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The geology of the Snake River Plain and of the adjacent Island Park and Yellowstone areas suggests a major thermal anomaly that, if it can be tapped, could provide much of the future energy requirements of Idaho.

Working from this thesis, the State of Idaho and the U.S. Geological Survey began a 3-year assessment of the geothermal energy potential of the Snake River Plain, where most of Idaho's population lives. Major objectives of the geothermal project include developing a geological model of the eastern Snake River Plain;; using this model to evaluate the probability of additional major geothermal resources; and testing, by deep drilling, the most promising geothermal areas.