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Deschutes County site in running for national geothermal lab

BEND — The U.S. Department of Energy is considering a site in Oregon's Deschutes County for a national geothermal research lab.

The Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/1U6NDMc) that Seattle-based geothermal firm AltaRock Energy Inc. leases land near the Newberry Volcano. Spokesman David Stowe says the AltaRock feels pretty confident that its site could land the proposed Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy.

The DOE lab would serve as a research site for scientists and engineers to develop and test new technologies for energy-generating enhanced geothermal systems.

Supporters say of the Newberry site say the facility would bring temporary construction jobs, academic opportunities and an economic boost for local communities.

Stowe says competition for the lab is stiff, with locations in Idaho, Nevada, California and Utah still in the running.

Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com.