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Pagosa Waters Timeline

2007 Pagosa Verde Business Plan Conceived and developed by Jerome Smith and Sally High, the Pagosa Verde business plan offers a holistic approach to Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture development, specifically as economic development drivers for rural Colorado. The plan addresses business development of solar, geothermal and engineering solutions, as well as, regional and local educational strategies for market development.
2008 Economic Development Theory / Archuleta County About Economic Development in Archuleta County written by Jerome Smith describes the economic and branding importance of geothermal development in Archuleta County as part of an overall analysis of the County’s economic development strategy.
2009 Pagosa Verde LLC Pagosa Verde LLC officially formed. Future Pagosa Waters Power Project proposed.
2010 Pagosa Verde Model Described to Mayor and Chairman The first of many meetings was held with Pagosa Springs Mayor Aragon and Archuleta County Commissioner’s Chairman Lucero regarding the “Pagosa Verde Model” for geothermal development. The Pagosa Verde Model involves community-scale direct-use projects, job creation, and potential distributed generation of electricity, when appropriate. The model’s key focus was to provide the local citizens with control of their community environmental resources and to flow earned revenue into the community from local renewable energy development.
2010 Investor and Landowner Research Starting in 2010 and continuing through 2011, Pagosa Verde contacted several geothermal development companies regarding geothermal development in Pagosa Springs. All provided the same reasons for reticence in pursuing Colorado geothermal development – difficult state permitting processes, lack of local community understanding and support, and high real estate prices. During this period, Pagosa Verde researched appropriate exploration sites and found the Levine’s Fairway property ideal, due to geographic surface expressions and previous testing. Additionally, the landowner was agreeable to a lease option and willing to invest in the project’s development.
2011 -2012 Surface Testing Performed Magmatic, Mantel and Radiogenic (MMR) sub-surface gas ratio analysis (MMR) Testing and desktop study (analysis of past exploration) by Dr. Eric Klingel. Paid for by Levine family and Pagosa Verde, the report was completed in January 2012.
2012 Governor’s Geothermal Working Group Meeting Jerry Smith presented the Pagosa Verde Model for development of geothermal power during a Governors Geothermal Working Group meeting. The afternoon session led by Pagosa Verde included three presentations by industry leaders (Huttrer, Dickey, Hanson) reviewing the science, history and potential of what has become the Pagosa Waters Project.
2012 Governor’s Geothermal Working Group / Geothermal Bond Program Proposed Pagosa Verde presented at Governor’s Geothermal Working Group meetings in Loveland, CO and the Denver Museum of National History. Used industry and stakeholder input to refine the Pagosa Verde Model. Stressed need for Geothermal Project Bond (Colorado 30-20-1203) statute revision to streamline geothermal development in Colorado and began working with Senators Schwartz and Roberts. The goal of revising the bond was to provide low cost financing for geothermal power plants in Colorado.
2012 Contact with LPEA / Tristate Met with La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) regarding geothermal power and Renewable Energy Standards issues and power purchase assurances.
2012 Kirsten Skeehan Joins Pagosa Verde Staff Kirsten Skeehan assumed management of financial and project coordination efforts. Ms. Skeehan has significant experience managing large budgets and federal monies, essential to Pagosa Verde’s accountability to the exploration and development project.
2012 Colorado School of Mines Field Camp Geophysical Field Camp explores various sites in Archuleta County. Report issued September 2012.
2012 First Pagosa Verde Symposium Symposium designed to generate awareness and momentum for geothermal and other renewable energy development in Colorado. The 2012 Pagosa Verde Symposium theme addressed Growth Strategies for Colorado’s Rural and Resort Communities.
2013 Town / County Funds Feasibility Study The Town Council and Board of County Commissioners unanimously award $17,000 ($8,500 each) to fund a Feasibility Study. The goal of the Feasibility Study was to compile assessments of the potential geothermal resource in Archuleta County, correlate past scientific conclusions, and create a scope of work toward development of the resource. The results of the Feasibility Study became the Geothermal Energy Development Agreement.
2013 Region 9 Economic Development District Invests in Pagosa Verde Given Town, County, and State of Colorado support and decades of cumulative scientific data, Region 9 invests in Pagosa Verde’s continued geothermal research and exploration. Ed Morlan, Region 9 Director, serves on Pagosa Verde Board and advises on financial strategies.
2013 Dr. Roy Mink & Dan Hand Join Pagosa Verde Dr. Roy Mink, former Department of Energy (DOE) Director of Geothermal Technology and University of Idaho Professor Emeritus, and Dan Hand, Geothermal Engineer for various development projects in Oregon and California, join Pagosa Verde. Collaborative analysis and design for potential Archuleta projects begin.
2013 State of Colorado Water Resource Review Committee Jerry Smith was invited to speak at the State of Colorado Water Resource Review Committee consisting of legislators and agencies from across Colorado. Jerry presented updates on proposed geothermal projects in Colorado including those in Pagosa Springs and the Gunnison River Valley.
2013 Second Pagosa Verde Symposium The Pagosa Verde Symposium generates increased awareness and momentum to geothermal development in Colorado. The 2013 Pagosa Verde Symposium topic addresses Clean Energy Innovations, Success Stories and Resources; An Economic Development Opportunity for Colorado Communities.
2013 Colorado School of Mines field camp Geophysical Field Camp explores various sites in Archuleta County. Student-generated report issued.
2013 International Geothermal Financial Summit – NYC Jerome Smith met with key industry leaders and with the US Department of Energy Director of Geothermal Technologies and initiated discussions leading to the Department of Energy (DOE) award to Pagosa Verde six months later. This meeting initiated a six-month long vetting of the Pagosa Verde Model, its staff and the science by the DOE technical team resulting in the award of the novation in January of 2014.
2013 Public Presentation Prior to Funding Vote Pagosa Verde employees, Dr. Mink, Dan Hand, Kirsten Skeehan, Sally High and Jerome Smith presented during a two-hour community meeting in Pagosa Springs. The meeting was advertised in the Pagosa Sun and scheduled prior to vote on Town and County investment in a Geothermal Development Fund. No objections to the planning were voiced during or after the meeting.
2014 Geothermal Development Project awarded $525,000 A unanimous vote by Town Council and County Commission approved a total of $525,000 investment to a Geothermal Development Fund. This commitment served to assure Colorado and Federal development agencies of local support for pursuing the Colorado geothermal potential. The Geothermal Energy Development Agreement later defined the project structure to include Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority (PAGWPA) and Pagosa Waters LLC, key entities to be formed in partnership with Pagosa Verde, LLC. The Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority (PAGWPA) serves as a quasi-governmental institution through which the Town and County co-participate in ownership and management of a public / private economic development project. Government entities cannot conduct business, but PAGWPA is able to pass grant funds through to the Pagosa Waters project, the private business entity accountable to PAGWPA. PAGWPA and Pagosa Verde LLC are owners of projects that result from geothermal exploration, according to the Geothermal Energy Development Agreement.
2014 U.S. DOE Awards Novation of $3,889,705 Via a Novation with DOE, Pagosa Verde was awarded $3,889,705 for exploration of the geothermal resources in Colorado. The primary focus of the exploration was the Archuleta County lease area Pagosa Verde had targeted in concert with Archuleta County and Town of Pagosa Springs.
2014 Governor Hickenlooper Signs HB14-1222 Pagosa Verde began work on revising the Geothermal Project Bond (Colorado 30-20-1203) statute in 2012. In 2013, Representative Michael McLachlan and the Colorado Energy Office’s Michael McReynolds drafted new language. The Bill (HB14-1222) was championed by Democratic Senator Gail Schwartz and Republican Senator Ellen Roberts and provides low cost financing for geothermal power plants in Colorado. This program provides Colorado geothermal developers with the most competitive project financial structure in the United States. In May 2014, Governor Hickenlooper came to Pagosa Springs to sign the statute into law. For projects no more than 50 MW in capacity, the Rural Clean Energy Project Finance Program Act enables a county or a city and county to issue tax-free bonds to an eligible applicant to finance all costs necessary to deliver geothermal energy from the point of generation to the point of delivery to market (e.g., the point of entry to the power grid): C.R.S. 30-20-1201.
2014 Environmental Assessment for the Pagosa Skyrocket The Pagosa Skyrocket, an endangered species native to the area to be explored, required extensive assessment and planning in order to comply with federal regulations specified by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The NEPA research process began in March and ended in October. The NEPA report can be found here.
2014 International Geothermal Financial Summit in New York / US State Department Geothermal Working Group Pagosa Verde was invited to present the Pagosa Verde Model at the International Geothermal Financial Summit and the US State Department Geothermal Working Group in Washington D.C. The Pagosa Verde Model presentation addresses evolving the geothermal exploration model from very large-scale electricity generation into exploration for heat as well as electricity. This mitigates early stage risk, enables an expanded investor class and transforms geothermal development into a broad based major impact economic driver.
2014 1041 Legislation Archuleta County adopted Geothermal Development Regulations into the County Land Use Code under Colorado’s 1041 regulation guidelines. This insures local control of commercial and environmental impacts of geothermal development and stimulates geothermal. After a year and a half of public meetings and modifications geothermal regulations for the Archuleta County now serve as a model for other Colorado counties and emphasize the leadership of Archuleta County in renewable energy development.
2014 PAGWPA Formed The Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority (PAGWPA) was established under state statute as a quasi-governmental institution whereby the Town and County could co-participate in ownership and management of a public / private energy project. PAGWPA was then able to pass grant funds through to the Pagosa Waters project and to also become an owner in the project with Pagosa Verde, LLC. Directors are three town council members and all three county commissioners with one at-large member approved by all parties.
2014 CO Department of Local Affairs (DoLA) Awards Grant of $1,986,000 The State of Colorado awarded $1,986,000 as match for the DOE award via a DoLA grant Pagosa Verde developed. Source was the Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Fund. The grant passes through the Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority (PAGWPA) into the Pagosa Waters Project.
2014 Pagosa Waters, LLC Pagosa Waters LLC was formed as the geothermal development entity. Ownership consisted of PAGWPA (Town and County) and Pagosa Verde. This pioneering public / private structure was unanimously approved by the PAGWPA Board of Directors.
2014 Third Pagosa Verde Symposium The Pagosa Verde Symposium creates momentum for renewable energy development in Colorado. The 2014 Pagosa Verde Symposium topic addresses Harvesting Renewable Energy to Benefit Sustainable Community DevelopmentCommunity leaders and property owners from across Colorado and neighboring states joined representatives from universities, state and federal agencies, and private businesses to discuss relevant topics.
2014 Thermal Gradient Well Phase 1 Drilling of thermal gradient wells started late 2014 continued until March of 2015.
2015 Thermal Gradient Well Phase 2 Thermal gradient data suggests broadened exploration area to west northwest.