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Nome Chamber of Commerce Supports University of Alaska Fairbanks, Center for Energy & Power’s Geothermal Research

Nome, Alaska – The Nome Chamber of Commerce expressed support for geothermal research, committing $5000 to support work that has the potential to generate economic benefits for the region.  UAF’s Alaska Center for Energy and Power has spearheaded a resource assessment at Pilgrim Hot Springs in conjunction with the land owner Unataaq (a partnership between seven local native corporations and non-profit organizations), the City of Nome, and UAF’s Geophysical Institute. 

Preliminary results show that the geothermal resource at Pilgrim Hot Springs has the potential to generate two to four megawatts of electricity.  If coupled with an existing 2.8MW of installed wind power in Nome, it would mean the community could be served by 100% renewable generation at some times of the year.  This finding and its future potential for the community has interested a private energy developer, Pilgrim Geothermal LLC, who would like to develop the resource and transmit power to Nome should it be shown capable of generating at least 2MW of power. 

The Nome Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to show its support for the research and its potential economic benefit through a $5000 donation, one of the largest in its history.  The Chamber has actively been involved in numerous energy summits to promote alternative energy for the community and businesses.

‘Our Board and community members have been watching ACEP’s work with interest, since the stable pricing and diversity of developing a geothermal power could have significant economic benefit to our region,’ reported Barb Nickels, Nome Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.  ‘We are thrilled to support this research and we hope our donation will inspire other community and industry organizations to contribute as well.’

The Alaska Center for Energy and Power and its partners were encouraged by the contribution.  ‘Community support has been an important element of this project from the onset,’ said ACEP director and project lead, Gwen Holdmann.  ‘It is a priority to work with landowners and residents in the area to secure reliable and affordable energy.  We are honored by this contribution to our research effort.’

The Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal project, initially funded by the Alaska Energy Authority and the US Department of Energy, is in the process of receiving additional federal funding from DOE for the confirmation drilling program. At this time road construction, camp logistics, and the weather are all proceeding and cooperating to allow for the start of drilling for PS-13-1 this weekend.

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