It may be possible that a new geothermal power plant will be developed in Akutan, Alaska if the electro-magnetic probes being used by a geophysical survey team indicates that a nearby geothermal resource is significant enough to produceinexpensive and reliable geothermal energy.
Currently, the city’s power cost is over 32 cents per kilowatt / hour which is three times the amount paid by Anchorage residents. The peak usage in Akutan is only 7 megawatts which is currently generated by a diesel generator.
An Akutan geothermal energy power plant would eliminate the dependence on diesel in the city, reduce carbon emissions and would help to promote economic sustainability in the area.
It all hinges on the outcome of the geophysical survey which is due for completion by the end of September. This survey uses probes that can detect the presence of a possible geothermal reservoir.
A lot of work is still required to confirm that a geothermal energy power plant can actually be set up in the area. The exploration activities take place on the surface and require no drilling to complete, followed by exploratory drilling that will drill up to for slim holes up to a depth of 1,500 feet.
“Preliminary results from this summer’s fieldwork are extremely interesting,” said Amanda Kolker, project manager. “We are rapidly developing a better understanding of the geothermal resource on Akutan. By the end of the year we should have a good conceptual model of the resource, which will help in targeting successful geothermal wells.”