Public utility drilling exploration well for potential 20 MW project in Washington state

Skykomish River close to Skykomish in Washington State, U.S. (source: Flickr/ brewbooks, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 30 Aug 2011

Snohomish Public Utility District (SPUD) will start drilling a 5,000 feet exploratory well for a potentially 20 MW geothermal power plant, which would be the first for the state Washington in the U.S.

Local news from the State of Washington in the U.S. report that “Snohomish Public Utility District will start drilling for hot water next week, hoping to find enough geothermal heat to eventually build a $100 million, 20-megawatt power plant.

The 5,000-foot “deep exploratory well” will be the first of its kind in Washington. It follows some much shallower “temperature gradient wells”that were drilled last year.

The site, 15 miles north of the town of Skykomish, used to be a hot springs resort called Garland Mineral Springs. Water there comes in contact with hot rocks from fault lines, which can heat the water up to 300 degrees, at high pressure, said Adam Lewis, senior utility analyst, Snohomish PUD.

If the new well is fruitful, the PUD will drill four or five production wells to draw it to the surface to generate power, and then inject that water back down into the hot areas to be heated. A plant wouldn’t start operating until 2016 at the earliest.”

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal via Biz Journals