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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 10, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta y, November 10, 1971 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 DeveSoDment or geotherma energy JJW8 liv Kllis AniislniiiK, I'.S. Ciiiiiinissiiiiicr cif Jirclamaliou I far llv.' nlar- i-l nf Imperial Val- ley, Calif., i.1; a ImiliiiK caldron of unci'MY from a sii'ilorraiciin (KTiin strain and hoi water. This iv-OTVoir lias been confined fnr iim-s, when the .surface is punctured, Iho steam and water exits with a rnar. It could make pollution- free, wlni', and noiseless jiowerplfint.'i become ho- nus of almost pure wa- ter. The Bureau of Reclamation is preparing lo lap Lliis trea- sure both for Hie proiluelion of electric power and for critical- ly needed portable water in that arid area. Scientists say that anywhere from two to five billion acre- fret of the hot water, or steam, lie under Hie Imperial enough to cover all of the Uni- ted Slates to a depth of several feet. Such a gcothennal field has an estimated We of two to three centuries. Reclamation investments will include building a production sleam well, and a pilot desalt- ing planl in I he Ivisi Mesa area of the valley nt a cost of several million dollars. The water has been heated lo super high temperatures by ab- normal heat flow in the earth's crust. Some of this super hot water will flash inlo steam which can be used above ground desalt the remaining mineralized water and to gen- erate electric power. Already harnessed in some, areas, this versatile resource could supply usable water for migmenting Ihc Colorado River in behalf of an obligation lo Mexico and for agricultural and municipal mid industrial development in this water short area of the nation. De- velopment of such a resource could te accomplished without the environmental hazards of air awl water pollution com- monly associated with fossil fuel and nuclear powerplants. Scientists only recently have verified the existence of a glo- bal network of upwelling mol- ten rock, called spreading cen- tres, which commonly traverse the floors of the largest oceans. Heat flow from the earth's mol- ten mantle is abnormally high along these mobile liquid cen- tres. East. Pacific Rise is the name of the centre which also passes under tire floor of the Imperial Valley. Much of the thick layer of earth sediment in the valley is saturated with healed, mineral- ized water which is estimated to have a volume of two to five billion acre-feet. A large vol- ume of this water is saline than sea water. Ihc salt concentrations nf l.S In per cent were found as typical, hopes were re- kindled that Ihc water could processed nol only for power, but also for other uses. Last January the bureau started a drilling program lo explore temperature gradients on federal lands at East Mesa, at depths ranging from 37f> to 3.500 feet. A temperature of 231 degrees Fahrenheit was regis- tered at the 373-foot well. Drill- ing is continuing on the East .Mesa anomaly, as the area is called, to determine its extent. In the near future, the bu- reau plans to drill a steam- and water-producing well field and construct a prototype de- salting plant. As water flows underground through permeable heated ma- terials, it becomes healed. Temperatures m a y increase with depth and can become very hot at relatively shallow depths. It is thought that the decay of radioactive elements below the earth's surface, and fric- tional forces caused by the movement o[ hot liquids or plastic rocks contribute to the generation of heat. More attention i.s being given lo mllllipurpose alternatives whicli will the maximum potential from each peolhermal development. In several areas of the w (i r 1 d, geulbcrmal sources are competing wilii conventional sources of heal and electrical energy Mich as natural gas, solid Iiiels. hydro power, and nuclear mergy. (ieolhermal sources arc at present being for space heating, proems drying, agri- cultural operations, and indus- try requirements. The hot wa- ler has been used for other pur- such as fish breeding, poultry farms, ami alligator farms. of chemicals from gcolhermal fluids may become a profitable resource in some areas. tieothermal reservoir engi- nc-.Ting technology i.s sill! in ils infancy. Umvever, Meam-pro- ducing wells arc drilled rou- tinely by qualified men and nil and gas reservoir engineer- ing techniques can be applied lo genlhormal fields with some modifications based on thermo- dynamics. Apparently no major tech- nological problem has been re- vealed m the, projects under nitration at Ihe present lime. 'I his leebnology piovide-i a rea- sonable evaluation ol the Ihermal reservoir capacity and can provide guides for well spacing. Use of v.aler from hoi springs and hoi caves is prob- ably as old as man. During early limes in Home. Greece, and'Japan, hot springs were used for space healing. At pres- ent, many countries, El Salva- dor, France. Turkey, Algeria, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Yu- goslavia Indonesia, China, and Ihc Philippines, are stepping up their activities in developing this vast natural resource. In 1961, about 420 megawatts (a megawatt is kilowatts) of gcothermal electric power were in production throughout, the world. The figure is now over mw. and is likely lo rise lo over 1.000 mw. during UK. next few years. ICELAND The develop- ment of gcothermal house heat- ing has continued rapidly in Iceland, doubling from 1961 to Community silos have been planned for il and Ihermal walers are heating whole lowns. Within the next decade, il is cslimaled that 60 lo per cent of the population of Iceland will obtain heat for their houses from geothennal sources. A 3-mw. geothermal power station, the first in Ice- land, has been developed. A processing plant is now in oneral.ion using geolhermal steam for drying diatomile (an early material used in filters) from deposits on the botlom of Lake Myvatn in northern Ire- land. This successful operation results in drying at about one- sixth the cost of using fuel oil. NEW ZEALAND The mam thermal area in New Zea- land is in the North Island where abnormal earth tem- peratures produce hot springs, fumaroles (gaseous and geysers. At the Wairakci field, s geo- thennal power station pro- duces 192 mw. of electric en- ergy: at the Kawerau field geothermal steam is used in processing pulp and paper and for generating a few mega- waits of electric power. The steam energy al Ihe Rolorua field is mainly for space heal- ing. New fields are being ex- plored in New Zcland mainly for Ihe purpose of developing electric energy' sources. The Broadlands field, an initial power station of 120 mw. is scheduled to come into opera- tion in 1976. ITALY Italy has made tho mosl extensive geothermal en- ergy development in the world for electric power production. In the Italian geothermal powerplants totaled '1R4 mw. of installed capacity. Most of the gcolhermal areas are located near Ihe west coast of Italy, north and south of Rome. During the last decade, pow- er production from geothermal energy sources increased over DO per cent. JAPAN Japan is one of the mosl widely renowned vol- canic counlries in the world and has a number of hot springs and geothormal .'e- sources located throughout Ihe island. Depths of production wells range from to 4.500 feet. As a resnll of some 10 years of prospecling, two geothermal fields have been discovered and developed. Powerplant ca- pacities in these areas range from in to 20 mw. The poten- tial in Japan is estimated to bo 10.000 mw. In addition lo power produc- tion, Japan now utilizes geo- thermal energy for recreation, agriculture, and industry. Scientific investi- gations, engineering planning anil experimenting are now de- veloping oil a large .scale in Russia, (jcotbermal maps cov- ering the counlry have been prepared. It is estimated that !iii to m per cent of the lerrilory is occupied by ther- mal waters which are avail- able fur use. Advanced project plans have been prepared and integrated systems put in operation or scheduled for space beating, healing greenhouses, and ;n- duslrial cooling. Oilier more in- novativc Kussian projects deal with mining in the Arctic re- gions and with the permafrost problem. SIICX1CO The main activ- ity of geolhcrma! development in Mexico is at Ihe Cerro I'ricio liokl near Mexicali lo- cated in Ihe Mexicali Valley, which is a prolongation of tho Imperial Valley of Ihc United Stales. Drilling in this area was ini- tialed in 1959 Steam and water were obtained at degrees Fahrenheit from a depth of about l.liOU fed. Surveys were carried out later to determine the structure of the base rocks. An exploratory well was drilled in 196-1 about two miles southeast of the Cerro Prieto volcano in Baja. Mexico. Pro- duction of steam at .102 degrees Fahrenheit was obtained at 1.- to feet of depth. In re- cent years, more than a score of ad'ditional deep productive ivclls have been drilled in this area. Results of these investiga- tions at Ihc Cerro Prieto field were so encouraging 'hat. con- :-f.niciinn has been initialed for a geoUierrnal powerplanl of two generators with a total ca- pacity of 75 mw. This plant is scheduled to in operation in early 1972. The Electrical Commission of Mexico has initiated a prelim- inary survey of all Ihe impor- tant hot springs in Mexico, as well as a detailed study in the volcanic belt of central and northwest Mexico. It is reported that 106 geo- thermal areas of possible com- mercial interesl were located, and a feasibility study is under- way for each of them. UNITED STATES Interest in gcothermal energy is in- creasing in the United States on the part of the general pub- lie, investment firms, public utilities and oil companies. There are about 1.3 million acres of known geothermal re- source areas on public domain in the western United States. The rise in interest is due mainly lo Iho develcpmcnl of 'the (icyscrs lii-kl north of San Francisco, Calif. Al. firsl, il was a geological curiosity, but now it is esti- mated Ihiil, with Ihe wells al- ready drilled, MX) mw. of elec- tric capacity can he generated. The proven capacity is mw. and Ihc field may produce mw. With the present generating capacity of 112 mw., tlio cost, of producing energy in The Gey- sers is about, four mills per kilowatt hour as compared to seven mills average cost pro- duced by conventional plants in California. Space healing and other uses of gcothermal energy have ob- tained little consideration in Ihc United Stales because oth- er sources of energy have been readily available and relative- ly inexpensive. However, a space healing project is in op- eration at Klarnath Falls, Oreg. Approximately 400 buildings are healed by over 350 wells. In Boise, Idaho 2011 homes are heated by hoi waler from two -ion-fool deep wells, and "t Cslistoga, Calif., holds, homes, and greenhouses are heated by geothermal walcr. Other small communities in Nevada, California, Oregon, and Idaho use gcothermal wa- ter lo a small cxlenl as a sup- ply of heal for homes and greenhouses. It appears (hat areas war- ranting further exploration are certain in portions of Nevada and California, the high Cas- cade Range of California, Ore- gon and Washington, the Aleu- tian Islands of Alaska, interior basins of Oregon, portions of Ihe Island of Hawaii, and ex- tensive areas of Idaho, Wyom- ing, Montana, Utah, and New Mexico. The Imperial Valley of Cali- fornia has one of (he greatest potentials for a successful source of gcolhermal steam and water. In part, the geothermie ac- tion is caused by a belt of weak subterranian crust which ex- tends from the Gulf of Califor- nia through southern and west- cm California. This area also is known as the San Andreas Fault Zone. The underground belt is characterized by ex- treme crustal instability mani- fcsling hundreds of earlh Irem- ors annually. Occasionally a tremor will reach the magni- tude of a damaging earthquake, such as occurred last Feb- ruary. This zone also has high heat flowing from the liquid mantle into Ihe cnist. The accumulated thickness 1971 by NIA, bc.Q yoy wonf (o hi I the big time in professional sports, you've got .to have a gimmick, an image, something DIFFERENT. don't you come on as a soft-spoken. unassuming modest Book Reviews Canadian federalism explored ;i n a (I i n n Federalism: or llralily" edited J. Peter Mprkismi OMhuni p 11 I) I i c a t i o n K, JM pMjicv second edition o f Pro- ft's.sor Mcfkison's been thoroughly revised, bringing it up to date with re- cent developments on the Ca- nadian constitutional scene It is a misnomer to call it. Dr. book, because it is in reality n collect ion of speeches, articles and essays on tho nature of federalism, its orifiins, problems, progress and the hope (or For tho Twenty n c w articles dealing with constitutional form, regionalism, and particu- larly wilh Quebec, bring this edition up to date and relevant to the current scene. The material, contributed by v a r i o u s specialists includes speeches and articles by many Canadian political 1 e a d e r s !Prime Minislcr Tnideau, Hob- ert. Slanfield, former Primo Minister lister Pearson, (ho late Daniel Johnson of Quebccr to name, only a few) as well as ouLslmidinp Canadian political scientists. It is divided jjito six asjKCts of federalism What is federalism, Cana- dian federalism, an overview, The Consiiiniion, Intergovern- mental relations. Regionalism and Canadian federalism. Quo- bee and Canadian federalism Prof. Mcckison, currently as- soeiate dean of gradual R studies and associate professor of political science nt the Cn'.- versily of Albert a, hopes that the ''first part will provide slu- denl.s with some understanding of federalism as a form of gov- ernment." This i m p r e s s i v e volume should have a wide appeal lo all thoughtful Canadians, not simply students. It is non-parti- san, non-academic (in thn usual sense of the lerml and in fact anythina but dull. IL s ho n I d go ;i long lo en- large iindcTclandmg of our pn- liticnl heritage because: il gives ils readers a firm base of fact and discussion on which we can form our own individual opinions. Frankly, i confess 1 have not read all the essays, but 1 intend to and when I've finished I should surely have a clearer conception of the "Ca- nadian problem" than I have had hitherto. The book is an invaluable reference work well. .UNI-: ttooks in brief in Motion" by Ta- liinni Shinagawa U a p a n Press, [tali's, SIO, distri- buted hy Longmans Cnnada IN MOTION would make an excellent Christ- mas gift for the do-it-yourself basement or spare-room artist. The Ixxtk covers a iv.ultitu'le of ideas on how to create mo- bile.s from paper, plastic, me- wires and even old unwant- ed silver ware, Instructions for TO designs witli plans and color pictures make this book a must, for the do-it-yourself home dec- orator with a flair for the uni- (juo and an eye on (lie budget. LA1U1Y BENMSTT of scftiinciit invlci ihf JJDJIC- I'ial i.s o.-iimaU'd in he in Hi" order nf IJ'i.O'iU fed. up largely of .sand, sill and clay v.ilh smut; gravel, The scdi- nu-nts arc snlnralcd in v.'illiin fi hundred foH nf land and this is coiifilfd with In result in tin: five hillinn aciy-fcct of fjeotlifr- mal potential. Itf.'f.'lKU'pJni', o! the ground tor reservoir over Ihe crn- turic.s has been fiom flood flows (if the Colorado itivi.T r'uid from ,-ind flood runoff from llu: ranges that, border the alley. Seepage from the unlinrd All- American. Coach'illa. and EJISI Hiphlinc Canals built in recent years also lias br-en a source of rcchfirgf; liy ficej) jK.-i'fo'a- lion. fhrv, .-..L-..rd' cd the di.s.-'ha.'Te and tial ualer Ims iiilu i-.ior- age. Studies llit-.i pood final- ity v.'atcr can h-: ex cirri from v.ater b> modern I'-cii'i-.-juc.-, for do River. In order lo ucnoiatn clcetric ec-onomieally, the in the umlerfrmmd must be from 400 to liOu degrees FahrcjiJicit. in the. most plant and a ter sep- arator be connected to so11- eral v.x-lls some distance ay. Development of geothermal resources could include the re- covery of chemicals and min- erals, as well as possible prec- ious metals from concentrated liquids. Srtnie prLvaU1 rnmvrn-- ;j t tempted reco', of minerals in the Sa'inn area using open ponds and solar evaporation. Other possible developments are hot va'cr irrigation during periods of frost, hothouse agri- culture, and central ho.'itinc on Disposal of rc.-idual mal fluids is an important part of the deveJopment. Proposed for Ihc Imperial Valley would be utilization of the geotherma] fluids as a wa- ter supply for irrigation and municipal and pur- poses. By desalting, a supply of good quality water would be produced. leaving a small quantity of brine for disposal. The most feasible method of disposing of the brine, among several possible methods would be deep injection into peripheral zones of the produc- ing reservoir. This way would prevent pol- lution problems. The injection process would be an economi- cal met bod of brine disposal. The effluent flowing by gravity into the geothermal reservoir where Us presence would alle- viate some of the reservoir pressure reduction caused by fluid withdrawal. The only cost would be for the injection wells and pipelines, pumping for surface transportation, and any conditioning required io prepare the brine for injection. Air pollution could be a prob- lem in a geothermal develop- ment if gases such as hydro- gen sulphide arc present in ;.hc stcmi and released into iiic atmosphere. However, noxious gas emissions can be trapped and chemically removed. Imperial Valley has a natural ground subsidence rate of about, one foot per century. Steps are planned to avoid any increase, if possible, in Ihe rate of sub- sidence occurring when large- scale geo thermal fluid with- drawal gets underway. Experience in other areas throughout the world indicates that ground subsidence can be controlled by water injection pressure maintenance pro- grams. Also ground subsidence monitoring systems would pro- vide an early warning detec- tion system. I'rine water from de.saliing plants and other waste waler, such as execs.1-' water from Sal- ton Sen. could be injected in'o the reservoir for pressure maintenance. t'l.iiizing Salton Sea water for {his maintenance will st.-hiliv.e thnt body's surface elr-v.'iiion, ils saiiiiiiy, iis nutrient balance. A! Ihe same lime such use of the S-a's would eliminate the reed to snlve those existing problems and re'iuire mure costly solution. The ocean is an unlimited .source for replenishment of the geotherma! withdrawals that. can be exces- sive costs. The vail e finer also is widening at a rate of nboul three inches e.ich hy mis- tal spreading, llouever. il is not likely that Mich spreading would e any effect on ivo- t hernia I developments heeaiiMt tin1 be minor. Tin- S.'illon i.s one nf llv- eiMnically acin e loll then v.lvit Ihc.v din do Iheir rubber Mr. win I I.....- Sweden again on isolated. PKF.S: Yes. Wilh Ihe Swedes you can never loll whether are making an ob. scene gesture or plueping their him indiuitrv. Wial (In you Iliirk1.' AIDE: I'd say it was a judgment call, sir. PRES: Right. Tell the Army lo order fewer sardines. That lakes care of the un- disguised glee. Now let's lake a look at the disguised glee. AIDE: The leader nf (ha Phillipines dele- gation is in tears but somebody had to kick him in the shin first. Here is the elcse-up you wanted of the British delega- tion, sir. riilCS: They voted au'amsl our policy, hut you'd never know I'ney'd won, to look at them. AIDE: The English lake their pleasures I'liF.S: Preily damn Siieaky. if you a.vk me. Wh.-it about the Canadian delegates0 They voted against us too. didn't they1' Who's the guy with the limp, sad face'.' AIDE: That' is Mitchell Sharp, sir. Ho always has a Ions, sad face. He PliF.S: Ihe action: See: Wouldn't you say HP shadow of a smile flickered aeioss his AIDE: Il's NT. bill. Utu're right he smirked. PliES: Personal aniino.-ny, after all done for Crnada. llou much foreign aid do we give them'.1 AIKE: None, sir. I'UF.S: Docs that we can't cut it in I'm alr.iid M.' Canada iMl'l en on Ihe Boh Hope lour. 1 .ran lake Mis. ofi Chn.-inias card ii.-i No II It! o NYver lei i; be sa.d th.i! the I'niieil Slates ot America a Mire IO.-IT. Roll it again, Spiro. i ,m< t-i I'rm ill' I'eninrrl ;