Aspen to drill geothermal well
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” The city of Aspen will drill an exploratory well in hopes of tapping geothermal heat at a cost competitive with natural gas, it announced Wednesday.
City officials are hoping the well will produce water temperatures sufficient to heat an estimated 1 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Aspen at a competitive cost.
“We’ve already completed the preliminary feasibility studies, and we believe there are the right temperatures and geology to make geothermal a viable option,” said Phil Overeynder, Aspen’s public works director, in a press release. He has identified five possible sites in Aspen to drill an exploratory well up to 3,000 feet deep.
New state regulations allow the pursual of geothermal energy and city officials are apparently jumping on the opportunity.
“We’ve already filed for geothermal water rights with the state, making the Aspen the first to apply under the new Colorado Geothermal Act,” Overeynder said.
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The proposed test well would verify the capabilities of the geothermal system located below Aspen and would provide information necessary to craft a business plan for using the resource to heat businesses in town.
Geothermal heating dates back to the Roman Empire as a way of heating buildings by using sources of hot water and steam below ground, according to the city. Colorado ranks sixth in the country for geothermal energy potential.