In October, at the Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon, a team of scientists and engineers began pumping 11 million gallons of water underground, right near the caldera of the famed Newberry Volcano. The Northwest weather was a cool 50 degrees most days, about the same temperature as the water the engineers drove, up to 375 gallons a minute, 10,000 feet into the ground. There, deep in the earth’s crust, the temperature reaches more than 600 degrees. That’s what the engineers were pumping for: If everything goes according to plan, a company called AltaRock Energy will suck the super-heated water from underground and use it to spin turbines and juice the area with renewable power.
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