Aspen drilling new geothermal well after setbacks

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ASPEN, Colo. (AP) -- Aspen city leaders say contractors will begin drilling a new geothermal test well Monday after the previous attempt failed.

Jeff Rice, the city's utility efficiency manager, tells The Aspen Daily News ( that alluvial soil was crumbling and filling the previous well, so crews plan to start a new hole 20 feet away. He adds that the move will not affect the city's $273,260 budget for the project.

The drilling project near Herron Park is part of a city initiative launched in 2008 that aims at tapping geothermal energy to heat or cool buildings. Mining accounts indicate there is geothermal potential below the city.

Rice says crews will install casing as they drill the new well to prevent it from caving in on itself.

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