Tester introduces measure to boost Montana geothermal energy

Senator moves to bolster energy technology, lower costs for large-scale efforts

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to boost development of geothermal energy in Montana and across the country.

Tester’s measure would direct grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to help state and local governments, universities, nonprofits and manufacturers further develop technology to harness geothermal energy—produced by natural underground heat.

Tester is pushing the legislation to establish needed research and development of new equipment and methods for using geothermal energy as a sustainable energy source.

Montana has as many geothermal resources (such as hot springs) as Iceland, where more than a quarter of homes are powered with geothermal energy.

“It’s time we spark innovation to develop these kinds of technologies that will create jobs in Montana and help secure American’s energy future,” Tester said.  “Almost no other state can match Montana’s potential when it comes to renewable energy development.  I’m going to keep fighting to make sure we reach that potential and rebuild Montana’s economy with energy jobs.”

Tester’s legislation focuses mainly on funding large-scale geothermal efforts, such as for residential communities and commercial districts.  The legislation is available online HERE.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last month that, following a request by Tester, Salazar would fully staff the BLM’s renewable energy office in Montana.