Geothermal gets its day in the sun

Geothermal grants worth over $300 million given out by Department of Energy.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is handing out $338 million from the Recovery Act for new geothermal plants and research into advanced geothermal technologies. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the grants will support 123 projects in 39 states.

Here's the whole list from the DOE.

Most of the actual in-ground projects are in the western U.S. But there are some grants for research at places like General Electric, based in Manhattan, or the University of Minnesota.

The three largest grants are to private companies planning demonstration projects: AltaRock Energy gets $25 million for a plant in Newberry, Oregon. Naknek Electric Association gets over $12 million for a project in Alaska. Naknek is a member-owned co-operative. TGP Development Company gets $14 million for a project in New York Canyon of Nevada. The money comes from the federal stimulus legislation passed in February. Nearly all the grants are aimed at work on using geothermal to produce electricity, not direct use of the steam for heating. The big winner is Nevada which got 30% of the money handed out. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nevada) was pleased.

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