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Geothermal Heats Up the House

S. Baxter Clinton

The House of Representatives takes a step closer to expanding Geothermal Energy in New Mexico by passing House bill 91 with a vote of 60-5.

Geothermal Energy is a renewable resource that produces electricity by harnessing the heat energy of the earth.

Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero presented this bill to the House Chamber.

“I'm here to introduce House bill 91 as amended, what House bill 91 as amended does is it amends the geothermal duties of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to include applying for federal grants and it also establishes the Geothermal Resources Development Fund and the Geothermal Resources Revolving Loan Fund. It has passed before unanimously in this house and with that I stand for questions.”

Over 25 million dollars from the General Fund would be appropriated to support the research and creation of geothermal plants in New Mexico

The Funds would be Managed by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and the Energy Conservation and Management Division would distribute the resources to private non- profit public or tribal entities for the expansion of geothermal technology.

Representative Jared Hambree is concerned about investing in projects that might fail.

“What we have so far is about a ⅔ success rate in geothermal projects, meaning about 1/3 of the time they fail. I'm curious about what kind of recourse the state of New Mexico might have in case one of these projects fails.”

Representative Caballero responded that proper direction from the Energy conservation and management division should lead to a high success rate.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.