Tucson. The hunt for renewable geothermal energy just got a much needed shot in the arm. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced yesterday awards totaling $338 million for geothermal energy across the country, including a national project to be headquartered in Arizona.
The Arizona Geological Survey, on behalf of the Association of American State Geologists, is spearheading a coalition of 40 state geological surveys to populate a new National Geothermal Data System with relevant state‐specific geothermal data. The AZGS‐led project will receive 17.8 million dollars from the Department of Energy (DOE) over 3 years (www.energy.gov/news2009/documents2009/338M_Geothermal_Project_Descriptio...) .
Compiling state‐specific geothermal data in an integrated distributed and searchable data system should drive renewed efforts to identify, assess and exploit geothermal energy resources across America. This national collaboration of State and Federal agencies has the potential to reshape America’s energy landscape, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and leverage non‐renewable petroleum resources well into the 21st Century.
AZGS is already a partner in the Geothermal Data Coalition, based at Boise State University to design and build the National Geothermal Data System under contract to (DOE). AZGS will adapt the Geoscience Information Network (GIN ‐ www.usgin.org) to provide data discovery, access, and exchange services as a component in the developing data system. Other components include a data repository, software applications, vocabularies, data content, network communications, and web portals.
GIN is collaboration between AASG and the U.S. Geological Survey to integrate geological survey data bases using web services and open source standards in a distributed system. The Arizona Geological Survey is the designated lead agency in building GIN for the nation’s geological surveys. The project announced yesterday includes the USGS, Microsoft Research, and the petroleum industry consortium, Energistics, Inc, as partners.
All of the dozens of other geothermal projects announced yesterday are expected to integrate their data into the NGDS.