Cordilleran Section - 113th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 36-5
Presentation Time: 3:25 PM


BRANDT, Adam, University of Utah, Geology & Geophysics, Energy and Geoscience Institute, UT,

The success of many geothermal energy development projects could be substantially enhanced by identifying and engaging conventional and non-conventional data resources within a given study area to collect previously unpublished data. Ironically, in many areas across the United States, much of the data required to effectively model geothermal potential already exists, but has never been comprehensively collected, objectively examined and presented clearly enough for non-industry decision makers to understand resource potential and deploy financial resources appropriately. The play fairway analysis (PFA) approach to geothermal exploration in use by Ruby Mountain Inc. (RMI) and the Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) team at the Tularosa Basin in New Mexico allows developers and potential end-use beneficiaries to quickly understand resource potential and its implications. Early on in this project, the team realized that despite the extensive desktop reconnaissance and outreach efforts to key local agencies, there were unacceptable gaps in the spatial distribution and content of collected data. To address this issue, an extensive list of additional regional contacts for agencies, utilities and water districts throughout the Tularosa Basin was created. This was done so that the team could reach out to those agencies to infill data throughout the study area. Through this comprehensive and personalized outreach approach, we ultimately collected substantially more data than was originally anticipated, including a substantial amount of previously unpublished data. In this paper, we present examples of effective approaches and mechanisms of public engagement – with stakeholder identification and data collection on the front-end to modelling and dissemination of knowledge on the back end – within the context of the geothermal play fairway analysis project for the Department of Energy under contract #DE-EE0006730 in the Tularosa Basin, New Mexico.