- The Bureau of Land Management tomorrow will hold a large multi-state lease sale focused on geothermal resources on Oct. 26, the first time in several years it has done so.
- Almost 16,000 acres of public lands are up for grabs, including six parcels in Utah. Participating states include California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon and Washington.
- Deseret News reports it will be the first time federal geothermal resources have been up for auction in Utah for six years. Nevada will auction the most parcels, with 23 on the block.
Utah already has two geothermal electrical generation power plants, Cove Fort and Roosevelt Hot Springs, which BLM said are located in the central and southwestern portion of the state. And expanding on those resources could help meet the Department of the Interior's renewables goals, including developing 10,000 MW of non-hydro green energy.
The state now produces almost 60 MW of geothermal power, but more than a dozen projects are currently being developed.
Both Cove Fort and Roosevelt Hot Springs are proposing redevelopment and expansion of their plants. BLM said it anticipates that the U.S. Forest Service will also release an environmental assessment for leasing of three geothermal parcels adjacent to the Cove Fort site.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, geothermal energy has been a "small, but consistent" source of power for more than 40 years and in 2013 was 0.4% of total U.S. generation.
"California is the site of most U.S. geothermal capacity, but since 2001 new geothermal capacity additions have increasingly been located in other western states as most of the low-cost resources in California have already been developed," EIA said.
Unlike conventional power plants, in geothermal production electricity is generated from conventional geothermal resources by tapping underground reservoirs of hot water. The U.S. leads the world with 3.7 GW of geothermal capacity installed at the end of 2015, and the industry expects 32 GW to be installed worldwide by 2030 if current trends continue.
60 operating conventional geothermal power plants in the United States, accounting for nearly 2,700 MW.