Project To Pour Water Into Volcano To Make Power

Published January 14, 2012 3:36PM (EST)

Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise.

Geothermal energy has been exploited for a century.

But efforts to expand a new aspect of it known as EGS — for Enhanced Geothermal Systems — have lagged amid complaints about earthquakes and difficulties creating big enough geothermal reservoirs in hot rocks deep underground to run commercial power plants.

The federal government, Google and others have invested more than $40 million in AltaRock Energy, Inc. of Seattle and Davenport Newberry Holdings LLC of Stamford, Conn. to see if they can overcome those problems.

By Salon Staff

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