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State of Utah seeing new geothermal push and hopes for more development

University of Utah, foothills (source: flickr/ Edgar Zuniga Jr., creative commons)
Alexander Richter 25 Oct 2016

With a lease sale to be held this week, funding made available for a milestone research project for the University of Utah and several projects in development, Utah seeing a new push for geothermal development.

Having reported on an upcoming geothermal lease sale to be held in connection with the currently held GRC Annual Meeting and GEA GEOEXPO+, there was an announcement that next year’s meeting will actually be hosted in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The state of Utah is one of three states in the Western U.S. that will see a geothermal lease sale for federal lands.

The Bureau of Land Management will hold this competitive lease sale for geothermal land on Wednesday. For Utah, it will be the first of such auctions for geothermal land held in six years, as has been reported locally.

A total of 15,782 acres of public lands in the Beaver and Milford area will be offered as part of the U.S. Department of Interior’s goal of developing 10,000 megawatts of non-hydro renewable energy.

Today, Utah has a geothermal power generation capacity of 59 MW on two sites – Cove Fort and Blundell, with a dozen projects being developed.

Utah is also the site of one of two projects chosen in a U.S. Department of Energy competition under the FORGE program. The program is challenging researchers to capture up to 100 GW of geothermal power through EGS technology.

The University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute, with its site at Milford, has received a share of $29 million having succeeded as one of two finalists for the final selection expected to be made in one and a half year from now. The other winning group was Nevada’s Sandia National Laboratories.

Source: Deseret News