In both January and June, 2008 I had talked about commercial geothermal energy in Illinois powering a university dorm and hospital respectively. In both of the Illinois cases, geothermal energy will be used to heat and cool the facilities.
But, now a company called Raser Technologies will be building New Mexico’s first geothermal power plant to provide electricity from this renewable resource to power resident’s homes. And, not only this, but the homes will be in neighboring Arizona.
Raser has contracted with the Salt River Project (SRP) out of Phoenix, (which a few years back used to supply power to my own home) and will deliver up to 10 MW of clean geothermal electricity from Hidalgo County, New Mexico. This will be enough to supply 5,500 homes with renewable juice and help SRP reach its goal of having 15-percent of its energy be renewable by 2025.
The New Mexico geothermal project will use underground hot water and steam measured at an average temperature of 308 degrees F over 2,500 acres of land upon which sits a local greenhouse operation. This well-known source of geothermal energy is now being studied by UTC Power and Raser to compare output from summer months as well as winter.