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GEOTHERMAL

Nevada has some of the richest geothermal resources in the world, and is second in the nation in generating electricity from its geothermal power plants (U.S. Energy Information Administration).

Nevada has the potential to become one of the most productive resource areas for geothermal energy generation. In a 2008 report, the USGS estimated that for identified geothermal resources in Nevada, during the next 30 years electrical power generation will range from 515 to 2,551 MW, with a mean probability of 1,391 MV. Additional electric power generation potentials are estimated for undiscovered geothermal resources and enhanced geothermal systems.

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) recently estimated the growth of the geothermal industry in Nevada could be worth up to $22.5 billion over the next 30 years.


Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

The BLM and Forest Service completed a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for leasing geothermal resources on lands they manage. It was published on October 24, 2008 and the Record of Decision was signed in December 2008. As shown in the map to the right, much of Nye County land managed by the BLM and National Forest Service (NFS) is open for geothermal leasing. Within Nye County, about 6 million acres of BLM-managed public lands are open for geothermal leasing. An additional 1.6 million acres of National Forest Service lands within Nye County are also open for leasing.


Geothermal Leasing and Operations on Federal Lands

In May 2007, the U.S. Department of Interior published final regulations on geothermal energy production on public lands. These regulations required more competitive leasing and offered simplified royalty calculations.

Within Nye County, there are approximately 93,000 acres of authorized geothermal leases. The map inset (lower right) shows the distribution of geothermal leases throughout Nye County. Prior sales of over $3 million were completed in Nye County, as follows:

  • 08/14/2007 - 6 parcels were located in Nye County; $2.5 million
  • 08/06/2008 - 1 parcel was located in Nye County; $25K
  • 07/14/2009 - 5 parcels were located in Nye County; $458K
  • 05/11/2010 - 11 parcels were located in Nye County, $60K
  • 03/22/2011 - No geothermal leases sold in Nye County
  • 01/24/2012 - No geothermal leases sold in Nye County
  • 01/29/2013 - No geothermal leases sold in Nye County

Geothermal Competitive Lease Sales that are being planned by the BLM can be found on their Geothermal Leasing webpage.


Potential Geothermal Projects in Nye County

Darrough Hot Springs

The Darrough Hot Springs project is located approximately 10 miles northwest of Round Mountain in Big Smoky Valley, Nye County, Nevada. For more information about the resource, contact Dale Rodriguez.

Gabbs Valley

Ormat Nevada obtained a geothermal project area permit from the Nevada Division of Minerals (permit #1072) in October 2009 for the Gabbs Valley project, located north of the town of Gabbs in Nye County. The permit allowed drilling of 15 production wells, 5 injection wells and 10 observation wells for the purpose of production and injection of geothermal fluid for use in power generation. The project is in the exploration drilling phase.

Devil's Canyon Geothermal No. 1

Raser Technologies obtained a geothermal project area permit from the Nevada Division of Minerals (permit #776) in March 2008 for the Devil's Canyon Geothermal No 1 project, located in Big Smoky Valley in Nye County. The permit allowed drilling of 12 production wells, 8 injection wells and 4 observation wells for the purpose of exploration and possible future use for geothermal electric generation. The project is in Phase I - securing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and final permits phase.

Truckee Geothermal No. 1

Raser Technologies obtained a geothermal project area permit from the Nevada Division of Minerals (permit #692) in April 2007 for the Truckee Geothermal No. 1 project, located in Big Smoky Valley in Nye County. The permit allowed drilling of 11 production wells, 8 injection wells and 4 observation wells. The project is for the development of two 10 MW geothermal power plants. The project is in Phase II.

Trail Canyon Geothermal No. 1

Raser Technologies obtained a geothermal project area permit from the Nevada Division of Minerals (permit #709) in August 2007 for the Trail Canyon No. 1 project, located in Big Smoky Valley in Nye County. The permit allowed drilling of 12 production wells, 8 injection wells and 4 observation wells. The project is for purpose of supplying geothermal fluids for two 10 MW binary power plants. The project is in Phase I - securing a PPA and final permits.

DOE Geothermal Technologies Project in Gabbs, NV

GeoGlobal Energy LLC will integrate several well-established rock mechanical technologies from mining, geotechnical, and academic practice (but novel to geothermal exploration), to locate blind geothermal resources. The project is being conducted in Gabbs Valley in Nye County, which is a blind prospect in an actively-faulted sedimentary basin with a very large geothermal heat anomaly. This project was funded under the Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies program.


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Geothermal Resource: Identified Hydrothermal Sites and Favorability of Deep Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)(after NREL, 2009). CLICK HERE for an enlarged version of the map.




BLM Public and National Forest Lands allocated as open to geothermal leasing in Nye County and Nevada. (Final PEIS, 2008). CLICK HERE for an enlarged version of the map.



BLM Geothermal Leases Distribution of authorized geothermal leases in Nye County, Nevada. CLICK HERE for an enlarged version of the map showing leases by year.

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