Source: Controlled Thermal Resources ; Image used for illustrative purpose only.
2 minutes read

CTR breaks ground on geothermal and lithium facility in California

Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings Inc. (CTR) has broken ground on the construction of an integrated geothermal power plant and lithium production facility at the Salton Sea in California. This is the first of seven project stages building towards a multi-billion-dollar clean energy precinct, the “Lithium Valley Campus.”

The 1.85-billion-dollar development includes a clean energy geothermal power plant integrated with a lithium production facility, which is expected to produce 25,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate each year, supporting the annual production of approximately 415,000 electric vehicles.

Construction commencement of the company’s first project stage is central to CTR’s larger vision for the Lithium Valley Campus, which includes the co-location of specialized battery material manufacturers onsite to enable direct access to CTR’s clean lithium and renewable baseload electricity. Bringing together multiple industries essential to battery manufacture in one location will transform the current fragmented and carbon-intensive battery supply chain and create an estimated 480 good-paying union construction jobs and, ultimately, thousands of clean energy jobs in the community.

The groundbreaking ceremony comes just two months after the Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released its comprehensive report confirming California’s Salton Sea Geothermal Field as one of the largest lithium brine resources in the world with a resource capacity to support production of 382 million electric vehicle batteries.

“Today, we are building the foundations for a truly sustainable battery materials and clean energy campus that will close the gap between upstream, midstream, and downstream activities and set new standards for battery supply chain integration in the United States,” CTR’s Chief Executive Officer, Rod Colwell, said. “This has been a massive collaborative effort that required a coordinated approach across all levels of government and an incredible amount of support from our community.”

“GM was proud to be first-in on this Lithium Valley project with CTR in 2021, and we’re excited to be breaking ground just three years later,” said Jeff Morrison, vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at General Motors. “Our investments in this new facility and the surrounding community are helping ensure our ability to make powerful, affordable EVs while also helping to mitigate environmental impact.”

General Motors’ early identification of the Salton Sea as a sustainable domestic lithium resource and its support and alliance with CTR have been some of the fundamental driving forces behind the development’s success to date.

“This groundbreaking is not just a major milestone for CTR, but it marks a critical milestone for energy independence in the United States,” Rod concluded. “After twelve years of hard work and more than our fair share of challenges, we are all standing here today as living proof that great things can be achieved when the community, industry, and government come together with a common purpose and a shared goal. This is just the beginning.” 

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