AltaRock clears hurdle in quest for ‘next generation’ geothermal resource

AltaRock Energy, an enhanced geothermal systems firm, is showcasing results of a technical and economic feasibility study, which the company says paves the way for the development of the first SuperHot Rock geothermal resource in the U.S.

Details of the study — conducted through a collaboration between Baker Hughes and the University of Oklahoma — will be released at the World Geothermal Conference, among other events, next month. The analysis determined an engineered geothermal system in SuperHot Rockresources (>400 °C>) could cut in half the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) when compared to a conventional EGS resource target (200-300°C).

The study also determined that SuperHot Rock geothermal could produce 5-10 times higher energy density per well with 1/10 the water requirements and surface area.

“The next generation of geothermal power, SuperHot Rock geothermal, will require development of engineered reservoirs in deep basements where hotter ‘supercritical’ temperatures can yield up to 10 times more energy than a conventional geothermal well,” said Geoff Garrison, vice president of research and development at AltaRock. “Once proven in the field, SuperHot Rock geothermal resources will ultimately provide competitively priced, carbon-free power to far greater markets than can currently be reached by affordable geothermal power.”

AltaRock Energy anticipates formal demonstration of the first SHR EGS well system by 2025 at Newberry Volcano near Bend, Oregon, followed by commercial development by 2030.

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