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Geothermal Project in California (backed by Obama DoE) Is Shut Down
New York Times ^ | December 11, 2009 | James Glanz

Posted on 12/12/2009 1:11:29 PM PST by reaganaut1

The company in charge of a California project to extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock has removed its drill rig and informed federal officials that the government project will be abandoned.

The project by the company, AltaRock Energy, was the Obama administration’s first major test of geothermal energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuels and the project was being financed with federal Department of Energy money at a site about 100 miles north of San Francisco called the Geysers.

But on Friday, the Energy Department said that AltaRock had given notice this week that “it will not be continuing work at the Geysers” as part of the agency’s geothermal development program.

The project’s apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007. Taken together, the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administration’s geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earth’s bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source.

The Energy Department referred other questions about the project’s shutdown to AltaRock, a startup company based in Seattle. Reached by telephone, the company’s chief operations officer, James T. Turner, confirmed that the rig had been removed but said he had not been informed of the notice that the company had given the government. Two other senior company officials did not respond to requests for comment [...]

...

Geothermal enthusiasts asserted that drilling miles into hard rock, as required by the technique, could be done quickly and economically with small improvements in existing methods, Professor Schrag said. “What we’ve discovered is that it’s harder to make those improvements than some people believed,” he added.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: California
KEYWORDS: altarock; energy; geothermal; renewable
Maybe we shouldn't cripple the domestic energy sources that *do* work.
1 posted on 12/12/2009 1:11:30 PM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1
extract vast amounts of renewable energy from deep, hot bedrock

You mean the center of the earth is not millions of degrees hot? Al Gore is deeply saddened!

2 posted on 12/12/2009 1:16:47 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (Obama promised a gold mine, but will give us the shaft.)
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To: reaganaut1
“What we’ve discovered is that it’s harder to make those improvements than some people believed,” he added.

Apply this result to all the other blue sky technologies.

3 posted on 12/12/2009 1:19:37 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
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To: reaganaut1
Maybe we shouldn't cripple the domestic energy sources that *do* work.

But then we would be killing the Earth with CO2 fumes.

4 posted on 12/12/2009 1:20:35 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
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To: reaganaut1
Related thread: Quake Threat Leads Swiss to Close Geothermal Project.
5 posted on 12/12/2009 1:22:00 PM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1
The project’s apparent collapse comes a day after Swiss government officials permanently shut down a similar project in Basel, because of the damaging earthquakes it produced in 2006 and 2007.

It's known that this process produces eathquakes and Obama's administration okayed the project anyway?

6 posted on 12/12/2009 1:25:02 PM PST by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: reaganaut1

Rather than the taxpayers paying for these boondoggles why not let oil drill for our own? Oh yeah, might save the Auto Industry.

Pray for America’s Freedom


7 posted on 12/12/2009 1:25:32 PM PST by bray (Palin can see the White House from her Porch)
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To: reaganaut1

Man oh man, between geothermal getting shut down, ethanol plants shutting down and windpower projects being canceled alternative power appears to be going down the ole terlet.

Geez, will someone start drilling?


8 posted on 12/12/2009 1:25:34 PM PST by texmexis best
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To: skr

This is what happens when liberal children think science fiction is real.


9 posted on 12/12/2009 1:28:26 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: texmexis best

10 posted on 12/12/2009 1:30:16 PM PST by WVKayaker (www.wherezobama.org / Obama's Excellent Adventure ...)
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To: reaganaut1

The earthquake thing.

No company is going to expose itself to that kind of liability, whether or not any cheap energy is forthcoming.


11 posted on 12/12/2009 1:33:05 PM PST by sinanju
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To: texmexis best

Nope - sorry, we can’t. Too many “liberal” congress-critters want to “socialize” the oil industry...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKh7uqucArk


12 posted on 12/12/2009 1:33:59 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: reaganaut1

For therecord......

Geothermal Energy in California
photo of Geysers Geothermal Plants

Because of its location on the Pacific’s “ring of fire” and because of tectonic plate conjunctions, California contains the largest amount of geothermal generating capacity in the United States.

In 2007, geothermal energy in our state produced 13,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity. Combined with another 440 GWh of imported geothermal electricity, then geothermal energy produced 4.5 percent of the state’s total system power. A total of 43 operating geothermal power plants with an installed capacity of nearly 1,800 megawatts are in California, about two-thirds of the total United States’ geothermal generation.

The largest concentration of geothermal plants is located north of San Francisco in the Geysers Geothermal Resource Area in Napa and Sonoma Counties. This location has been producing electricity since the 1960s. It uses dry steam; one of only two places in the world for this resource (the other being in Larderello, Italy).


13 posted on 12/12/2009 1:39:50 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Lukenbach Texas is barely there)
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To: bert

<,img src=”http://www.energy.ca.gov/geothermal/images/geysers_valley_350x234.jpg";>


14 posted on 12/12/2009 1:40:59 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Lukenbach Texas is barely there)
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To: bert

15 posted on 12/12/2009 1:41:19 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Lukenbach Texas is barely there)
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To: reaganaut1

There’s no such thing as a free lunch... or free energy.


16 posted on 12/12/2009 1:42:08 PM PST by DesScorp
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To: reaganaut1

*** the two setbacks could change the direction of the Obama administration’s geothermal program, which had raised hopes that the earth’s bedrock could be quickly tapped as a clean and almost limitless energy source. ***

Back during the Jimmy Carter admin there was plans to build a geothermal power plant in New Mexico. Test hole were drilled, estimates of the ammount of steam were made, a turbine/generator was purchased, all was GO!
When done there was not enough steam to roll the turbine! A couple of years later I saw all the equipment for sale in Power Engineering Magazine.


17 posted on 12/12/2009 1:42:09 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Are my guns loaded? Break in and find out.)
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To: reaganaut1

Hmmm, suppose any of that equipment could be put to use drilling for oil? In the US?

Just sayin’


18 posted on 12/12/2009 1:45:40 PM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: reaganaut1
200 years of progress on the energy front, and in the last 30 a bunch of environuts think they have a better idea on how to do it.

Don't get me wrong, that's a great idea/dream...but go out into your own garage, use your own money...perfect it, and then put it out on the open market. But we - as taxpayers - are tired of funding your grade-school science projects.

Hillary let the cat out of the bag about energy - it's not about the environment - it's out of lib-envy for how much money the oil companies are supposedly making...AND THE LIBS CAN'T GET THEIR HANDS ON IT. Follow the money.

The left could give a hoot about the environment, or at least that's the impression they give because everything they come up with to "help" the environment involves either:

A) A government grant;
B) A Tax;
C) Regulation

They have a dog in the environment hunt, but it is the money connected with it...proof: climate changes.

I've thought and thought, but can't come up with too many things the EPA has done to really help the environment. They've been around forever, and they still whine about the "dirty air"...well why don't they have it all cleaned up by now?

America has done more to clean up the environment than anyone, yet the world still expects us to carry the load.

When it comes to energy, the left doesn't have a better mousetrap, they just have the power to force us to buy their mousetraps...the ones that won't catch mice.
19 posted on 12/12/2009 1:49:58 PM PST by FrankR (SENATE: You cram it down our throats in '09, We'll shove it up your ass in '10...count on it.)
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To: reaganaut1

20 posted on 12/12/2009 2:03:45 PM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: skr
It's known that this process produces eathquakes and Obama's administration okayed the project anyway?

And right near San Francisco... If it ever makes the news, it ought to be good for reforming a few SF liberals.

21 posted on 12/12/2009 2:19:34 PM PST by SCalGal (Friends don't let friends donate to H$U$ or PETA.)
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To: reaganaut1
Geothermal enthusiasts . . . .

Which I consider myself as one, as well as a oil, gas and nuke enthusiast. However, one must have certain conditions for the development of geothermal resources such as a relatively shallow heat source and controllable water chemistry. It is not the cure all.

22 posted on 12/12/2009 2:23:44 PM PST by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: SCalGal

The SF location was particularly ironic!


23 posted on 12/12/2009 2:27:24 PM PST by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: Godzilla

OK, this technology (see link below) is 30 years old and for me in Ohio costs about $300 per year - total heating and cooling. Oh, but Democrats and/or Al Gore don’t get rich from selling this kind of geothermal. I understand.

http://www.waterfurnace.com/residential.aspx


24 posted on 12/12/2009 2:33:59 PM PST by BeAllYouCanBe (Until Americans love their own children more than they love Nancy Pelosi this suicide will continue.)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe
Oh, but Democrats and/or Al Gore don’t get rich from selling this kind of geothermal. I understand.

What you are describing is a form of a heat pump/heat exchange mechanism. This is far too cool to use to generate commercial electricity. What was being targeted by this firm is high temperature material.. Commercial geothermal plants need steam to drive turbines similar to a coal or nuke plant. Picture Yellowstone Park for the heat. These geothermal waters, however, are often very corrosive to metals. They commonly contain dissolved metal concentrations that exceed EPA standards for release to the surface and must be reinjected (with associated corrosion and mineral deposit maintenance problems).

25 posted on 12/12/2009 2:42:23 PM PST by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: PubliusMM
Hmmm, suppose any of that equipment could be put to use drilling for oil? In the US?

The rig pictured on the article web page is capable of drilling for oil but it is fairly light duty and can't go very deep. It is particularly telling that caprock formations were causing problems. It is likely there were more problems than are revealed in the article.

26 posted on 12/12/2009 2:56:06 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: WVKayaker

What happened to that wind turbine? Did the birds and bats finally decide to strike back?


27 posted on 12/12/2009 3:12:34 PM PST by hellbender
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To: reaganaut1

Seismic activity near a geothermal site? Whoda thunk it? /s


28 posted on 12/12/2009 3:36:26 PM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: TigersEye

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US2/38.40.-124.-122.php

That swarm of blue and yellow squares is “the geysers”


29 posted on 12/12/2009 3:44:29 PM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Waste and fraud are synonymous with gov't spending)
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To: reaganaut1
I have always had hope (but no change) that geothermal would be a “sustainable” source of energy. However, as every realist knows, HOPE IS NOT A PLAN. To that aphorism, I have noticed that while socialists love to propose all manner of “sustainable” schemes, the “sustainable” part has to do with how they can game, spin and lie about the intangibles yet how they never can bring themselves to be tied to facts, rules and logic that cannot be gamed, spun or distorted.

Socialism cannot give us “sustainable” anything except perpetual hype and hope, for economist Ludwig von Mises showed in several articles and papers that socialists cannot compute. More correctly, since socialism as an economic system distorts economic information, it cannot know how to economically allocate finite resources. As a result it allocates resources based on political or ideological criteria.

Thus, we see that in a time of record government budget deficits, it is just as important to spend money to maintain the GPS satellite system as it is to spend $54 million on a tourist train in California's wine country, and spending $2.2 million to improve the warehouse owned by the state of Montana's liquor agency.

We can bolster the economy by taking money from families (with a median income of $50,233) and use it to create one federal job (average salary $70+k). When we have to consume the entire earnings of more than one family to create a single job, we are running as fast as we can to national bankruptcy.

We can only keep up this foolishness as long as people are willing to lend us the money to do it. Then our only recourse is to destroy the value of that debt via hyper-inflation so we can avoid becoming insolvent.

If we don't throw these bums out and quick, our ship is going to sink right out from under us. If these bums think that destroying the current system is their path to power so we would allow them to fix it with a new socialist utopia, we are going to have to start measuring our answer in grains, like in 180 grain units.

Please read: Economic Calculation In The Socialist Commonwealth By Ludwig von Mises

Postscript: Why a Socialist Economy is "Impossible" by Joseph T. Salerno

both are found at www.mises.org

Google: socialist calculation debate

30 posted on 12/12/2009 4:03:05 PM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: Jeff Chandler

If it was cheap or easy, you can bet it would have been done before. That’s a point that’s completely lost on the greenies.


31 posted on 12/12/2009 4:17:30 PM PST by CitizenUSA
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To: reaganaut1
amazing... all the unproven green technology just keeps failing !

/s

32 posted on 12/12/2009 4:33:39 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied, the economy died)
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To: hellbender

IIRC...the turbine’s governor failed and it “over-revved” during a windstorm, which tore off or damaged the blades.


33 posted on 12/12/2009 4:38:05 PM PST by hoagy62 (Obama: slowly sucking the positive attitude out of the US since 11-4-08)
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To: reaganaut1
Professor Schrag said. “What we’ve discovered is that it’s harder to make those improvements than some people believed,” he added.

So why does the Professor think that God put all that COAL in the earth? And the oil? And the water? God certainly didn't expect man to make life harder on himself with the intelligence God gave him. I have a distinct notion that God laughs at Liberals as much as Conservatives do.

Here's proof:
לָ֭מָּה רָגְשׁ֣וּ גֹויִ֑ם וּ֝לְאֻמִּ֗ים יֶהְגּוּ־ רִֽיק׃
Psalm 2:1 Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? 2 The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ. 3 Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us. 4 He that dwells in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them. 5 Then shall He speak to them in His anger, and trouble them in His rage.

Maybe we should use this on one of the signs we carry in DC next time.
34 posted on 12/12/2009 4:50:29 PM PST by HighlyOpinionated (Abortion-Euthanasia kills the very people for whom Social Justice is needed.)
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To: T-Bird45
The rig pictured on the article web page is capable of drilling for oil but it is fairly light duty and can't go very deep

Yep. Nothing like what I am used to (rated for 20,000 ft.).

35 posted on 12/12/2009 4:51:46 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: PubliusMM
Hmmm, suppose any of that equipment could be put to use drilling for oil? In the US?

Doubtful. And the petroleum and service companies generally know how to drill in rock without snapping bits off.

36 posted on 12/12/2009 5:07:44 PM PST by Ole Okie (McCain cost Sarah the election.)
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To: Ole Okie
And the petroleum and service companies generally know how to drill in rock without snapping bits off

Precisely. One look at the rig, and maybe they can drill water wells with it in soft sediments, but it does not look very substantial for drilling even well consolidated sedimentary rock.

Workover rigs around here (Williston Basin) are much more substantial.

It looks like whoever tried to do this underengineered the project.

The new, high penetration rate developments I have seen involve using mud motors (which would likely require a lot more pump than they have) and a more substantial drill string as well.

Performance has never been cheap.

I won't speculate on other possibilities, but as far as drilling a hole in rock, the oil industry is the place to go for answers.

37 posted on 12/12/2009 5:50:29 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin

OK.


38 posted on 12/12/2009 7:39:16 PM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: reaganaut1; Ernest_at_the_Beach; goldstategop; CAluvdubya; CyberAnt; Syncro; Citizen James; ...

bump & a ping


39 posted on 12/12/2009 9:32:28 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Thanks.


40 posted on 12/13/2009 7:25:02 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: bert

Twenty years or so, my parents bought stock in some geothermal startup, and unloaded at a 10-fold profit.....no huge bucks involved, but they had fun with it.


41 posted on 12/13/2009 7:31:36 AM PST by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: Jeff Chandler

WHAT ..??

I hope you were being sarcastic ..??


42 posted on 12/13/2009 8:31:08 AM PST by The Final Harvest (Healthcare is not a RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution)
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To: CyberAnt
I hope you were being sarcastic

Moi?

43 posted on 12/13/2009 8:35:36 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Whew! I thought for a moment I was going to have to recite a 3rd Grade lecture on humans, breathing, trees, etc. HaHa!


44 posted on 12/13/2009 10:29:09 AM PST by The Final Harvest (Healthcare is not a RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution)
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To: WVKayaker

I don’t care who you are — that’s funny.


45 posted on 12/13/2009 10:37:19 AM PST by Bhoy
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To: Jeff Chandler

The fraud involved in this “Green Movement” is beyond all comprehension.


46 posted on 12/13/2009 10:42:46 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: DesScorp

“The Divine One” and his apostles believe there is such a thing as free money. That is enough for me.


47 posted on 12/13/2009 10:45:33 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: lucyblue

ping


48 posted on 12/13/2009 12:19:57 PM PST by Purdue Pete
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