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What's The Deal With Geothermal Energy In Idaho?

Heath Druzin
Boise State Public Radio
Mile 16 Hot Springs outside of Cascade, Idaho.

Idaho is rich with geothermal activity. The state boasts dozens of natural hot springs for soaking, some close to city centers and others a hike away. But when Wanna Know Idaho listener Ted Eisele moved to Idaho in 1980, it wasn’t the natural hot springs that caught his attention about geothermal. What really blew him away was the fact that Idaho’s state buildings — like the Capitol and the state Supreme Court — were heated using geothermal systems. 


Ted had a lot of questions:


How is the water utilized for heating in an efficient and cost-effective manner? What kind of money does that save the state of Idaho? Is there a danger of the resource being over utilized?

In this latest episode of Wanna Know Idaho we talk with John Chatburn, the administrator of Governor Little’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources and Dr. Travis McLing, a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory to answer Ted’s questions, and so much more. 

Here's what they had to say: 

What Gem State curiosity should we look into next? That's up to YOU. Submit what you want to know below and you could be featured in an upcoming episode.

Until next time, stay curious Idaho!


Thanks to Boise music project ‘Up is the Down is The’ for the awesome theme music. Check the project out on Spotify and Bandcamp.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio



Molly Wampler is a newsroom intern at Boise State Public Radio. Originally from Berkeley, California, she just graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington state. There, Molly worked for her university's newspaper but is stoked to try her hand at and learn all there is to learn about radio journalism.