Energy policy — geothermal: Gypsum deep geothermal project update

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From the Eagle Valley Enterprise (Derek Franz):

“We wasted four months because we were handling (the geothermal resources) as a mineral right and then realized it made more sense being handled as a water-right issue,” said Jeff Shroll, Gypsum’s town manager. “No one’s really sure how to handle it.”

Lee Robinson, a manager for Flint LLC — known as Flint Eagle LLC in this particular venture — phrased the situation a little differently. “It’s a bit of legal pioneering that we’re doing,” he said. “Nobody has done what we are trying to do, at least not in Colorado.” The legal complications have to do with federal and state statutes and their classifications for a geothermal resource. Robinson described an involved process for sorting out the paperwork before the company can drill…

“Surface geothermal has been used before, but no one has really gone that deep before,” Shroll said recently. Robinson estimated the resource could save some town entities around 20 percent or more in energy expenses, depending on the water’s temperature. If the exploration proves fruitful, Robinson wants to drill more wells and utilize the resource throughout the county…

In his July presentation, Robinson said the Rio Grande Rift extends from Mexico into Colorado under the earth’s surface. The rift is caused by the earth’s crust getting pulled apart. Water trickling down into the deep nooks and crannies of such a rift is then heated by the earth’s mantle. Robinson said the airport is the closest land to the rift that’s entirely owned by Gypsum, including mineral rights, and that’s why he wants to explore there, west of the runway.

More geothermal coverage here.

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