An initial feasibility study indicated that the area surrounding Herron Park and Prockter Open Space is likely to have significant geothermal potential. The City did not want to physically disturb Herron Park, so it selected the gravel parking lot adjacent to Prockter Open Space for the project site.
Geothermal energy is naturally occurring energy in the form of heat that is trapped below the Earth’s surface. The heat energy is produced by the Earth’s core and sometimes travels very close to the Earth’s surface by way of fissures and cracks in bedrock layers. The heat subsequently heats water that is also trapped under the Earth’s surface. Glenwood Springs’ and Conundrum’s hot springs are great examples of how water near the Earth’s surface can be naturally heated by extremely high core temperatures. Geothermal energy is virtually a free source of renewable energy. It’s non-polluting, produces no carbon emissions, and can be locally sourced.
This project is being funded by a grant from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office and a City renewable energy fund, which is funded by Aspen electric and water utility rates.
The well head is in a protective box in the dirt parking area across the street from Herron Park. The well head sits slightly below grade and is made of a three inch diameter steel casing pipe with a three foot brass valve attached to the end to allow access and monitoring.
The test well hole is approximately three inches in diameter and approximately 1,500 feet deep (which is the bottom of the Leadville Limestone Formation). The City needs to measure and understand the geothermal temperature gradient in the formation.
This well is for testing only. It is possible that in the future it could be used as a monitoring well, but this would take place completely underground. This test well will not be converted into a production well.
There are a couple reasons why this won't give us an accurate picture of Aspen's geothermal potential. First, the water in the mine shaft comes in contact with air and thus the temperature of the water will not give us a clear picture of what geothermal temperatures exist. Secondly, there is likely to be debris making it difficult to easily access the water in the mine shaft. Drilling a test well will give us much more accurate water temperature data to help determine if Aspen's geothermal resources might someday be used for heating or electricity.
Questions? Contact Dave Hornbacher at (970) 920-5110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.