Delivering geothermal power for long term energy security of Alaska
Mount Spurr and Mount Augustine have untapped geothermal potential which can be harnessed for energy production that will provide long term energy security for the Railbelt grid that connects over 65% of Alaskans.
Mount Spurr and Mount Augustine are two active stratovolcanoes located in Alaska, USA, that are closely monitored by the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). Mount Spurr is situated about 130 kilometers west of Anchorage and is one of the most active volcanoes in the region. Mount Augustine is located on Augustine Island in the Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA, approximately 110 kilometers southwest of Homer.
Both Mount Spurr and Mount Augustine have geothermal potential, but it has not been fully explored or utilized. Geothermal energy is generated by tapping into the heat produced by volcanic activity, and it can be used to generate electricity. Geothermal energy is considered a clean and sustainable energy source because it does not emit greenhouse gases or pollutants, and it has the potential to provide a reliable source of energy. Geothermal energy is one of the few renewable energy sources that can provide 24/7 baseload energy, as it can operate continuously, regardless of weather conditions or time of day. Other renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are intermittent and dependent on weather conditions, which makes it challenging to provide constant and reliable energy. 24/7 baseload energy is essential for the stability and reliability of the electrical grid, as it provides a constant source of power to meet the minimum energy demand required. In this context, geothermal energy has great potential to help reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and provide a sustainable source of energy to meet the world's growing energy demands.
Mount Spurr has been identified as having significant geothermal potential, with estimates of up to 120 MW of electricity generation capacity. However, no geothermal power plants have been built in the area yet. There have been some exploratory drilling projects in the past, but no significant developments have been made.
Mount Augustine also has geothermal potential, but it is not as well studied for geothermal production but indicates non-volcanic formations that show a cap for a geothermal reservoir, and potentially good reservoir rock formations.
In summary, both Mount Spurr and Mount Augustine have untapped geothermal potential that could be harnessed for energy production that will provide long term energy security for the Railbelt grid that connects over 65% of Alaskans.