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The benefits of geothermal power on a local county in Nevada

Stillwater geothermal power plant by Enel (source: Atlas Copco)
Alexander Richter 6 Sep 2011

Churchill County in Nevada estimates that the financial benefits for the state of Nevada from geothermal power is about $32 million in rent and royalty revenues for the state, with local communities profiting from the growth in construction jobs and royalties.

A recent article from Churchill County in Nevada describes how geothermal power plants provide it with money and jobs in an otherwise “upset economy”.

“Churchill County Commissioners learned the county received a check for $409,000 from the state of Nevada for geothermal rents and royalties at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, a check resulting in a greater than anticipated sum of $41,000.

Originally, County Controller Alan Kalt said the county prepared for revenue less than what was budgeted, but now the additional funds will be re-apportioned to Churchill County School District, the road department and to the acquisition of Transfer of Developmental Rights with Naval Air Station Fallon.

“Churchill County’s share was $400,000 that went to, at the first tier level, the county,” Kalt said. “Of that, 75 percent retains with the county and 25 percent goes to the school district. In round numbers, the school district picked up $100,000. We picked up $300,000.”

Kalt added there is stability in other funds so there is no need to put it into operating funds.

Furthermore, more than 100 jobs will be brought to Churchill County as a part of the Enel Stillwater Solar project that will combine geothermal and solar energies.

“During construction they’re going to have 109 temporary employees in construction jobs with an average wage of $30 per hour,” Kalt said. “They anticipate that 50 percent of those are going to be Nevada residents, so clearly there is clearly some economic benefit for the job creation.”

There will also be three to four full-time operational jobs once the plant is constructed with an average wage of $33 per hour, Kalt added.

Overall, Kalt said the total benefits to the state of Nevada over the next 20 years is $32 million.”

Source: Lahontan Valley News