Klamath Falls Airport

At Tuesday’s work session, City Manager Nathan Cherpeski updated the council about potential geothermal resources that could benefit the airport.

The Air National Guard is looking at how the base can tap into potential geothermal resources identified in a preliminary test at the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport in Klamath Falls.

City Manager Nathan Cherpeski updated members of Klamath Falls City Council and city staff during a Tuesday night work session about the development, identified through an ANG-authorized test, and how it could benefit the airport.

Cherpeski said as city staff ponders the future of the base, with Base Relocation And Closure (BRAC) on the horizon, geothermal resources at the airport could set the area apart.

“It would also save them significant money,” Cherpeski added, of the base.

“What they had talked about is drilling on one side, and taking it across the base and then re-injecting, and then creating electricity with some of it and then using the heat exchangers to do heating.”

Cherpeski said geothermal resources at the airport could also help the city market its industrial business park.

Air National Guard Col. Chris Casson said it’s still “undetermined” how much geothermal potential the airport has, but added the base plans to have more tests conducted.

“There needs to be further testing but it looks promising based on the initial test,” Casson said.

“The hot water would be piped to heat the base. The hotter the water, the more you can do with it. It’d be a great thing for the base, and for the airport, too.”

A research effort is underway to see if an outside agency can help fund the drilling of a test well at the site, according to Lt. Col. Tim Bruner. Bruner said geothermal resources could give the base the capacity to create a portion of its own power, which he said could help the long-term future of the base.

Bruner said a timeline for the project depends on how quickly the base can find funding to have a test drill conducted, which could cost at least an estimated $1 million.