Geothermal Energy Installers in Riverside, California

Downtown Riverside, California

Renewable energy is booming in California — yet the state, which lies on an active fault, has only started to explore the potential of geothermal generation. The Imperial Valley, in particular, is abundant in geothermal activity, ensuring ample work for geothermal energy installers in Riverside and the rest of southern California.

Residents of Riverside have indicated an increasing interest in renewable energy for their homes. As climate change impacts and utility costs intensify, clean power has become all the more important. 

Geothermal Energy in California

In general, California has pioneered geothermal energy generation and exploration. Although still amounting to far less renewable capacity like solar or wind, the prospect for greater geothermal sources exists.

California is on a path toward 100% clean energy by 2045 — the state intends to generate 60% of its power from renewables, including geothermal, by 2030. 

Of course, geothermal energy is nothing new to California. There are 43 geothermal plants, of which 18 are in the Imperial Valley — most opened in the 1970s and 1980s.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages geothermal leases for various renewable projects. Currently, leases are for 10 years, with 50% of funding allocated to the state and 25% paid out to the county and the U.S. Department of the Treasury each.

Case Study: Casa Diablo-IV (CD4)

Construction on Casa Diablo-IV (CD4) began in Mammoth Lakes in 2021 — a geothermal project that could produce 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity to power 22,000 residences and eliminate 160,000 tons of carbon dioxide yearly. 

CD4 is the first geothermal plant the state is building in 30 years. It will likely contribute $13 million to the Mammoth Lakes economy and deliver almost 200 new jobs. 

Case Study: Salton Sea Lithium Exploration

The demand for a domestic source of lithium is growing dire by the day as more people adopt electric vehicles (EVs). Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, hope to resolve the issue by sustainably extracting lithium from geothermal brine before the liquid flows underground again.

California — particularly the Salton Sea — is a mecca of lithium resources, thanks to its geothermal activity. Recognizing the potential, Governor Newsom created the Lithium Valley Commission to explore possibilities for lithium mapping and safe withdrawal. 

The project is expected to be underway in 2023, intending to extract 15,000 tons of lithium.

Is Geothermal Energy Available in Riverside?

Geothermal energy is most accessible throughout California, ensuring Riverside residents can install geothermal energy heat pumps easily.

Riverside is conveniently situated in one of two of California’s geothermal reservoirs — the Imperial Valley Geothermal Area. Geothermal heat in the Imperial Valley derives from the Salton Buttes volcano, which last erupted about 1,800 years ago, forming solidified lava domes.

In 2013, CalEnergy and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company signed a 24-year contract with the City of Riverside to generate 86 MW of geothermal power — equal to power generation from 25% of the Imperial Valley’s geothermal facilities. The additional geothermal heat will be essential to Riverside’s ability to meet its clean energy goals.

Under its strategic plan, the City of Riverside hopes to move away from fossil fuels by 2025 — and it’s well on its way to doing so. Riverside Public Utility (RPU) said it generated 42.2% of the city’s electricity from renewables in 2020. While coal still accounts for 24.7% of Riverside’s energy sources, the power plant will transition to natural gas in 2025.

How Much Does Install Geothermal Heat Pumps Cost?

Riverside residents live in the perfect location if they’re interested in installing geothermal energy in their homes. However, geothermal is less widespread than other residential renewable power sources, meaning the upfront costs are steep.

A geothermal unit could cost you between $12,000 and $38,000, but there are ways to offset those expenses. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, homeowners can earn a 30% tax credit for transitioning to renewable energy until 2032. After that, the tax rate decreases gradually. 

Additionally, geothermal installers in the Riverside area with expertise in heat pump equipment, location and installation feasibility may know about other state incentives and product rebates you can take advantage of.

It’s important to remember that geothermal heat pumps use far less energy than conventional models and save you ample money over their life span. According to the DOE, a geothermal heat pump helps you save 61% on household energy consumption, amounting to $8,300 annually and $9,500 in total when it needs replacing. 

So, while the initial costs are high, immediate savings may make geothermal energy a worthwhile investment.

Where to Find Geothermal Energy Installers in Riverside

Homeowners interested in purchasing and installing a geothermal heat pump should contact local geothermal energy installers in Riverside for a quote. Fortunately, several expert HVAC businesses service the Riverside area.

For instance, Magnolia Heating and Cooling opened in 1951 and has continuously adapted to today’s energy trends. The company uses Daikin heat pump models for optimal energy efficiency. Many Daikin heat pumps come with smart controls, variable speed drive (VSD) air compressors and advanced inverter technology to boost performance. 

Hi-Tech Heating & Cooling is another geothermal energy company that operates 24 hours a day in the Imperial Valley area and will gladly install a new geothermal unit on your property with ongoing maintenance.

Otherwise, the California Geothermal Heat Pump Association maintains a directory of HVAC professionals adept in design, site analysis, product installation and commissioning for various geothermal projects.

CaliforniaGeo has become a keen advocate for geothermal energy developments, delivering educational resources, mentorship and networking opportunities to promote the latest geothermal technologies. Ultimately, its mission is to support the widespread adoption of geothermal renewable energy throughout California. 

Riverside Residents See Big Savings With Geothermal Power

Geothermal heat isn’t nearly as readily available or conducive to meeting all of America’s energy needs as it is in Riverside, California. Residents living in the Imperial Valley can harness this clean energy alternative to drive down household electricity consumption and utility bills. The more residents install geothermal heat pumps at their Riverside properties, the faster the city can reach its renewable energy goals.