Sunday, September 30, 2012

USA, Idaho:

Student Geothermal Competitors Tap Idaho Expertise (Idaho National Laboratory)

(Courtesy Idaho National Laboratory)
Look at a map of U.S. subsurface temperature data and few places are as red (hotter than 250 degrees Celsius) and large (10,000-plus square miles) as Idaho's Snake River Plain.

Those two characteristics are why university students across the country are studying the volcanic plain and its potential to generate geothermal energy as part of a national competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"The Snake River Plain is along the Yellowstone hot spot and is an ideal location to study for its geothermal energy potential," said Robert Podgorney, a geothermal researcher at Idaho National Laboratory. "The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and high subsurface temperatures."

Eight university teams made the finals in the department's National Geothermal Student Competition, including three from Idaho. All three Idaho public research universities — Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho — have teams in the finals.

The winner of the U.S. Department of Energy's Student Geothermal Competition will be announced during the 36th  Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Reno, Nev.