Now Playing:


local | Economy

Geothermal Power Growing Despite Economic Chill

Geothermal power production continued to expand last year in spite of a slow economy. That’s the word from the Geothermal Energy Association. 

The trade group released its annual report Wednesday on the state of the industry.

Oregon ranks 5th among states in the number of geothermal projects being developed.

Even though only one American geothermal plant actually went online in 2010, the number of projects under development increased by 12 percent last year.

According to the report, government incentives played an important role in that growth.

Saf Dhillon is with U.S. Geothermal.  Early this year the company was able to secure a $97 million government loan guarantee for its Neal Hot Springs project in Malheur County.

He says such loans along with tax credits were essential to help projects like Neal Hot Springs get off the ground.

Saf Dhillon: “And we believe that these drivers by the Department of Energy are going to be key along with equity from the capital markets to move this space forward”

Oregon has 9 geothermal projects in production.