AltaRock's SuperHot study shows geothermal LCOE can be halved

Newberry Volcano. Image by Nick Perla.

September 24 (Renewables Now) - AltaRock Energy on Thursday presented results of a technical and economic feasibility study of a SuperHot Rock (SHR) geothermal resource, saying it would be possible to more than halve the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) from geothermal energy.

The geothermal technology and development company partnered with Baker Hughes and the University of Oklahoma to study an engineered geothermal system (EGS) resource in high-temperature (of more than 400 degrees Celsius) impermeable rock at the Newberry Volcano near Bend in the state of Oregon. According to AltaRock, SuperHot Rock development would enable energy densities per well five to 10 times higher than these of conventional EGS and hydrothermal developments in the 200-250 degrees Celsius range.

The analysis near Bend showed SuperHot Rock resources could achieve an LCOE of less than USD 0.05 per kWh, down from an LCOE of more than USD 0.10/kWh targeted for conventional EGS resources at 200-230 degrees Celsius. SuperHot Rock also has lower water and surface requirements.

“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,” said AltaRock’s VP of R&D, Geoff Garrison.

The company anticipates formal demonstration of the first SuperHot Rock EGS well system by 2025 at Newberry Volcano, followed by commercial development by 2030.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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