- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A new geothermal plant located in southwestern New Mexico is providing electricity to PNM Resources, the state’s largest utility.

The Lightning Dock plant constructed in Hidalgo County by Cyrq Energy Inc. began production in late December and is generating about 4 megawatts of electricity, the Albuquerque Journal (https://bit.ly/1aoorxi ) reported.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department said the geothermal plant is the only one in New Mexico capable of utility-scale production.

The $43 million plant pumps naturally hot water from deep under the ground to the desert surface to heat a fluid that spins turbines to produce electricity. The slightly cooled water is then re-injected back into the aquifer.

Some residents worry that the project could detract from water quality or availability, but Cyrq says the water won’t be contaminated, spent or wasted.

“Zero pollution, zero emissions,” it said in a statement.

Unlike wind and solar, a geothermal plant can supply energy nonstop.

“Renewable energy has its issues, like fossil fuels, but geothermal overcomes a lot of the challenges,” Cyrq CEO Nick Goodman said.

The company is tapping what is known as a “hydrogeologic window,” in which 300-degree water flows upward through faults and fractures.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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