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Continuing work on Engineered Geothermal Systems – interview with Susan Petty in Physics Today

Susan Petty and AltaRock team members on site at Newberry, September 2012 (source: AltaRock)
Alexander Richter 12 Sep 2018

With about 40 years in the geothermal energy industry, Susan Petty, CTO, President and Founder of AltaRock Energy, Inc. has been a strong proponent and force in the Enhanced/ Engineered Geothermal Systems space. So the recently published interview with her provides quite an interesting background.

A recently published interview with Susan Petty, CTO, president and founder of AltaRock Energy, Inc., a Seattle/ U.S. based geothermal technology company provides a fantastic background on how her company came to be and why she is still convinced that Enhanced/ Engineered Geothermal Systems will have a great role to play.

Susan Petty has been a key figure within the geothermal energy industry with a career that spans nearly forty years.

She founded AltaRock Energy back in 2007, as a advanced technology geothermal energy start-up. She holds several patents for technology related to Enhanced Geothermal Systems, groundwater cooling and geothermal reservoir testing. Today, she manages operations and technology development and testing for AltaRock, as well as develops new projects and evaluates economics of project development.

In 2016 she founded Hot Rock Energy Research Organisation (HERO), a non-profit under which she moves EGS research forward. Under HERA, she and partners work toward replacing coal fired power with geothermal at places like Colstrip, Montana, Boardman, Oregon, Valmy, Nevada and Cayuga, New York.

The organisation plans to test new ideas at Newberry, Oregon and hopes that costs can come down to a point where geothermal can be anywhere.

She provides a great background on how she ended up in geology, even mentioning that at the time she joined there were no women’s bathrooms in the engineering building in Princeton.

The story then about the foundation of AltaRock Energy is interesting as it builds upon her participation in the infamous MIT study on the EGS potential for the United States. I think many founders like myself would love to be “asked to start a company” by a venture capital firm.

To read the interview, see link below.

Source: Physics Today