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Colorado Expands Geothermal

Linda Hardesty

geo energy manageColorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a geothermal bond bill, providing $1.98 million in state funding for geothermal energy exploration at Pagosa Springs, Colo. The project also leverages a $3.8 million award from the Department of Energy for evaluating and exploring the geothermal resource potential at Pagosa Springs.

The Pagosa Verde project will assess the potential for power production as well as direct use applications for residential and industrial.

A collaborative framework at Pagosa Verde will provide a replicable model of public-private partnership and grassroots support.  Landowners, city and county officials, utilities, and private investors worked with the Colorado School of Mines and the Colorado Energy Office to demonstrate the value of this project and its role in bringing geothermal energy development to the state.

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is urging states to take advantage of carbon-emission reductions available through geothermal power portfolios in light of the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan unveiled this week.

The Clean Power Plan gives states significant leeway in designing plans to reduce their emissions, including adopting or strengthening policies to expand clean energy production, like geothermal power. GEA estimates that current geothermal energy production in the US already offsets about 14 million metric tons of CO2 from coal or 5 million metric tons from natural gas per year.

Photo: Geothermal feature via Shutterstock



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