The Chairman, acting through the appropriate Federal agencies and in cooperation with non-Federal entities, shall initiate a program to design and construct geothermal demonstration plants. The specific goals of such program shall include—
(1)the development of economical geothermal resources production systems and components which meet environmental standards;
(2)the design of plants to produce electric power and, where appropriate, the large-scale production and utilization of any useful by-products;
(3)the involvement of engineers, analysts, technicians, and managers from industry field and powerplant development, which shall lead to the early industrial exploitation of advanced geothermal resources;
(4)the provision for an adequate supply of trained geothermal engineers and technicians;
(5)the provision of experimental test beds for component testing an evaluation by laboratories operated by the Federal Government, industry, or institutions of higher education;
(6)the construction and operation of pilot plants; and
(7)the construction and operation of demonstration plants.
(b) Establishment of demonstration projects
In carrying out his responsibilities under this section, the Chairman, acting through the appropriate Federal agencies, and in cooperation with non-Federal entities, may provide for the establishment of one or more demonstration projects utilizing each geothermal resource base involved, which shall include, as appropriate, all of the exploration, siting, drilling, pilot plant construction and operation, demonstration plant construction and operation, and other facilities and activities which may be necessary for the generation of electric energy and the utilization of geothermal resource byproducts.
(c) Agreements for the cooperative development of facilities for demonstration
The Chairman, acting through the appropriate Federal agencies, is authorized to investigate and enter into agreements for the cooperative development of facilities to demonstrate the production of energy from geothermal resources. The responsible Federal agency may consider—
(1)cooperative agreements with utilities and non-Federal governmental entities for construction of facilities to produce energy for commercial disposition; and
(2)cooperative agreements with other Federal agencies for the construction and operation of facilities to produce energy for direct Federal consumption.
(d) Construction of demonstration projects without entering into agreements
The responsible Federal agency is authorized to investigate the feasibility of, construct, and operate, demonstration projects without entering into cooperative agreements with respect to such projects, if the Chairman finds that—
(1)the nature of the resource, the geographical location, the scale and engineering design of the facilities, the techniques of production, or any other significant factor of the proposal offers opportunities to make important contributions to the general knowledge of geothermal resources, the techniques of its development, or public confidence in the technology; and
(2)there is no opportunity for cooperative agreements with any utility or non-Federal governmental entity willing and able to cooperate in the demonstration project under subsection (c)(1) of this section, and there is no opportunity for cooperative agreements with other Federal agencies under subsection (c)(2) of this section.
(e) Factors considered for entry into agreements
Before favorably considering proposals under subsection (c) of this section, the responsible Federal agency must find that—
(1)the nature of the resource, the geographical location, the scale and engineering design of the facilities, the techniques of production, or any other significant factor of the proposal offers opportunities to make important contributions to the general knowledge of geothermal resources, the techniques of its development, or public confidence in the technology;
(2)the development of the practical benefits as set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection are unlikely to be accomplished without such cooperative development; and
(3)where non-Federal participants are involved, the proposal is not eligible for adequate Federal assistance under the loan guaranty provisions of subchapter II of this chapter or such assistance would not be adequate to satisfy the goals and requirements of the demonstration program under this section.
(f) Limits on project costs
If the estimate of the Federal investment with respect to construction and operation costs of any demonstration project proposed to be established under this section exceeds $10,000,000, no amount may be appropriated for such project except as specifically authorized by legislation hereafter enacted by the Congress.
(g) Disposal of Federal property interests and resource byproducts
(1)At the conclusion of the program under this section or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the responsible Federal agencies shall, by sale, lease, or otherwise, dispose of all Federal property interests which they have acquired pursuant to this section (including mineral rights) in accordance with existing law and the terms of the cooperative agreements involved.
(2)The agency involved shall, under appropriate agreements or other arrangements, provide for the disposition of geothermal resource byproducts of the project administered by such agency.
1978—Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 95–238inserted provisions relating to goals and requirements of the demonstration program.
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