On August 3, DOI told the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests that while the agency generally supports the Geothermal Production Expansion Act of 2011 (S. 1149) seeking to expand geothermal energy production, it wants to see changes to provisions for determining the fair market value of federal leases. The bill allows the DoI secretary to issue noncompetitive leases for up to 640 acres of federal land adjacent to existing geothermal projects or in the event a geothermal discovery is made that overlaps with federal land. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the bill in June, designed to address addresses the practice of speculators purchasing federal geothermal leases at auction for parcels that are located adjacent to land with existing geothermal leases or developments. The DoI’s Bureau of Land Management has issued 818 geothermal leases covering 1.2 million acres of federal land, and around 59 of these leases have attained “producing status.” Geothermal generating capacity is currently at around 1,300MW for these projects, and is projected to increase to 12,200MW by 2025.