The project could product as much as 121 megawatts of energy from three facilities. It would boost geothermal power production in Nevada by nearly 25 percent.
"Geothermal power offers consistent electricity production 24 hours a day," Chu said in a statement. "This project will help our nation maintain its position as the world's leader in installed geothermal capacity, while creating hundreds of jobs in Nevada."
The Energy Department said geothermal plants produce almost no greenhouse gas emissions. The projects in the Nevada deal will generate enough energy to meet the demands of 88,000 homes.
The department this week announced it has $70 million available in funding over three years for geothermal energy.