Tucson. America is doubling down on renewable geothermal energy with an 18 million dollar U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to the Arizona Geological Survey as the leader of a national coalition of state geological surveys to fill the recently established National
Geothermal Data System with online digital data from every state. Funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Members of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and their partners will digitize and serve geothermal-relevant data for exploration and development of the nation’s diverse and abundant geothermal energy resources.
State geological surveys have for decades collected, gathered, and archived large volumes of data that will help identify and characterize geothermal energy resources. The bulk of that data exists in paper form, limiting accessibility and frustrating data mining. A key goal of the NGDS is interoperability, or seamless data integration across all the data bases and computer servers in the system.
Dr. Lee Allison, State Geologist and Director of the Arizona Geological Survey, and Principal Investigator on the project, said, “There is a tremendous renewed interest in geothermal energy nationwide for electricity, space heating, and heat pump use. We envision an almost endless frontier of new renewable energy opportunities when these data are delivered seamlessly to the computer desktop.”
NGDS is being designed and built by a coalition of geothermal organizations, universities and government partners under a DOE grant through Boise State University in Idaho. The new project will set up digital archives in every state and make those data available through the online NGDS network at no cost to users.
Each state geological survey possesses a diverse suite of geothermal data for populating NGDS. A partial aggregate list of that data includes:
- Well data – aggregate of 2 million water, oil & gas and geothermal wells;
- Well cores and cuttings – for over 17 million feet from 540,000+ wells;
- Bottom-hole temperatures – from more than 750,000 wells;
- Geologic maps – more than 82,000 maps nationwide;
- Existing digital databases – over 6 terabytes of data; and
- Over 75,000 geothermal-related publications.
About 85% of the 18-million dollars is allocated among the 46 participating states for digitizing and documenting data for populating NGDS.
Partners in the new project are the U.S. Geological Survey, Microsoft External Research, and Energistics, Inc. a non-profit consortium that works on data standards in the energy industry.
For more information: Michael Conway, AZGS Geologic Extension Service