Is EGS Commercially Feasible?

Basic Information
Author: Robertson-Tait, Ann, Butler, S.J., Morrow, J.W., and Sanyal, S.K.
Description:This paper presents an evaluation of the cost of electric power from Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), that is, reservoirs with sub-commercial permeability enhanced by hydraulic stimulation. The parameters in this exercise reflect the conditions encountered at the Desert Peak EGS project in Nevada, but the results should be applicable, at least qualitatively, to any EGS project. The approach taken is to: 1) use numerical simulation to evaluate energy recovery versus time over an assumed 30-year project life for various system configurations (number and spacing of wells, assumptions about stimulation effectiveness, etc; 2) estimate the levelized power cost for each configuration, based on capital cost, O and M cost, the cost of money and inflation rate (using Monte Carlo sampling to address uncertainties); 3) determine the sensitivity of levelized cost to the cost components, interest and inflation rates, and resource characteristics (maximum practical pumping rate, reservoir characteristics, and the depth to the reservoir at the site); and 4) estimate future EGS costs and considering the possible technology improvements that could be made by that time.
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Author Contact Information
Distributor Contact Information
Organization Name: Arizona Geological Survey
Street: 416 W. Congress St., Suite 100
City: Tucson
State: AZ
Zip: 85701
Phone: 520-770-3500
Geographic Extent
North Bounding Latitude: 39.6589090786
South Bounding Latitude: 39.0472606472
East Bounding Longitude: -118.47646875
West Bounding Longitude: -119.7069375