CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Could Utah start using geothermal energy to generate electricity?

The Bureau of Land Management approved the Rodatherm Geothermal Test Bed project on Monday, Sept. 11. The project is trying to determine if an advanced geothermal electricity generation facility is commercially viable on BLM-managed lands in Beaver and Millard counties, according to BLM.

According to BLM, successful testing has the potential to support future commercial development, continuing the bureau’s commitment to clean energy development on public lands.

The project is reportedly planned to operate for one year and will involve the development of two well pads, drilling five wells, testing two closed geothermal loops, and constructing necessary access roads. The two closed-looped geothermal wells will produce nearly two megawatts of power or one megawatt per well, according to BLM.

The Rodatherm Energy Corporation geothermal system is a fully isolated Organic Rankine cycle system, converting underground heat sources into mechanical energy that will be used to generate electrical power, according to BLM.

Paul Briggs, BLM Cedar City Field Manager, said this project represents a potentially vital step in Utah’s renewable energy journey.

“Together, we’re pioneering a more sustainable future for all, continuing our commitment to science-based clean energy solutions and responsible land stewardship,” Briggs said.

Geothermal was the first renewable energy the bureau approved for production on public lands, first proposed in 1978, according to BLM. Today, there are reportedly 48 operating power plants developing geothermal energy from BLM-managed lands, with a combined total of more than 2.5 gigawatts of generation capacity.