|Oregon companies receive over $40 million in Recovery funds for renewable geothermal projects
Funds will help create jobs and further development of geothermal energy at seven projects across the state
(Salem) - Governor Ted Kulongoski this week announced that over $40 million in Recovery Act funds for research and development of geothermal energy have been awarded for projects in Oregon. This money will help fund seven projects across the state and will further the state’s leadership in renewable energy generation.
“Oregon’s natural landscape provides Oregon a clear leadership position in renewable geothermal energy.” Said Governor Kulongoski “The federal government’s announcement of geothermal funds for projects across the state will help further the development of renewable energy while providing jobs in areas hard hit by the economic recession.”
Oregon is one of several western states with the kinds of geology that cause naturally heated water to occur near or at the surface. This geothermal activity allows for the development of renewable geothermal energy. Near the active volcanoes of the Cascade Range and within the deeply faulted valleys of south central and south eastern Oregon are areas where hot water is naturally heated by the forces of the Earth.
Geothermal energy is currently used in Oregon to dry agricultural products, for aquaculture (raising fish), for space heating, to heat greenhouses, to heat swimming pools, and at a number of spas and resorts. While Oregon has been involved in the direct use of geothermal energy for years, there is currently no generation of electricity from geothermal resources. These awards may lead to geothermal electricity generation.
This funding is administered by the US Department of Energy and was made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The awards fall into several categories for geothermal energy research and development and are awarded directly to private companies who will then perform the work in Oregon. Much of the work will take place across southern, central, and eastern Oregon where most of the state’s geothermal capabilities occur.
Additionally, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) has been named as a sub-recipient to an award to develop a National Geothermal Data System for the US Department of Energy. This system will allow for DOGAMI to compile all the relevant geothermal information and data and upload to a nationwide database.
“Renewable geothermal energy is a truly unique resource that Oregon has at its disposable and the funds announced today will help our state to realize this resource’s true potential.” Said Vicki McConnell, director of DOGAMI “I’m excited about the opportunity that these Recovery Act funds have provided the state.”
For information on the projects funded with these Recovery Act funds, click here.
To view an interactive map of geothermal resources in the state, go to: http://www.oregongeology.org/sub/gtilo/index.htm
Anna Richter-Taylor 503-378-6169
Jillian Schoene 503-378-5040
Rem Nivens 503-378-6496
Courtney Warner Crowell (Economic Recovery) 503-378-3554