Economic benefits of a typical 30 MW geothermal plant in the U.S.

Video footage of Puna Geothermal plant in Hawaii (source: screenshot KiTV)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 23 Jan 2017

In a document making a case on why geothermal energy is good for America, GEA presents the economic benefits of a typical 30 MW geothermal power plant during its 30-year lifecycle.

In a recent document released by the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), it is described in detail why Geothermal Energy is Good for America. In the document is also made a case describing how geothermal power helps boost local and regional economies in a big way.

“The local and regional economic benefits of geothermal power plants cannot be overstated. In some counties, geothermal energy is the largest employer and often the largest taxpayer.

Geothermal energy developments also pay more taxes than any other clean energy resource. Geothermal resources, generally developed in rural areas, can transform some of America’s most economically disadvantaged areas into technology hubs, keeping communities healthy and families whole.

The economic benefits of a typical 30 MW geothermal plant during its 30-year lifecycle

  • $150-225 million inbound capital investment to build the plant (cost dependent on technology)
  • Up to 50 long-term jobs to run it
  • Many supply chain companies each year to assist and supply plant operators
  • $9.5-16.5 million paid in property taxes to the state and county
  • $18-33 million paid in annual royalties to the land owner(s)
  • Average construction period 2-4 years with a construction team of 100+ full-time jobs (FTE)
  • Average geothermal worker operating the plant will earn about $70,000 per year
  • Millions in employee, employer, sales and other taxes paid to Federal and state governments
  • Social, environmental and economic justice in rural and disadvantaged areas.

Source: GEA document (pdf)