A geopressured geothermal resource is an over-pressured body of hot water, saturated with methane gas, which flows to the surface under its own power. The resource has two primary sources of energy: geothermal heat and natural gas. Both can be separated from the water and converted into usable energy using a Hybrid Power Plant.
Texatherm Energy was launched in 2007/08 to explore the commercial potential of developing small-scale geothermal plants in oil and gas producing regions. These regions are particularly advantageous as they have pre-drilled wells and existing grid infrastructure (e.g., transmission access, substations) which significantly reduce the costs and risks associated with geothermal project development.
In conjunction with subject-matter experts, Texatherm collected a large body of proprietary datasets (e.g., well logs, land records) and assessed the viability of geothermal opportunities throughout the Gulf Coast region. The team identified initial development sites in Texas and created engineering design schematics for a demonstration plant (subsequently validated by Black and Veatch). The research was incorporated into the Geothermal Lab at SMU as part of efforts to map unconventional geothermal resources throughout the US. Google.org funded the work as part of its RE<C initiative.
Professor Dave Blackwell (Southern Methodist University, Geothermal Lab).