Pagosa Springs geothermal development hampered by shortage of capital


From the Pagosa Springs Sun (Jim McQuiggin):

…two recent events highlighted the growing sense that Pagosa Country is edging closer towards making that geothermal resource the centerpiece of a larger economic development initiative.

Late last month, several community members made their way to Denver to make a presentation at the Geothermal Working Group meeting, sponsored by the Colorado Energy Office (previously known as the Governor’s Energy Office). In fact, Pagosa Country featured three speakers at the meeting out of a total 19 presenters, providing substantial representation for geothermal issues in the area…

“One problem,” [Archuleta County Commissioner Michael Whiting] told SUN staff last week, “is the lack of capital,” stating that it is difficult for rural communities to secure government dollars needed to develop geothermal resources. “The problem is parochialism,” Whiting continued, referring to attitudes that reject, or are unable to grasp, the potential of geothermal as an important resource for energy and economic development…

In essence, Starr’s presentation implied that, not only could local governments identify resources (geothermal) for state interests, but, after having done so, could apply for state funds to develop those resources. Starr’s presentation went on to show that the next provision of that section states, “(2) (a) The department of local affairs shall oversee and coordinate the provision of technical assistance and provide financial assistance as may be authorized by law.”[…]

local businessman Jerome Smith (founder of Pagosa Verde, LLC., a company currently engaged in researching the energy-producing potential of the local geothermal aquifer) presented on a subject Whiting had previously touched on: The challenges businesses faced acquiring needed funding for geothermal projects. As a solution, Smith spoke about the importance of an alliance of geothermal communities in the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado and throughout the state. Smith also spoke to the opportunities for financing geothermal development and power generation.

More geothermal coverage here.

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