Silver State Dishing Out Golden Geothermal Power
Nevada is poised to lead in producing energy from geothermal heat sources in the entire US. Presently playing second fiddle to California, the day is not far off when it will overtake California in converting geothermal heat into electricity. Nevada is experiencing a rush of developers who have already companies producing power or with projects under development. Projects by people like Enel Green Power and Nevada Geothermal Power are fast putting the state on the road. Veterans and newbie’s vie with each other to start production.
Nevada has become a place where exciting things are happening. Mr. Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association says, “Not only is the state doing well in terms of new projects under development, but utilities in Nevada have also learned to work with geothermal.”
Taking baby steps
Nevada is taking baby steps today to utilize the bounty of nature to the maximum. No doubt California still remains the top producer of power from geothermal heat with producing 2,500 megawatts. But Nevada is still only in the developing stage but the target is to surpass the golden state!
Projects on the anvil:
Considering the number of projects that are busy converting the geothermal heat to power, Nevada has been rightly acclaimed as the state with maximum number of geothermal plants under development. The 86 odd projects are gearing up to boost the capacity hypothetically by about 3686 megawatts maximum even exceeding the total need of US.
Better infrastructure – Nevada’s advantage:
Along with Mother Nature’s bounty with geothermal resources, the silver state has other advantages like well-informed and well-trained work force. The other attraction is the state’s decision to propose leasing the land through Bureau of Land Management. This has encouraged many to stake a claim.
California’s challenges – Nevada’s gain:
Some challenges like difficulty in power transmission, and stricter regulations that are present in California have made investment in Nevada look very advantageous. As Mr. Gawell said, “California has a lot of untapped resources, but it’s very difficult to develop anything there.”
A long way to go:
But there are enough challenges at hand for the pioneers who are trying to reap the geothermal boom. Geothermal energy conversion is a relatively new and still to be perfected science. Technology is yet to be mastered. Finding the exact site is more a wild guess rather than estimated and calculated certainty.
Independently as per Geothermal Energy Association, Nevada has the potential to produce geothermal energy next only to Japan which is the eighth largest producer. Nevada alone is capable of producing 13% energy needs of the US. In future, it will certainly take up the position as US’ top producer of geothermal energy.