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  • Tuesday, November 19, 2013
  • ACEP at Work: 2013 Pilgrim Hot Springs Geothermal Assessment Project Recap

Conventional geothermal resource exploration can be an expensive proposition in remote locations. At Pilgrim Hot Springs near Nome, the largest identified geothermal resource in the central Alaska Hot Springs Belt, ACEP and Geophysical Institute researchers tested an innovative remote sensing technique for assessing low temperature geothermal resources by quickly estimating the amount of heat available. This is an affordable, albeit preliminary, assessment of the economic viability of developing a project.

Preliminary results indicated the potential for developing between 2-4 mW of power which interested the community and private developers. Phase II of this project will use traditional, more detailed assessment methods such as drilling and water flow testing to determine if the resource is viable to develop as an economic source of power for Nome and the surrounding region.

Project Progress: Work is currently underway formalizing an updated conceptual model as data is analyzed and our understanding of the area improves. This will be available later this winter. For a recap of the drilling operations for Fall 2013 see attached. To learn more about the Pilgrim Hot Springs Project go to

Project Funding: Department of Energy, Alaska Energy Authority Renewable Energy Fund, Bering Straits Native Corporation, White Mountain Native Corporation, Nome Chamber of Commerce
Project Partners:Unaatuq llc, Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation, United States Geological Survey

A special thanks to the following organizations, without their support drilling would not have been possible this season: Department of Energy, City of Nome, NJUS, Bering Straits Native Corporation, Sitnasuak Native Corporation, White Mountain Native Corporation, Nome Chamber of Commerce, UAF NW Arctic Campus, and Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation.

The Pilgrim Geothermal Project was highlighted in the Alaska Dispatch, see the full article at:


Photo caption:  Buildings at Pilgrim Hot Springs.

Photo courtesy of C. Pike, ACEP/UAF.