Geothermal Energy Growth Continues, Industry Survey Reports

August 7, 2008

WASHINGTON-A survey released by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) shows continued growth in the number of new geothermal power projects under development in the United States, a 20% increase since January of this year. The report identified 103 projects underway in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

When developed, these projects could provide nearly 4,000 MW of new electric power, enough electricity to meet the needs of roughly 4 million homes. "The surge in new geothermal power development continues," said Karl Gawell, GEA's Executive Director. In January of 2008, GEA released a survey which identified 86 new projects with a potential of 3,368 MW. The new report identified 103 projects, which when completed could have up to 3,979 MW of power capacity. Also, two projects listed as under development in the January survey have since come on-line.

Current geothermal capacity on-line is 2,957 MW according to the report, and with the new additions geothermal power could reach nearly 7,000 MW. Given the high reliability and capacity factors for geothermal power, this would meet the household electricity needs of the cities of Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle combined. Development of these new projects will provide significant economic benefits, according to GEA.

"These new projects will result in the infusion of roughly $15 billion in capital investment in the western states, and create 7,000 permanent jobs and more than 25,000 person-years of construction and manufacturing employment," Gawell stated. The number of geothermal projects has been steadily increasing over the past two years, the report points out. Geothermal power production is headed to meet or exceed recent projections. "

In January 2006, The Western Governors Association's Geothermal Task Force projected 15,000 MW of geothermal power on-line by 2025, at the current pace geothermal production could exceed this estimate," according to Gawell. The August 2008 results by state are: (State: Number of Geothermal Projects/Megawatts) Alaska: 5: 53 - 100 MW; Arizona: 2: 2 - 20 MW; California: 21: 927.6 - 1036.6 MW; Colorado: 1: 10 MW; Florida: 1: 0.2 - 1 MW; Hawaii: 2: 8 MW; Idaho: 6: 251 - 326 MW; Nevada: 45: 1082.5 - 1901.5 MW; New Mexico: 1: 10 MW; Oregon: 11: 297.4 - 322.4 MW; Utah: 6: 244 MW; Washington: 1: Unspecified; Wyoming: 1: 0.2 MW. Total: 103 geothermal projects; 2885.9 - 3979.7 MW.

Access the full text of the US Geothermal Production and Development Update.

Geothermal Energy Association contacts: Karl Gawell, +1-202-454-5264, or Kara Slack, +1-202-454-5241.