Ormat boosts performance of geothermal energy project

Using new subsurface technologies, research and development teams stimulated an existing sub-commercial injection well resulting in a 38 percent increase in power output

Ormat Technologies Inc., the U.S. Department of Energy and GeothermEx successfully produced 1.7 additional megawatts from an Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) project inside an existing wellfield in the U.S.

This is the first EGS project Ormat has connected to the electricity grid. Using new subsurface technologies, research and development teams stimulated an existing sub-commercial injection well resulting in a 38 percent increase in power output from brine at Ormat's Desert Peak 2 geothermal power plant in the Brady complex, Churchill County, Nev.

Support for the project included $5.4 million in direct DOE funding, $2.6 in million investment from Ormat, and more than four years of collaborative work with partners including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, Sandia National Laboratory, University of Utah EGI, Temple University and TerraTek.

By expanding existing hydrothermal fractures deep within the Earth's crust, EGS technology enhances the permeability of underperforming wells, making it possible to extract additional heat from a reservoir's rocks and inject geothermal fluid at higher flow rates. Ormat's air-cooled power plants are the technology of choice for EGS developments, as they don't consume water in the conversion of energy into electricity; all the geothermal fluid is re-injected, to be produced again after heating in the reservoir.

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