AltaRock To Test Geothermal Fracturing

AltaRock Energy Inc. is one of the most promising companies involved in Enhanced Geothermal Systems. 

The company has secured investments from both the U.S. Department of Energy and the philantrhopic arm of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). 

The company is currently testing its technology about 70 miles north of San Francisco, drilling down to rocks in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The company then fractures the rocks with high pressure water and begins circulating additional water through the cracks to produce steam. The steam is then used to drive electricity-producing turbines. 

The technology has the potential to be used throughout the American West to generate clean power. However, local residents, who already deal with regular seismic tremors are concerned about the risks. 

The same geothermal technology triggered a 3.4-magnitude earthquake in Switzerland in 2006. Geologists say any tremors caused by AltaRock will be too small to notice. 

Read additional coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle at the link below.

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