Geothermal Takes A Technological Step Forward

By Jeff Barnard

In this May 16, 2008, file photo, a worker steps down from the drilling platform at Newberry Crater near LaPine, Ore. After pumping more than 20 million gallons of water into the side of the ancient volcano last year, AltaRock Energy, Inc., says it has succeeded in a key technological step toward turning geothermal energy into a major source of homegrown energy. The company says it created three seperate geothermal reservoirs on a single well in a place where none existed before. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

EDITOR’S NOTE – This is a follow-up to the story “Project To Pour Water Into Volcano To Make Power” that appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Chief Engineer.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Geothermal energy developers working on the flanks of an ancient Oregon volcano say they have taken an important technological step toward expanding geothermal energy from a small niche into a potential major source of homegrown power, but more work needs to be done.

AltaRock Energy, Inc., of Seattle, says the data is still being analyzed, but they are confident they have created three geothermal reservoirs from a single well where none existed before. The breakthrough solves two problems holding back the next level of geothermal development, known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or EGS: creating reservoirs big enough for commercial production in places they don’t occur naturally, and holding down costs.

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Posted by on Feb 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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