CanGEA would like to congratulate Geodynamics Ltd., an Australian geothermal exploration and development company, as they have recently announced that their 1MWe Habanero Pilot Plant has been commissioned and begun power production. The plant, located in southern Australia, signifies Australia’s first Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) generated power. The plant is scheduled to run for ~100 days during which a trial and testing program will assess the plant, well and resource capabilities. Completion is scheduled to occur in August 2013. Following this, the data will be used to produce a feasibility study and a field development plan through which a customer will be secured and an initial small-scale project pursued.
Managing Director and CEO, Mr Geoff Ward, said “The generation of power at our 1MWe Pilot Plant is a major milestone for Geodynamics, geothermal power in Australia and EGS technology globally. The commencement of the demonstration trial is the culmination of many years of hard work and the application of rigorous engineering and field operations. I congratulate all the team involved in delivering this milestone. The Habanero EGS Project is a globally significant demonstration of EGS geothermal capability. I would like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s provision of the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program grant funding. This has been critical to allowing Geodynamics to achieve this milestone and demonstrate world leading capability in this area of geothermal technology. We look forward to successfully completing the planned testing program.”
The production of EGS power at the Habanero plant marks a victory for geothermal and is a major milestone for Geodynamics and Australia, as well as globally. EGS poses a big challenge because instead of relying on naturally occurring permeable pockets of steam and water, as traditional geothermal development does, EGS can be done in places where there may not be any, or there is not enough, permeability or water/steam. EGS replicates these conditions by fracturing the rock and creating the necessary permeability, and/or circulating injected water through the system. Once circulated through the system and heated up, the water is pumped to surface and used to produce electricity in a conventional turbine, after which it is re-injected back into the subsurface system where it once again heats up and begins the cycle once more, participating in a constant loop.
The most significant advantage for EGS over conventional geothermal is that it is not limited to specific locations, but rather can be done virtually anywhere; heat exists below the surface no matter where you are on Earth, it just depends on how far you have to drill to reach it.
For more information on EGS development and technology, visit the Geothermal Technologies Office’s EGS page.
For more information on Geodynamics Ltd. and their ongoing projects, visit the Geodynamics web page.