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Alaska has a high potential for geothermal energy, however, it has remained largely undeveloped. Because of Alaska's volcanic activity and relatively young geography, there are many locations with accessible geothermal energy. Exploration for geothermal energy can be done in a variety of different ways (including both geophysical or seismic and shallow hole testing). The [[Alaska Division of Oil and Gas]] regulates the drilling and exploratory activities within the state and a developer must be familiar with their regulations before undertaking any such activities.
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==4-AK-a.1 to 4-AK-a.2 - Is Exploration Under a Geothermal Lease or Prospecting Permit==
A plan of exploration must be submitted for any exploratory activities under a noncompetitive or competitive leased property in Alaska. If the developer wishes to explore before initiating the leasing process on state lands, they should pursue either a geothermal exploration permit or a geophysical exploration permit.
Before initiating any form of exploration or prospecting activities that would otherwise require a land use permit under 11 AAC 96, the developer must receive an approved plan of exploration from the Commissioner of the [[Alaska Department of Natural Resources]] (ADNR) or his designee. The developer should consult with the ADNR’s [[Alaska Division of Oil and Gas | Division of Oil and Gas]] (DO&G) before commencing any exploratory actions.
Requirements of the plan of exploration can be found in 11 AAC 84.755 but a plan of exploration should generally include a description of proposed exploratory activities, any drilling or other methods to be used, and the estimated date of drilling. The plan of exploration will be either approved or disapproved within 65 day s after a complete plan of application is received by ADNR (11 AAC 84.755(e)). If the plan is disapproved, the developer will be given reasons for disapproval and in some instances proposed modifications from ADNR which would qualify the plan for approval. The plan should be updated every 2 years after issuance to describe the activities that have been carried out and to demonstrate that the developer has complied with the plan.
==4-AK-a.3 to 4-AK-a.4 - Is Geophysical Exploration Used==
A Geophysical Exploration Permit is necessary for conducting seismic surveys on state lands and waters. These studies help to identify geological structures with potential accumulations of oil or gas. These permits are a type of land use permit and are sometimes called Seismic Permits. This permit is only needed when the developer wishes to explore on lands that have not yet been leased by the state for geothermal operations.
DO&G provides more information on Geothermal Exploration Permit Applications at their [http://dog.dnr.alaska.gov/Permitting/PermittingForms.htm Permit Application Webpage].
==4-AK-a.5 to 4-AK-a.6 - Are Shallow Holes Used for Exploration==
Geothermal exploration by shallow hole is regulated through [[Title 11 Alaska Administrative Code 87 Geothermal Drilling and Conservation | 11 AAC 87.030]]. These heat flow or temperature gradient exploratory drilling operations may not exceed 1500 feet in depth.
==4-AK-a.7 - No Permit Needed; Continue with Project==
If there is no exploratory activities being conducted, or the developer is conducting non-invasive exploratory activities which do not require a land use permit under 11 AAC 96 the project may proceed without obtaining a permit. The developer should always check with [[Alaska Division of Oil and Gas | DO&G]] or the [[Alaska Department of Natural Resources]] to make sure that there are no permits required for the proposed activity.
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DO&G [http://dog.dnr.alaska.gov/Permitting/PermittingForms.htm Permit Application Webpage]
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[http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folio.asp Alaska Statutes];
[[Title 11 Alaska Administrative Code 87 Geothermal Drilling and Conservation]]
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Surface ManagerSurface OwnerMineral ManagerMineral OwnerActivityEncroachmentEnvironmentalLocationLand Use PlanGeothermal LeaseHazardous WasteImpactsFacilityFundingManagedPlannedPower PlantTransmissionTransportation
DrillingExplorationGeophysicsLeasingPower Plant DevelopmentWell Abandonment
can be described as
CogenerationSmall Power ProductionIndependent Power ProductionWholesale CustomerFERC ExemptedFERC LicensedUnderground StorageAbove-Ground StorageTemporary Water RequirementPermanent Water RequirementDrinking Water Providing
ActiveNoApplicant Is Lessee
Capacity Exceeds 20 MWCapacity Under 20 MWCapacity Is 50 MWCapacity Exceeds 50 MWCapacity Under 100 MWPUC Certification
Historic PropertiesNative American Historic PropertyNative Hawaiian Historic PropertyNational Register Historic PropertyHistoric Property (Alteration)AirportMigratory BirdsBald Or Golden EagleMarine Mammals Or HabitatFederal Endangered SpeciesFarmland Or LivestockMilitary LandWaters Of The USNavigable WatersWild Or Scenic RiverWetlands By Dregging Or FillingGroundwater By DischargeStorm WaterWater Discharge To WellWater Discharge To LandWater Point Source DischargeWaste Water Associated With Only GeothermalReceived State 401 WQ CertHas Not Received 401 WQ CertAir QualityAir Quality From ConstructionAir Quality From OperationSolid Waste
Line Capacity Under 200 kVLine Capacity Exceeds 50 kVWithin NIETCCAISO GridExempt Per GO 131 D III B 1Not Exempt From CEQAPUC CertificationProject Under GO 131 D II B 2
Assessment CompletedImpact SignificantImpact Likely SignificantAnalysis Impacts AdverseAnalysis Impacts Not AdverseNo Best Interests FindingNo Categorical ExclusionNo Determination Of NEPA AdequacyPrior State AnalysisNo Prior State AnalysisProcess Not Complete For DrillingExtraordinary Circumstances
Interconnection AgreementPre-Application Process
State Highway ROW
Exceeds Max Length Or Load
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