4 Aug 2011

Drilling for geothermal energy on Saipan in the offing

1:53 pm on 4 August 2011

The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is to investigate drilling for geothermal energy on Saipan.

Using a 1.26-million US dollar grant from the Department of the Interior, the government will soon issue a request for proposals to drill geothermal temperature gradient holes in Gualo Rai.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says they will be drilling 600 metres or deeper to verify the presence of heat at economically viable depths.

"Apparently when they had done exploratory drilling a couple of years back, they found two wells in the Gualo Rai area, that ehhibited elevated heat and they are trying to drill that and see if it's economical to tap geothermal energy in those areas. This is in the hope that from 46 cents per kilowatt hour, we will be able to save 36 cents and only pay 10 cents per kilowatt hour."

Mark Rabago.