Snohomish PUD drills geothermal well

The Snohomish PUD is exploring the use of geothermal power, the first of its kind in Washington.

The Snohomish PUD is exploring the use of geothermal power, the first of its kind in Washington.

Snohomish Public Utility District will start drilling for hot water next week, hoping to find enough geothermal heat to eventually build a $100 million, 20-megawatt power plant.

The 5,000-foot “deep exploratory well” will be the first of its kind in Washington. It follows some much shallower “temperature gradient wells” that were drilled last year.

The site, 15 miles north of the town of Skykomish, used to be a hot springs resort called Garland Mineral Springs. Water there comes in contact with hot rocks from fault lines, which can heat the water up to 300 degrees, at high pressure, said Adam Lewis, senior utility analyst, Snohomish PUD.

If the new well is fruitful, the PUD will drill four or five production wells to inject water down into the hot areas to be heated and then draw it to the surface to generate power.

A plant wouldn’t start operating until 2016 at the earliest.

Read more in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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