Washington, D.C.— Nevada Senator Harry Reid was joined by Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), on a conference call today to discuss the economic impact of the burgeoning geothermal industry in Nevada following the release of GEA’s new report that shows the state leading the nation in geothermal development, creating good jobs in Nevada.
“Nevada is at the epicenter of the geothermal energy revolution, and that means good paying jobs for our state,” said Reid. “Our state’s recovery depends upon our ability to take advantage of the state’s abundant natural resources and translate them into economic opportunity. I will continue fighting to meet that challenge and to ensure that Nevada remains the geothermal capital of the nation and America’s leader in clean energy development.”
“GEA’s 2011 industry update report shows geothermal power is expanding in Nevada and across the US,” Gawell said. “In fact, Nevada boasts more than twice the amount of projects under development than the next leading state, California. This is good news for the environment, for energy security, and for the economy. Senator Reid has been a champion of geothermal, and other renewable technologies. His foresight and hard work has given Nevada the opportunity to reap the benefits of geothermal power—new jobs and economic growth–for generations.”
The new report from the GEA highlights the economic prospects of geothermal projects in Nevada and around the country. There are currently 21 operating geothermal power plants in Nevada with a total operating capacity of 441.8 MW. There are 65 geothermal projects now in development and 26 geothermal prospects with potential power production identified by developers in Nevada that should boost that total to more than 2200 MW – more than Hoover Dam produces.
With more developing projects than any other state, it is expected that Nevada’s geothermal generating capacity will increase even more significantly in the future.
BACKGROUND ON SENATOR REID’S ROLE PROMOTING GEOTHERMAL ENERGY JOBS
Senator Reid passed the Economic Recovery Act, which secured more than $360 million to boost geothermal energy in Nevada.
• A $98 million loan guarantee for the Blue Mountain geothermal plant to move forward in Humboldt County.
• More than $60 million in funding for the Stillwater and Salt Wells geothermal plants in Churchill County.
• More than $50 million for innovative exploration projects.
• $14.4 million for geothermal demonstration projects.
• $12 Million for geothermal projects at Hawthorne Army Depot and Fallon Naval Air Station.
• $2 Million for research and development of enhanced geothermal systems.
Senator Reid worked with Secretary Salazar to get permitting for renewable energy projects, including Nevada geothermal projects, fast-tracked.
In June 2009, the Sun reported, “Sun, wind and geothermal energy development are on a fast track for development on public lands in the West, including Nevada, federal officials announced today. Federal agencies will work with western leaders to designate tracts of public lands in the western states to develop utility-scale solar energy generators, wind farms and geothermal sources, said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. Speeding reviews and identifying prime zones for such renewable energy development are part of the plans, Salazar and Reid said.” [Las Vegas Sun, 6/29/09]
BACKGROUND ON 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.
# # #