Ormat Nevada, Inc. (Ormat) is proposing up to nine exploratory temperature gradient (TG) well locations to assess the geothermal resource of the Baltazor Hot Springs area. Only three wells would be drilled. Each TG well would be drilled to a maximum depth of 1,000 feet below ground surface. Surface disturbance associated with each of the three drill sites would be approximately 150 feet by 150 feet, or 0.52-acre per drill site (1.56 acres total).
State Highway 140 bisects the project area. Existing roads and up to 5,880 feet of cross-country travel would be used to access the three proposed drill sites. The width of the cross-country travel routes would be approximately 12 feet. Total surface disturbance associated with the cross-country-travel would be up to approximately 1.62 acres. The total surface disturbance associated with the project, including the three drill sites and 5,880 feet of cross-country travel, would be up to approximately 3.18 acres. No new access roads would be constructed.
The proposed TG wells would be drilled using a track-mounted rotary drill rig. A track-mounted off-road crawler equipped with water and fuel tanks would also track out to each drill site to supply the drill rig. Water needed for drilling operations will be trucked to the site from a private source, and is expected to amount to approximately 2,000 gallons per TG well. All-terrain vehicles would be used to transport the drill crew from their vehicles to each drill site. The exploration program would utilize sumpless drilling techniques. All drilling mud and cuttings would be contained in a series of troughs, with no discharge to the ground surface or bodies of water. All waste materials generated during the project would be disposed off-site.
The proposed exploration operations would be conducted during the period from January 1, 2014 through January 1, 2015. Drilling would be conducted 24 hours per day, seven days per week by a crew of up to three workers. The drilling activities are expected to be completed in one week.
Each of the three well-heads would be secured with a locking valve. A sign would posted at each well location which identifies the well number, operator/lease holder, lease number, well location information, and emergency contact information.