Geothermal Steams Forward, Under The Radar

There are currently geothermal installations in eight states: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas and Washingto have geothermal rocks that are currently being tapped. But as always, California is leading the pack with 2,615 MW of geothermal power already connected to the grid and another 2,000 MW under construction. Nevada is in second place with 59 geothermal projects under construction.

image via Shutterstock

“We’re often the much smaller voice, particularly in Washington,” Executive Director of the Gawell told AOL Energy in December. He said the industry has been particularly hurt by the short-cycle start-stop nature of energy policy that gives tax credits and cash grants for only a few years at a time. Geothermal plants can take as long as eight years to construct and developers need stable, long-term policy that they can rely on throughout that period.

But the industry has shown no sign of slowing. Energy companies from around the world are rushing to develop the discovered underground rock sources. Energy Source finished its 49.9 MW Hudson Ranch I project in Imperial Valley, Calif. this year, Israel-based Ormat Technologies finished 26 MW worth of projects over the past year, Terra-Gen completed a 1.9 MW expansion project in Nevada, and U.S. Geothermal expanded its San Emidio plant, adding 12.75 MW of power.

Download the full GEA report here.


Shifra Mincer is a freelance journalist and passionate tweeter (@Shiframincer) currently living in Israel. Before moving to Israel to apprentice with a homebirth midwife, Shifra worked as Associate Editor of AOL Energy, and was a member of the launch team that got the site up and running. Shifra has over a half a decade of experience in journalism and has written on women's health, green technology, politics and regulation of the energy industry, energy financial news, and local news. While studying for her B.A. at Harvard College, Shifra worked as a news editor for the Harvard Crimson. Shifra is also a yoga teacher and a birth doula and is hoping to create an active Jewish birth community through her web venture

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