Federal Land to be Opened for Geothermal Power
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by Kevin Maddaford on 11/07/2008
The Department of the Interior plans to open land in the western U.S. for geothermal development.
More than 190 million acres of federal land in the western U.S. will be opened by the Department of the Interior (DOI) for the purpose of developing geothermal power. 5,540 MW of geothermal power could be developed as early as 2015 on the land, managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest System.
The land covers 12 states, whose governors will review the plan to determine any state-specific conflicts. Wilderness areas, wilderness study areas and national parks are excluded from the plan, and the Forest Service has the discretion to change any of its current land use plans.
The area may hold even greater geothermal resources than the DOI anticipates. A recent survey completed by the U.S. Geological Survey found that geothermal resources in the western U.S. could produce 9,057 MW of power, and that there could be another 30,033 MW of yet undiscovered resources.
You can read more about this on the DOI website here.
Geothermal power will likely play a large role in our renewable energy system. Geothermal has the ability to provide baseload power because of the high capacity of the plants. They can provide power when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing, all without the harmful emissions of burning fossil fuels. And the fuel isn't going to run out anytime soon.
Kevin Maddaford is a Customer Service and Resource Development Associate at Renewable Choice Energy.