‘Geothermal energy: The real thing or a passing fad?’

-A A +A

Dr. Shari Kelley will be the guest speaker at LAGS’ next meeting

By Special to the Monitor

The next meeting of the Los Alamos Geological Society will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Christian Church, 92 East Road.
The featured speaker will be Dr. Shari Kelley of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. Her talk is entitled, “Geothermal Energy — The Real Thing or a Passing Fad?”
New Mexico has much potential for low- to moderate-temperature geothermal resource development that will provide direct heating for buildings, greenhouses and aquaculture.
New Mexico and the southwestern United States were evaluated for geothermal potential during the 1970s to 1980s and most of the significant, easy-to-find resources were developed during that timeframe. Over the course of the last two years, the geothermal industry has been revived nationwide.
Is the revival simply driven by an infusion of stimulus dollars into green technologies by the Obama administration or have there been important advances in technology during the last 20 to 30 years? The answer is “yes” to both questions.
The technological advances in the geothermal industry in recent years and the current direction of geothermal evaluation across our country will be presented.
Two New Mexico-based projects, the assessment of the geothermal resource on the Pueblo of Jemez and the construction of a geothermal database for New Mexico that will be incorporated into the National Geothermal Database System, will keep New Mexico on the leading edge of this green technology.
A version of this talk was given for the Frontiers in Science colloquium series in the spring of 2010.
Kelley works for the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and is adjunct faculty in the Earth and Environmental Science Department at New Mexico Tech.
Kelley is a field geologist who has investigated a variety of volcanic centers around New Mexico, including the Jemez Mountains, Mt. Taylor and Sierra Blanca volcanic fields.
Recently, Kelley was hired as the Senior Geophysicist at the Bureau and is working to evaluate, with a team of many people, the geothermal possibilities in the state.
LAGS has decided on a somewhat different and very local field trip for Sept. 25.
The LAGS shed is in need of re-leveling and cleaning out, so the group will meet at the Masonic Temple at 15th and Canyon at 9 a.m. to work on the shed.
The project should be completed by noon with enough help.
Contact Paul Bradley, Ppbradpp@aol.com or Rick Kelley, rekelley@ix.netcom.com no later than Sept. 22 to volunteer.