Archive for January, 2015


New Berry EGS project

It is happening now!! that too without much hype in Oregon out of the national park boundary of New Berry volcano. Alta Rock Energy is at now. This will be the third EGS in the world and with this it is now certain that EGS is the future source of electricity to the mankind. The project proposal was approved in 2011 and drilling started sometime in 2012 and well simulation was completed in the same year. By the year end the site will generate electricity…… much one needs. Newberry Volcano is a Quaternary volcano with a central caldera of about 8 km diameter. Both basaltic lavas and rhyolitic lavas are characteristic of this volcano. Though the volcano is not active now, the geothermal gradient is very high and temperatures of 300 C have been recorded in bore wells drilled to 1.5 km depth. There is no absolutely no surface indication of geothermal system in this region…the distance between the topographic surface and saturated groundwater level is quite large. Exploration drill hole in 1999 recorded bottom hole temperature of 275 C. This site was revisited in 2006 and detailed geophysical exploration was carried out to locate two sites for drilling…… drill hole encountered dry fractured area and the other with fractures filled with hydrothermal minerals. The fractures were isolated and were conveniently located for connectivity. The subsurface geological formations, unlike the other EGS systems in France and Australia, here in NB is diverse with greenschist, dikes and silcic volcanics members differentiated from the parent basaltic magma and diorite plutons. Geologically conducive sites for EGS projects occur over a large number of regions in the world. Each country has tons of such rock masses generating sufficient heat to facilitate extraction of such heat for power generation. Even oil rich countries have large volumes of such high heat generating granites that are being targeted. Growing demand for clean power, drinking water compelling countries to look forward to harness earth’s ever ending heat flow. Fossil fuels use for electricity and water and associated CO2 emission are creating large change in micro climatic systems resulting in slash floods and cloud bursts, changing the micro climate systems in deserts……that is being experienced by the present mankind. Such drastic changes in weather systems is attributed to change in air temperature. Geothermal advantage is conservation of land space and base load electric power for decades…..that can not be expected from other renewable energy sources. It is not economical cleaning the solar panel with fresh water and manually. It may create millions of jobs at what cost and efficiency? when 97 to 380 mW/m2 of heat generating granites are available and about 160 x 1012 kWh electricity can be generated from small volume of granites why incurring more cost at storage systems and microelectronics. That energy, efforts and cost can be utilized for other frontier technologies. It is not an easy task to reduce even half of 450 thousand g of CO2 that is being emitted just by generating 240 terawatt hours of electricity by any renewable energy sources but geothermal can face this challenge and it is being proved as well. Today the cost of electric power generated by EGS may not be competitive, like always the case of new technologies, but EGS in future will become very cost competitive beat all other systems. One should not count only the electricity cost alone. CO2 saving will added a large chunk to subsidise the cost. It is not biased opinion on one renewables. These are facts one should sit and think calculate. When land is required for infrastructure projects like housing and roads, large chunk of land cannot be reserved for renewables when other options are available. Countries are looking at thousands of megawatts of power to meet the demand not just few kWh saving from here and there through energy savings/efficiency and green buildings. Today green buildings are not green…are painted green!! For geothermal there are no ancillary industries like those thrive on and related to other renewable energy sources. As it is said….and documented in a documentary some years ago….. the future is beneath our feet!!!