Newberry crater could soon become the first “Super HotRock” geothermal energy source

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BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The next generation of geothermal energy could emerge from the crater at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, just south of Bend.

At the end of September, AltaRock Energy announced the results of its latest study near the crater (caldera) of the Newberry volcano. The study found that the high temperature in the impermeable rock of the volcanic crater can be used as a source of energy.

AltaRock claims that the energy would be more sustainable and cheaper than current renewable energy methods.

The company’s press release states:

“SuperHot Rock geothermal energy has the smallest environmental footprint of all renewable energy resources, dramatically reduces the need for transmission infrastructure, and we believe it has the potential to meet a significant portion of global energy demand. here 2050. “

AltaRock’s analysis revealed that the discounted cost of electricity would be less than $ 0.05 / kilowatt hour. The company claims that a conventional EGS (improved geothermal system) resource has an LCOE of $ 0.10 / kilowatt-hour or more.

Although commonly referred to as Newberry Crater, the “crater” is actually a caldera formed when overlying rocks collapse when a magma chamber is emptied, according to the Forest Service. The caldera stretches for 17 square miles in the heart of the volcano. The 1,200 square mile volcano (about the size of Rhode Island) remains very active to this day. Newberry is both seismic and geothermal active. Geologists believe the caldera sits on top of a shallow body of magma just 2-5 kilometers deep.

Noah Chast will detail the potential timeline for this power source and the areas it could serve, tonight on NewsChannel 21.


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