Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) Baca Geothermal Demonstration Powerplant Project, a joint effort by DOE and industry to demonstrate the feasibility of operating an electric powerplant with steam obtained from a geothermal reservoir. The project was terminated when sufficient steam to operate the powerplant could not be obtained. Although the cost of the project was to be shared equally, DOE paid 64 percent. GAO focused its review on the causes of the project's termination, the reasons why DOE paid a disproportionate share of the project costs, and the lessons learned which could be applied to other DOE projects.
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