The Yellowstone Caldera Project by Electrify2025
Geothermal energy can power the United States of America--this is the plan.
THE YELLOWSTONE CALDERA PROJECT - An Energy Plan for the United States of America
Imagine having unlimited energy. We have unlimited energy.
The Great State of Wyoming is home to one of the largest volcanic sites on Earth. Less than 10 miles below ground lies a magma chamber that is 2,500 cubic miles.
To get a sense of the scale of this magma chamber, imagine a trough one-mile wide and one-mile deep, stretched across the U.S from ocean to ocean—the Magma Chamber is bigger. That magma chamber is fed by one below know as the Magma Reservoir Chamber.
The Magma Reservoir Chamber is 11,200 cubic miles—more than four times larger by volume than the magma chamber above. To get a sense of the scale of the Magma Reservoir Chamber, picture a slab of near molten rock, 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the size of Idaho and 100 miles thick—the Magma Reservoir Chamber is bigger.
Both magma chambers are fed by a hotspot plume that may well up from the Earth’s core. If true, it means with proper management this geothermal source of energy is inexhaustible. If not, the known magma reserves can power the country for hundreds of years.
How do we get the hot rock to work for us? We drill a hole. We heat water. We create steam. The steam turns a turbine. The turbine creates electricity.
fire + water + turbine = electricity
We deliver the energy through the Western Interconnection of the National Grid to consumers in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The power we generate is only limited by the amount of steam we create (fire + water) and the capacity of the GRID infrastructure.
There may also be more environmentally friendly ways to get the energy. YCP is a proposal to begin the exploration of this vast national resource to power the country.
I am also proposing the use of a Piston Induction Engine (PIE)
Is this proposal for a practice or a project?
What actions do you propose?
The Yellowstone Caldera Project - Mission
Develop the geothermal energy potential of the Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming USA, to generate electrical power.
YCP Success Measures
Electrical power (kWh)
Delivered to consumers
Site safety (OSHA)
Wyoming Geothermal Permitting Process (WY)
Land Use Planning
Exploration Casual Use (no disturbance)
- Environmental Review
- Pre-Existing Land Use
- Aesthetic & Recreational Resources
- On Site Evaluation
- Water Quality
- Waste & Hazardous Material
- Cultural Resources
- Air Quality
- Biological Resources
- Geological Resources
Water Access & Rights
Transmission Siting and Interconnection
Drilling & Well Development
Siting & Construction Process
Power Plant Siting & Construction
Construction & Transportation
Open requisites for key hires
Build application prototype
Report on risk
Develop plan for environmental monitors
Business / Legal team
Get permits to
Build site(s) selection
Install environment monitors
Delivery: GRID connection
Who will take these actions?
US Government: permits the exploration and development of the Yellowstone volcano for geothermal energy.
Scientists / Engineers: evaluate the environmental impact (local and global), weigh risks, determine how to get the energy, how to deliver the energy, and what to build.
Business / Technology / Energy leaders: Develop the business plan: cost, schedule, return on investment (ROI)
Where will these actions be taken?
- Energy exploration and development will take place in Yellowstone NPS, Wyoming, US.
- GRID upgrades will occur throughout the US.
In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
In 2015 the US Total Energy Consumption was 97.7 quadrillion Btu*. Less than 10% of that was from renewables. YCP would make an immediate an significant impact on the US contribution to greenhouse gases.
From what we know from generating electricity from fossil fuels, the Worst Case Scenario is: coal (anthracite) which produces 228.6* pounds of CO2 per million Btu. The Best Case Scenario: burning natural gas produces 117.0* pounds of CO2 per million Btu.
"Geothermal plants emit about 5% of the carbon dioxide, 1% of the sulfur dioxide, and less than 1% of the nitrous oxide emitted by a coal-fired plant of equal size, and certain types of geothermal plants produce near-zero emissions."** "In 2014, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,870 million metric tons."***
What are other key benefits?
Unlimited green energy for the foreseeable future.
Naturally abundant energy to revive the economy and electrify the future that will go well beyond the commitment of the Paris Agreement and in a timeframe likely to avert the most severe affects of climate change. Through the development of YCP we can electrify the Energy sector of the United States of America by year 2025.
The expected time to begin delivering power is two years after breaking ground. The time to recoup our investment is 7 years.
The price for a kilo-watt hour of energy will steadily decrease over time as more capacity is added. The energy generated from the first well dug will parity the price per kilowatt hour of a nuclear plant.
Currently, renewables account for less than 10% of the total US energy consumption, nuclear is around 20%. To meet current demand for 100% electrification the US would need to build an additional ~130 nuclear plants.
"The USA has 99 nuclear power reactors in 30 states, operated by 30 different power companies, and in 2016 they produced 805 TWh."***
In an uncertain world each nuclear plant built represents a considerable security risk.
Geothermal is safe, clean, green, and sustainable.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
In 2015, customers on the Western Interconnection bought 883,600,000,000 kWh of electricity. Representing $100 billion dollars in consumer spending, roughly.
In May 2017, the average price paid in the US per kilowatt-hour was 10.37 cents. In comparison, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), geothermal technology costs about 5 cents to produce a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity.
A small percentage reduction would yield significant savings in real dollars.The cost savings to consumers could easily cover the cost of the project.
The expected time to start delivering the power is two years after breaking ground. The time to recoup our investment (break-even) is 7 years.
The price for a kilowatt hour of energy will steadily decrease over time as more capacity is added. The energy generated from the first well dug can parity the price per kilowatt hour of a nuclear plant.
- Challenge #1: Obtaining permits to explore Yellowstone NPS, Wyoming, for an energy development project.
- Challenge #2: Getting permission to build in the national park
- Challenge #3: Building new infrastructure (GRID) to deliver the power to consumers.
The projected cost per installation (well + GRID upgrades) is 3 to 5 billion dollars.
1-15 years: The Yellowstone volcano could power the country with green energy by 2025. The US is the largest polluter on Earth, per capita. Replacing fossil fuels with a source that pollutes 95% less would be a significant change.
Significantly lowering US emissions by 2025 will likely avoid the worst effects of climate change.
This green source of energy could power the country and is the only source of energy large enough to power the future of transport--The Vactrain Project: magnetic levitation + magnetic propulsion + evacuated-tube transport.
The future of the Earth and The Future of Transport depends on inexpensive abundant energy.
About the author(s)
AKBAR STARKLEY (sole author)
- Project Leader
- Electrical Engineer
The Vactrain Project (coming soon)