The Department of Energy plans to invest up to $6 million in an engineered geothermal demonstration project in Geysers Geothermal Field in Lake County, Calif. The project has been controversial because of concerns that the rock-drilling involved would trigger earthquakes. The project’s developer, AltaRock Energy Inc., would create a fractured reservoir by drilling an injection well into 500 F felsite rock at depths of up to 12,500 ft and then circulating water through it to harvest steam to run a turbine. The cooled water would then be returned to the hot rock. Electricity generated by the steam will be sold
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.