Friday, March 4, 2016

USA: Federal Cooperation on Improving Management of Geothermal Resources and Operations

U.S. Bureau of Land Management Looks to NREL for Geothermal Technical Support (NREL)

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has entered into an inter-agency agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide technical support and assistance in the development of renewable energy from geothermal resources on public lands. This agreement represents an expansion of NREL's existing and developing relationship with the BLM, specifically in the area of geothermal development.

NREL and the BLM began working together on the assessment and development of renewable energy on public lands over a decade ago. In 2003, the BLM and NREL established a partnership to identify and evaluate renewable energy resources on public lands in the West. Renewable energy resources in the assessment included wind, solar, photovoltaics, biomass, and geothermal. The resulting report, Assessing the Potential for Renewable Energy on Public Lands, was a benchmark report used by the BLM in making decisions on prioritizing land-use planning activities in order to increase industry's development and use of renewable energy resources on public lands.

This new interagency agreement with the BLM specifically employs NREL's deep geothermal expertise and technical assistance capabilities to help establish more effective ways to manage geothermal resources and operations on federal lands. In this new agreement, NREL will assist the BLM through technical and analytical expertise on geothermal inspection and enforcement, induced seismicity, and classification. Several reports, studies, and other tools will be developed aimed at providing assistance to the BLM and its geothermal program.