The Arizona Geothermal Working Group met in Tucson yesterday and agreed on preparing a strategic plan as a critical step in developing the state's geothermal resources.
Paul Morgan, professor emeritus at NAU, laid out a compelling case for determining the state's potential and what needs to be done to take advantage of it. Paul runs the Group's web site, but when funding for it runs out in a year, AZGS has agreed to serve as a long-term online repository to make sure no information is lost. AZGS is building a geothermal page for our Web page now.
Arizona has few ground source heat pumps, no electrical generation from geothermal, but a few commercial direct-use applications, mostly for greenhouses.
Arizona has a reputation for dry soils that are not well suited for heat pumps but consultant Jim Witcher [right] noted that similar types of settings in New Mexico and West Texas have successful heat pumps in operation.
Amanda Ormand, who organized the meeting, is contributing to a study to delineate renewable energy resource zones that will affect placement of new transmission lines.