Flathead Electric Co-op looking into geothermal power in Montana

Alexander Richter 12 Oct 2009

Flathead Electric Co-Op could start drilling for geothermal energy for power generation as early as spring 2010, being one of the first geothermal projects in the state of Montana.

According to local news, “Montana may soon use its natural hot springs to power homes as the Flathead Electric Co-Op is now working on a project that plans to use hot water from the ground to produce geothermal energy.

This could be a first of its kind in Montana and is being made possible after Flathead Electric was granted $491,000 in federal funds to test the groundwater of hot springs in Lake County.

Once the utility receives the money, they plan to drill about 2,000 feet into shallow wells to see if the water is hot enough to produce energy.

Flathead Electric says this type of project can only be tapped in specific locations, and it’s confident the hot springs have a great source of geothermal’s.

Energy from heat stored in the earth would be dependable and renewable, which could be an energy breakthrough for Montana according to Flathead Electric Cooperative Director of Energy Cheryl Talley.

“In general Montana isn’t looked at as a geothermal state. When people think geothermal they think California, Nevada, Oregon. So, this would be a first step for people to say wait a minute, maybe geothermal is a viable energy source for Montana.”

If all goes as planned, the project could begin with preliminary drilling as early as this Spring.”

Source: Montana’s News Station, Lake County Coverage