by Lori Tipton
Thursday, July 8, 2010
KING SALMON, Alaska -- Exploratory drilling is under way in King Salmon to determine the potential for geothermal energy. The Naknek Electric Association, an energy co-op, is testing a geothermal well to see if developing the renewable resource is feasible.
The geothermal project's test well took more than 10 years to come together, at a cost of more than $20 million. If it proves to be successful, the association could provide affordable renewable energy to communities and villages across Bristol Bay.
"It's a new industry for an electric co-op," said Donna Vukich, the association's general manager.
"It's the first well out here, so we're just trying to take all the information in," said the association's Stanley Burton.
At the exploration site for the Naknek geothermal project, a crew of two dozen is working to clean the well.
"We drilled it with mud, lots of circulation, so now we have an entry down there, so we have to clean all the mud out and get the full potential of the hot water," Burton said.