At Monday night’s meeting of the Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority (PAGWAPA), Pagosa Verde owner Jerry Smith presented the driller’s update.
Smith mentioned the recently conducted Pagosa Verde Symposium, which he held as a way to gather experts from around the world and collect input on various aspects of the local geothermal project.
Smith then said, “We finished the DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) final report a week and a half ago and we have concentrated since then on an analysis of where we go from here with Pagosa Waters.”
Last year, the DOE awarded the project nearly $4 million to act as a 60/40 match for a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). However, earlier this year, the DOE pulled its funding before even half of the grant was spent, leaving the local project $2 million short and scrambling to figure out how to proceed.
According to Smith, Ken Charles from DOLA said it would be possible to modify the DOLA grant contract so the project would only need to come up with a dollar-for-dollar match instead of a 60/40 match. There is still slightly more than $1.4 million sitting on the table, but those funds will go away on May 31, 2016, if the project doesn’t figure out a way to use them.
Smith then discussed the lease for the land where the project’s most promising exploratory, thermal gradient (TG) well was drilled. Currently, the landowner continues to allow the lease payments to remain in abatement, but, beginning in January 2016, the project will be charged $5,000 per month.