Friday, June 9, 2017

USA, Alaska: Remote Island has Geothermal Energy Potential

Little-studied island holds life, geothermal energy potential (Peninsula Clarion)

The nearest town is 37 miles of wilderness and ocean away from the shores of Augustine Island, but the island still brims with life.

Most of the island is moist tundra without any large mammals, according to a 2013 final lease decision from then-DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan.

The decision approved the geothermal energy lease sale and one lease was sold on the island in 2013 on a 10-year lease cycle. Today, however, there isn’t any geothermal activity going on in the state, said Division of Oil and Gas Spokeswoman Diane Hunt.

“I can only say we don’t have anything active right now,” she said.

The state has also issued geothermal energy leases on Mt. Spurr on Cook Inlet’s west side. However, the nearest power plant is in Nikiski, more than 100 miles away.

“Developing geothermal resources requires that economics are favorable for power generation,” the decision document states. “Siting, permitting and customer markets must overcome the risk of bearing the high exploration and capital investments in the initial development phases … Power generation from geothermal resource in Cook Inlet could augment existing power sources.”

For now, the island remains quietly undeveloped except for the volcanic activity monitoring stations.

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From the Global Geothermal News archive:
Thursday, May 9, 2013. Little Interest in Geothermal Lease Sale in Alaska
Monday, January 28, 2013. Decision Could set in Motion Augustine Island Geothermal Energy