Washington, D.C., April 3, 2012 — The U.S. geothermal industry continued its steady growth adding about 91 MW of newly installed capacity in the past year, according to the annual update on the geothermal industry from the Geothermal Energy Association.
The Annual U.S. Geothermal Power Production and Development Report shows that the industry currently has 3,187 MW of installed capacity, outpacing every other country in the world. As a renewable, baseload energy supply, geothermal has the potential to replace coal and other non-renewable power sources.
Currently, geothermal electric power generation is occurring in eight U.S. states, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. An additional seven states — Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas and Washington — have geothermal capacity in development.
California continues to lead the way when it comes to geothermal energy. The Golden State ranks first in overall installed capacity, with 2,615 MW already online, and it has nearly 2,000 MW of capacity in development. Nevada is also ahead of the pack, with 59 projects currently in development, more than any other state.
The implementation of binary geothermal technology has enabled the industry to develop lower temperature resources, which has expanded the geothermal industry's geographical footprint beyond California, especially in the last decade.
In the past year, capacity was installed by four different geothermal companies. Energy Source completed its 49.9 MW Hudson Ranch I project in Imperial Valley, Calif. during the first quarter of 2012, while Ormat Technologies finished 26 MW worth of projects over the past year.
Terra-Gen completed a 1.9 MW expansion project in Nevada, and U.S. Geothermal expanded electricity generation at its San Emidio resource that replaced old generating equipment at the site with a new 12.75 MW power plant.