Gallery: Google Funded Geothermal Vents Could Double Virginia’s Energy


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.

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


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  1. cynthiagrossman August 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    very interesting, nice to know google is branching out.

    Cynthia G.

  2. British EV Makes Epic J... November 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    […] distance on just £3 a charge. The team started their epic journey in Alaska back in July, where geothermal energy provided the initial charge, furthermore demonstrating the potential of emission-free transport. […]

  3. PhoenixDriver November 10, 2010 at 8:33 am

    This is a very interesting article, but you refer to one state in the title and a different state in the body. Are you using a pre-1863 map or what?

  4. Recovery Act Responsibl... November 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    […] This year, 31 geothermal projects broke ground in California and Nevada alone, while another fifteen states have projects beginning. DOE loans have even been issued to transform Nevada into the ‘Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy’. Smaller projects are starting in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. While many Southern states missed out on funds, Google recently discovered a massive 19 GW of potential geothermal in West Virginia. […]

  5. celticchrys October 18, 2010 at 9:59 am

    At least you referred to the correct state inside the article despite your headline.

  6. ProfessorGerm October 18, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Just so you realize, the title is wrong. As written in the article and shown on the map, the research is for WEST Virginia. WEST \”By God\” Virginia.

  7. smchadwell October 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Virginia and West Virginia are different states.

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