to form hydrothermal resources -- naturally
occurring hot water and steam. Use of hydrothermal
is economic today at a number of high-grade sites. Hydrothermal
resources are tapped by existing well-drilling and
energy-conversion technology to generate electricity or to produce
hot water for direct use. Earth energy is used by geothermal heat
pumps. Hot dry rock, magma and geopressured geothermal energy have
For generation of electricity, hot water, at
temperatures ranging from about 300deg.F to more than 700deg.F, is
brought from the underground reservoir to the surface through
production wells, and is fed to a turbine engine, which turns a
generator. Spent geothermal fluid is injected back into peripheral
parts of the reservoir to help maintain reservoir pressure.
Reclamation of Richmond, California is heading up the demolition
project. The Company's president, Bill Glueck, decided that
blasting these huge foundations was the best way to remove them.
Dykon Blasting was then contracted to assist Plant
Reclamation in the demolition of the foundations.
On Monday, August 7, 2000, Dykon began drilling
the blast holes in the steel reinforced concrete foundations. Once
this has been done, the equipment inside the generator building will
be removed from around the foundations leaving them in place with
the generators still resting on top of them.
building itself was left in place until after the foundations are
blasted. This is being done to prevent concrete from the
foundations being sprayed out into the surrounding area and left in
the environment. Every effort is being made to restore the area to
it's original state.
all the equipment inside the powerhouse was removed and nothing
remained but the generators and turbines on the pedestals, Dykon
Blasting returned to the project to explosively demolish the
reinforced concrete turbine foundations were designed to earthquake
standards. The goal of the blasting was not only to fragment the
concrete, but to bring the half million pound steam turbine / generators
down to a point where they could be safely removed.
The legs of the foundation would have to be completely
blasted out from under the units in order for them to fall. On November
10th, 2000, Dykon test blasted the heaviest of the center columns on the
far west foundation.
Because of the earthquake resistant design, Dykon
loaded the concrete in the test column at twice the amount of explosive
that would normally be required to blast reinforced concrete.
picture above clearly shows that this is no ordinary reinforced
concrete. The concrete in the column was fragmented but the reinforcing
steel held it together. These columns had to be completely removed in
order for the turbines to fall.
A second test column was loaded and shot the same
day. The picture to the right shows that this was a successful test.
Dykon, with the help of Plant Reclamation would now move forward with
the production blasting.
The first foundation was loaded and shot Saturday
morning, November 11th. 1205 pounds of explosive was loaded into 110
The second foundation was loaded with just under 1400
pounds of explosive in 110 blastholes and was blasted late the same
Our online photo album shows more pictures of the
|We at Dykon Blasting would like to
express our thanks to
Reclamation for helping make this project a successful one. Their
cooperation and assistance made it all possible. A special thanks goes
out to Bill, Nick and Jose who were onsite with us throughout the
Some of the images
used on this page are actual progress construction photos on loan to Dykon and
used with the permission of Plant Reclamation. You can see all of them in our
online photo album slide show. These photos are the property of Central
California Power Agency and Plant Reclamation. Please do not take them without
permission. Thank you for your understanding.
Our online Photo Album |
Geothermal Energy Slide Show |
Geothermal Glossary of Terms