Larry LaRocco, Idaho's hardest working 2008 Senate candidate, is in hot water—or more precisely, he's going to be working with hot water. LaRocco has taken another job, the ninth of his "Working for Senate" campaign. This one, scheduled for Friday, will be at the Raft River Geothermal project located south of Malta in Cassia County.
From a LaRocco for Senate press release:
MALTA – Demonstrating his support for energy independence and economic development, U.S. Senate candidate Larry LaRocco will spend Friday, August 24, working at the U.S. Geothermal Raft River Phase One plant in southern Idaho.
“America is dangerously dependent on foreign oil, and we are also a major producer of greenhouse gasses,” said LaRocco, a Democrat who is spending a day on an array of jobs around the state to learn more about working Idahoans’ lives and concerns. “Alternative energy developments like the new U.S. Geothermal plant will help our state and nation become more energy independent, safeguard the environment, and create good jobs, too.”
The $40 million Raft River Phase One plant is one of three that U.S. Geothermal plans for the site 15 miles south of Malta. Company officials project that the new plant will produce an average of 13 megawatts for use by Idaho Power when it comes online later this year. The plant will pump superheated underground water of 280 to 290 degrees Fahrenheit into heat exchangers that boil pentane to power turbines that generate power. In addition to its many contractor employees, U.S. Geothermal currently employs 8 people at the site and expects to have 12 people working there by 2008.
This area in the Raft River Valley was home to a government geothermal demonstration project during the energy crunch of the 1970s. The project generated power for a short time and then was abandoned in the early '80s.
Renewed interest in alternative energy sources prompted a second look at the site which is predicted to contain the capability of producing 15.6 megawatts per square mile and was rated first in the "Final High Temperature Ranking: Pacific Northwest" of geothermal sites in the four state Pacific Northwest region.