A new report from the Geothermal Energy Association shows that Nevada leads the nation in geothermal power plants planned or under construction.
The Silver State has 65 geothermal projects, or roughly half of the nation’s 123 confirmed geothermal plants, under development. California, ranked No. 2, has 30 geothermal plants in development. Utah was No. 3, with 12 geothermal generating stations under way.
Nevada has 21 operating geothermal plants with a capacity of 441.8 megawatts, the report said.
“With more developing projects than any other state, it is expected that Nevada’s geothermal generating capacity will increase significantly in the future,” the report stated.
Geothermal plants convert pools of hot water under the Earth’s surface into electricity.
Most of the geothermal projects under way here are smaller, ranging from 5 megawatts to 60 megawatts in capacity. But several projects are slated to run more than 100 megawatts, and one project — Gradient Resources’ Colado plant north of Fallon — will nearly double the state’s existing capacity, with 350 megawatts of output. Gradient’s Aurora plant, south of Reno near the California border, also comprises a larger project, at 190 megawatts.
In all, 15 states are home to emerging geothermal plants, with a total generating capacity of as many as 4,050 megawatts.
The U.S. had 3,102 megawatts of geothermal capacity at the end of 2010.
Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison
@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512.