ACEP At Work – Pilgrim Hot Springs Geothermal Assessment Project Weekly Update

ACEP At Work – Pilgrim Hot Springs Geothermal Assessment Project Weekly Update

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 a economic source of power for Nome and the surrounding region.

Project Progress: The recent flurry of activity related to ACEP’s drilling activity is drawing to a close and Pilgrim Hot Springs is returning to its normal quiet state.  All equipment has been removed from the drill pad and most of it has been transported back to Nome. What's left on the old airstrip will come back to Nome later today.  The camp, which served as the home of drillers and researchers is a shell of its former self, reduced to folded tents, and kitchen equipment ready to be loaded on flat bed trailers and brought back to Nome.

This will be the last regular update.  Stay tuned next week for a wrap up summary email.  Until then, thanks for following along with this drilling season.  This project has been the recipient of endless support from a broad variety of people and organizations; within and outside of Alaska.  Without all this support and enthusiasm, drilling this year would not have happened.  A huge thanks to all that have been involved.

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


Photo Caption:  Buildings at Pilgrim Hot Springs.

Photo courtesy C. Pike ACEP/UAF