Production of steam and hot water from 22 producing geothermal leases on public lands generated over 4.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2005; enough for over 500,000 people. Royalties associated with this level of production totaled over $12 million dollars.
The Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, as amended (84 Stat, 1566; 30 U.S.C. 1001-1025), provides the Secretary of the Interior with the authority to lease public lands and other federal lands, including National Forest lands, for geothermal exploration and development in an environmentally sound manner. This authority has been delegated to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM implements the Act through the regulations contained in 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 3200.
- Frequently Asked Geothermal Leasing Questions (PDF)
- Geothermal Regulations
- Research plat records for lands available for leasing in Oregon and Washington
- Geothermal Resources Unit Agreements; Final Rule
- Commercial Use Permit
- Notice of Intent
- Plan of Operations Drilling Plan
- Plan of Utilization
Geothermal Energy Final PEIS
In October 2008, the Secretary of the Interior announced a plan to make more than 190 million acres of Federal land in 12 western states available for development of geothermal energy resources, an initiative that could increase electric generation capacity from geothermal resources ten times over.
Under the development scenario outlined in the plan – known as the Final Geothermal Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement – the initiative could produce 5,540 megawatts of new electric generation capacity from geothermal resources by 2015. That’s enough to meet the power needs of 5.5 million homes. The plan also estimates an additional 6,600 megawatts by 2025 for a total of 12,100 megawatts – enough to power more than 12 million homes. When put into action by a Record of Decision, the plan would identify about 118 million acres of Bureau of Land Management–managed public lands and 79 million acres of National Forest System lands for future geothermal leasing. It would provide a list of appropriate stipulations to be applied to leases and amend 122 Bureau of Land Management land use plans to allow for geothermal development.
- Kempthorne Launches Initiative to Spur Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands (PDF)
- Geothermal Final PEIS
- Geothermal Final PEIS FAQs (PDF)
Geothermal Public Notices
- Oregon Geothermal Lease Sale Results - December 19, 2008 (PDF)
- Change to Geothermal Lease Sale - December 19, 2008 (PDF)
- Public Notice: Oregon/Washington Geothermal Lease Sale - December 19, 2008 (PDF)
- December 19, 2008 Geothermal Lease Sale Map (PDF)