Google seems to be all about renewable energy these days – the online search giant just invested in both an offshore wind highway and a human powered monorail system. Today a project funded by Google announced the discovery of massive geothermal vents under West Virginia that could potentially double the state’s energy generation capacity.

The discovery was made by the Southern Methodist University, who was given a $481,500 grant by Google to look into potential geothermal activity. The discovery is believed to be 78% more than was previously estimated.

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As a famously coal-dependant state, the discovery could mean that West Virginia could potentially transform itself into a green power dynamo. Not only would this bring with it enormous environmental benefits, but it could be a major economic boost to the state and its people.

In the official discovery report, the university said, “The presence of a large, baseload, carbon neutral and sustainable energy resource in West Virginia could make an important contribution to enhancing US energy security and for decreasing CO2 emissions.”

To date Google has invested more than $10 million into advanced geothermal energy systems. Currently, West Virginia produces 16,350 MW per annum from coal. If it was to fully utilize its geothermal reserves, it could produce 18,890 MW.

Now all we need is Texas to make a similiar discovery!

+ Southern Methodist University

Via Business Green

Lead image © from Flickr martin_vmorris