Idaho developers asking for more government support

Raft River plant, Idaho, (source: Ormat)
Alexander Richter 7 Mar 2011

Referring to high up front costs and risk, geothermal developers in the state of Idaho are asking for more government support to help speed up development.

With the slow progress in the development of geothermal power projects in the state o Idaho, developers are asking for more goverment support.

According to a recent article, the main reason for the lack in speed of development are: “high upfront costs. Drilling deep into the earth to find a suitable heat source is labor-intensive, expensive and without guarantee of success.

For that reason, geothermal energy supporters are lobbying for help from the federal and state governments. “We need a geothermal endowment,” said Dan Kunz, CEO of U.S. Geothermal Inc. in Boise. “We have the geology here in Idaho but need to have people willing to take the risk to drill.”

To bore a mile into the earth, crews may drill for weeks using dozens of $2,000 diamond bits to chew through everything from sediment to granite. But a project’s potential for success mostly relies on finding a good site.

“An engineer told me it was like having a coal-powered plant but having to buy all the coal upfront,” said Chris Harriman, president of U.S. Geothermal Services LLC. “Put drilling in front of anything, and you’re talking bucks.”

For the full article see link below.

Source: Idaho Statesman