Geothermal Energy Resources
The DOE Tribal Energy Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have compiled maps of geothermal resources for most of the tribal lands in the West, where most geothermal resources are located. The data for these maps was developed by the DOE Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. Geothermal resource maps for tribal lands are shown in green below.
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Unfortunately, the existence of geothermal energy resources cannot be determined with certainty without a site-specific survey of local geological conditions. These maps show general areas where geothermal resources could potentially exist. They also indicate known hot springs, which indicate that geothermally heated water is present. The nearby presence of hot springs is an encouraging sign, but the hot springs could be caused by a geothermal resource that is not hot enough for power production. The presence of many hot springs that are characterized as "hot" (greater than 50 degrees C) would be a strong indicator of an area that warrants further investigation.
The Geothermal Energy Association has published a 140-page report, An Assessment of Geothermal Resource Development Needs in the Western United States (PDF 2.4 MB), which notes that the West's geothermal resources appear to be more extensive than most people believe and the unidentified resource base is a significant near-term "target of opportunity," capable of providing up to 150,000 megawatts of energy. Download Adobe Reader.
If your tribe wishes to investigate geothermal resources on its lands, you may wish to contact a geothermal developer or a geological expert for a site survey.
Important note: This list includes only federally recognized tribes that have land. Landless tribes and state-recognized tribes may contact the DOE Tribal Energy Program for more information. Tribes are listed under their federally recognized names, but group names are omitted. In cases where the reservation name is significantly different than the federally recognized tribal name, the reservation name is also listed.
For convenience, tribal lands are organized by the state in which they are located. Tribal lands spanning two or more states are listed under both state names. Tribes may need to view more than one map to see all of their lands, and tribes with large tribal lands (such as the Navajo Nation) may need to view maps in more than one state listing. Maps are not available for tribal lands in all states, and in some cases maps are available for some tribal lands in a state, but not all. The DOE Tribal Energy Program will continue to develop new tribal resource maps as additional information becomes available.
To access geothermal resource maps of tribal lands, select the appropriate state below: