Nevada’s Geothermal Industry Worth US $22.5B in 30 Years

If Nevada were a country, it would be the 9th largest producer of geothermal power in the world today, now, according to new facts from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) compiled in anticipation of their upcoming GEA Geothermal Energy and Utilities, Co-ops and Public Power Workshop in Las Vegas, the growth of the geothermal industry in Nevada could be worth up to US $22.5 billion over the next 30 years.

Nevada could become the leading geothermal energy producer in the coming years if growth and production trends continue on their current trajectories. Nevada’s 86 planned or developing geothermal power plants have the potential add up to 3.68 gigawatts of geothermal power to Nevada’s energy portfolio.

Fourteen geothermal power plants are in latter stages of development in the state. These projects would create an estimated 1,400 construction jobs in Nevada once groundbreaking has occurred.

“This high volume of geothermal projects moving into final stages of development will likely generate a massive geothermal boom in Nevada,” said Karl Gawell, GEA’s executive director. “Along with the millions of dollars in federal and private investment come thousands of new jobs.”

Twenty recipients in Nevada were awarded a combined $73.6 million in Department of Energy funding, via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and FY 08 appropriations. The infusion of ARRA funding alone into geothermal development in Nevada is expected to create roughly 1,100 jobs in the state.

Nevada has also generated over $44 million from Bureau of Land Management geothermal leasing activities. This includes $4.6 million in royalties and over $49 million in bonus bids. $33 million of these funds were to be distributed to the State of Nevada and the specific counties involved.

The GEA Workshop scheduled for July 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada, will bring together investor owned utilities, power cooperatives, and public power authorities across the West to meet and learn more about the potential contribution geothermal power can make to meet their power service obligations.

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