Salt River Project has announced that construction is under way on its new geothermal power generation plant in Southern California.
SRP signed a 30-year agreement to purchase all of the 49-megawatts of power the facility is expected to generate when it becomes operational in early 2012.
The power company said a geothermal power plant produces clean electricity from naturally occurring geothermal steam. The steam is formed when production wells tap into superheated brine reservoirs thousands of feet beneath the Earth's surface.
Geothermal energy is considered a renewable-energy source. The hot brine flashed to steam to generate electricity is re-injected to maintain the productivity of the reservoir for long-term power production.
SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix area.