Magma Energy heats up geothermal with $87M IPO

Canadian geothermal power company Magma Energy has raised C$100 million ($87 million) from investors in an initial public offering.

The company has one operating power plant in Nevada, four advanced-stage exploration properties and 14 early-stage exploration properties in the western United States and South America. Magma sold 66.667 million shares at C$1.50 each, in a reportedly oversubscribed deal.

A study from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests geothermal’s untapped potential could generate 529.9 gigawatts of electricity in the United States. About 9 GW could come from conventional, identified geothermal systems, the study said. More than 30 GW could come from conventional undiscovered geothermal resources, and the remainder could come from unconventional geothermal systems with high temperatures but low permeability of rock formations.

There have been few national resource estimates in more than 30 years on the potential for geothermal in the U.S. Among them is a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Even in the most promising areas, drilling must reach depths of 5,000 feet or more in the west, and much deeper in the eastern United States, according to the report.

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