Geothermal power booming in Nevada

GEA expects 30-year economic output of $22.5 billion

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19) - If Nevada were a country, it would be the 9th largest producer of geothermal power in the world today, but the state is poised to climb even higher in the rankings - and not just for the bragging rights. 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 $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 3,686.4 Megawatts of geothermal power to Nevada's energy portfolio, power for 2.6 million homes - enough to meet the electricity needs of 100% of the homes in the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

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 GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. "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 state of Nevada and geothermal counties should receive an additional $12.9 million from recent Bureau of Land Management leases. As money continues to flow in from leases and royalties, which will grow with geothermal project development, rural counties are anticipating an economic boom.

Financial benefits are not the only windfalls that Nevada receives from geothermal power. If all of the developing projects in Nevada come online, the state's total geothermal capacity will offset more than 23.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This is equivalent to taking almost 4.5 million vehicles off the road each year.

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.

For more information: GEA Geothermal Energy and Utilities, Co-ops and Public Power Workshop
For press credentials, please contact Garret Drexler at or 646-695-7042.

About the Geothermal Energy Association:
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association composed of U.S. companies who support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are developing geothermal resources worldwide for electrical power generation and direct-heat uses. GEA advocates for public policies that will promote the development and utilization of geothermal Resources, provides a forum for the industry to discuss issues and problems, encourages research and development to improve geothermal technologies, presents industry views to governmental organizations, provides assistance for the export of geothermal goods and services, compiles statistical data about the geothermal industry, and conducts education and outreach projects. For more information, please visit

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