(Project closed 14 November 2014 no funds were paid to Petratherm Limited) This project aimed to identify ways to extract energy from geothermal wells at a commercially viable cost. ARENA’s funding commitment was $12,997,300.
Geothermal energy is renewable and importantly offers a clean alternative to fossil fuel generated baseload electricity which meets the bulk of the nation’s energy demand.
Australia has vast geothermal energy resources that could potentially provide a large contribution to Australia’s future energy mix. However the technology required for Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) is still at an early stage of commercial development.
This project aimed to identify ways to overcome geothermal technology’s key risk, which is being able to extract energy from geothermal wells at a cost that is considered by investors to be commercially viable.
It involved drilling a well, connecting it with an existing well, and testing the temperature, flow rate and other characteristics of hot water flowing between wells to produce energy.
The reservoir testing stage of the project is complete was to be followed by a trial of a 3.5 megawatt turbine and to replicate the drilling process with an additional 3.5 megawatt turbine.