USU Student Looks Into Geothermal Energy For Logan City

Jun 17, 2014

A graduate student from a Utah university is looking into the feasibility of Logan City using geothermal energy as part of a $4,000 DEED grant.

New research from USU student Blake Thomas will let Logan City know about the costs and benefits of using geothermal power.

Blake Thomas is a master’s student in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. He said he’ll explore whether geothermal energy is feasible in the land surrounding Logan, along with economic and transportation costs.

“The project would provide a feasibility report for the development of CO2 geothermal in Logan, and ultimately it will offer a recommendation for efficient, low-cost, utility-scale electric energy for Logan City Light and Power,” Thomas said.

Geothermal uses special technology to draw the heat from the earth to drive turbines and develop electrical power. Thomas said his plans will incorporate a new kind of geothermal technology that relies on supercritical CO2 instead of water.

“Typically geothermal power is extracted by circulating water though the ground to extract your heat and harness it,” Thomas said. “The beneficial thing is that it’s not using water, which is a scarce resource in the West.”

He said geothermal can better accommodate energy needs at peak times of the day because, unlike wind and solar, it can continually produce energy; not just when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.