Here’s a report about last Thursday’s presentation to the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District about Mount Princeton’s proposed geothermal project in Chaffee County, from Ron Sering writing for The Mountain Mail. From the article:
Fred Henderson III of Mount Princeton Geothermal LLC, who wants to develop geothermal energy near Mount Princeton hot springs, recently completed another round of research. Colorado School of Mines summer field camp personnel visited and conducted additional research on area geology and hydrology, marking the third consecutive year of research by the college. “They’re coming again next year, but after that have been invited to Idaho,” Henderson said. He stressed the project is subject to a battery of regulatory reviews by the Colorado Department of Water Resources. “All will have public meetings mandated by the DWR,” Henderson said. “Citizens are entitled to raise concerns before all permitting.”
The effort has completed the first of a four-phase project plan – thermal gradient drilling to determine potential to generate electricity using geothermal energy. Researchers found the hottest known geothermal resources in the state. Three additional phases are planned, with hoped-for development of an electric generation plant within the next few years. “Where will the facility be?” Henderson said. “It depends where the resources are.” Henderson added size of the facility will depend upon resources available. “We could do a three megawatt facility and make a profit,” Henderson said. He said the goal is to build structures the approximate size of the greenhouses on-site at Mount Princeton Hot Springs…
A technique proposed by Henderson is “pump and dump” which pulls hot water from the ground, through a heat exchanger, transferring heat to a fluid with a boiling point lower than water. Resulting steam drives turbines to generate electricity. Water is then pumped via injection wells back to its source. Henderson explained the technique is nonconsumptive of water resources. “It’s critical to return the water, because it will be reheated,” Henderson said.