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Most power plants—whether fueled by coal, gas, nuclear power, or geothermal energy—have one feature in common: they convert heat to electricity. Heat from the Earth, or geothermal — Geo (Earth) + thermal (heat) — energy is accessed by drilling water or steam wells in a process similar to drilling for oil.

Geothermal power plants have much in common with traditional power-generating stations. They use many of the same components, including turbines, generators, transformers, and other standard power generating equipment.