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AltaRock Announces Updated Water Usage Plan for EGS Demonstration

February 28, 2011

AltaRock Energy and Davenport Power are today announcing the publication of an updated and more extensive water usage plan for the Newberry Enhanced Geothermal System Demonstration underway near Bend, Oregon.

Over the three year demonstration we expect to use 73 to 142 million gallons (223-435 acre-ft) of water produced from water wells already installed at the demonstration site. This represents about three-tenths of one percent (0.003) of the estimated annual natural recharge to the Deschutes Basin from the west flank of Newberry volcano, and thus will not impact other users of this water resource.

There are six major project events that will require the use of water:

1.     Stimulation of existing well NWG 55-29

2.     Single-well flow test

3.     Drilling of two production wells

4.     Production well connectivity tests

5.     Dual well stimulation

6.     Circulation test

In addition to walking readers through the project timeline above, the full Newberry Water Usage Plan breaks the data down for assessment from various angles:

  • Maximum, minimum, and combined estimated water usage
  • Water usage by month and year
  • Duration and amount of water usage for each major event

The report also explains the use of tracer and diverter materials that will be used to determine fluid pathways and to guide the stimulation to the existing, natural fracture zones.

Just as the recent Seattle Seahawks game helped put the Richter scale in context, consider this: According to the Bend Bulletin, “on the peak summer day in 2007, the city of Bend used 27 million gallons of water,” which puts the demonstration’s water usage requirements (all of which are one-time-only uses) at just a few day’s worth of Bend’s water consumption.

Water usage has been a topic of interest among citizens who attended a successful public forum series last fall. To review this report in detail, the public is welcome to download the Newberry Water Usage Plan directly through AltaRock’s website.

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