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Geothermal energy in North Dakota

Geothermal Conditions Map
NREL National Geothermal This map shows which areas around the United States have favorable conditions for producing electricity through EGS. Map courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • Western North Dakota has favorable locations for deep enhanced geothermal systems.
    • Oil wells have been drilled deep into the earth in western North Dakota.
      • Scientists and researchers are using information from deep oil wells to help expand geothermal energy development in the state.
      • Developers are finding ways to create EGS by using oil field waters to generate electric power.

How geothermal energy affects the people of North Dakota:

Geothermal Heading: Using geothermal heat pumps can save on utility bills during cold winters and hot summers.
  • Geothermal energy has the potential for local North Dakotans to save money on their utility bills.
    • Geothermal heat pumps can be used to heat and cool homes.
      • Most new schools and other public buildings are adding geothermal heat pumps to their heating systems.
  • The development of geothermal energy for generating electricity has great potential in the state.
    • The deep-well drilling that is being done in western North Dakota is proving to be valuable in the development of geothermal energy.
      • Advances in technology continue to make electrical power generation more practical.
      • The University of North Dakota (UND) Petroleum Research Center plans to install two geothermal heat recovery engines at an oil well in Bowman County for research purposes.
      • Enormous amounts of geothermal power could be generated from oil field waters in the production of electricity.
    • In addition to providing clean, renewable power, geothermal energy has significant environmental advantages.
      • No harmful pollutants are emitted as part of geothermal energy production.
      • Emissions from geothermal energy production consist mainly of water, which is recycled in the EGS process.
  • Employment opportunities for scientists, researchers, and other workers continue to expand as technology advances in the field of geothermal energy.