Volcano power arrives in the United States – producing electricity by extracting heat from an Oregon volcano

// November 5th, 2012 // Geology and Archaeology News


Newberry Volcano in OregonLocated in Central Oregon, the Newberry Volcano is one of the largest and youngest volcanoes in the United States (its last eruption was about 1,300 years ago). AltaRock plans to use the Newberry Volcano to create a geothermal reservoir via a unique combination of drilling and fracking.

The process began in 2008 when a 10,060 feet deep well was dug into the rock about 4 miles from the center of the volcano. This well will serve as the primary conduit for extraction of heat from the 600 degree Fahrenheit rock around the volcano.

A new form of fracking will increase the permeability of the volcanic rock using a process known as hydroshearing. Once the rock is fracked, water can be pumped through the tiny cracks where it will be heated to several hundred degrees Fahrenheit before returning to the surface and used as the energy source for a new geothermal power plant.

The diagram below shows how the process will work.


The video below explains the process in detail.


Thermal extraction from Newberry Volcano
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