Nevada Geothermal Resources & Production



Nevada’s geothermal resources are utilized in three major ways. The geothermal resources are used to generate electricity, for space heating, and commercial applications.

Electrical Generation

Nevada’s geothermal electrical generation plants are located predominantly in the northern portion of the State. Currently, Nevada has 586 megawatts of nameplate generating capacity from 22 operating geothermal plants, at 14 different locations. Nevada’s geothermal plants can theoretically generate up to 539 megawatts of power collectively in any given hour. A megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts, which is enough electrical power to serve over 300 typical households. The 2013 gross electrical output for Nevada’s 22 geothermal plants was 3,433,903.5 MWh, with net output (sales) being 2,588,629.0 MWh. Nevada’s electrical generation capacity from its geothermal plants is second only to California.

Space Heating

Geothermal energy is used to heat homes and businesses in numerous Nevada locations. The cities of Elko and Caliente have small heating districts that are approved by the Public Utility Commission to provide heat for buildings. A private heating district provides heat to homes in southwest Reno. Domestic geothermal heating systems utilizing an anomalous heat source provide heat to individual residences and ranches. Heat pump and ground source heat systems that do not utilize an anomalous heat source are not considered geothermal systems in Nevada.

Commercial Applications

Geothermal resources can be used to assist processing in both agricultural and mining operations. In the case of agriculture, heat from geothermal fluids is used in the dehydration process of vegetables. In mining, geothermal fluids have been used to assist in the separation of gold from associated ore.

Further Information about Nevada’s Geothermal Resources


Geothermal Production