Coordinating Permit Offices and the Development of Utility-Scale Geothermal Energy (Presentation): NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


Permitting is a major component of the geothermal development process. Better coordination across government agencies could reduce uncertainty of the process and the actual time of permitting. This presentation highlights various forms of coordinating permit offices at the state and federal level in the western United States, discusses inefficiencies and mitigation techniques for permittingnatural resource projects, analyzes whether various approaches are easily adaptable to utility-scale geothermal development, and addresses advantages and challenges for coordinating permit offices. Key successful strategies identified include: 1. Flexibility in implementing the approach (i.e. less statutory requirements for the approach); 2. Less dependence on a final environmental review forinformation sharing and permit coordination; 3. State and federal partnerships developed through memorandum of understanding to define roles and share data and/or developer information. A few of the most helpful techniques include: 1. A central point of contact for the developer to ask questions surrounding the project; 2. Pre-application meetings to assist the developer in identifying all ofthe permits, regulatory approvals, and associated information or data required; 3. A permit schedule or timeline to set expectations for the developer and agencies; 4. Consolidating the public notice, comment, and hearing period into fewer hearings held concurrently.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2013 Geothermal Recources Council (GRC) Annual Meeting, 29 September - 2 October 2013, Las Vegas, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-60276


  • Alaska
  • BLM
  • coordinating permit offices
  • geothermal regulatory roadmap
  • GRR
  • Hawaii
  • policy
  • regulations
  • utility-scale geothermal power plant


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