U.S. Geothermal Inc. has a habit of making milestones. In 2007, they generated the first commercial geothermal power in Idaho and they intend to do it again at a hot prospect in Oregon. Neal Hot Springs lies on geothermal and surface leases covering 9.6 square miles near Vale, Ore., about 90 miles west of Boise, Idaho. The company plans to build a 22 MW facility on the site–Oregon's first commercial geothermal power plant under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
In the wind-swept desert of northern Nevada, U.S. Geothermal Inc. has set out to rebuild and nearly triple the output of an obsolete 3.6 MW (net) binary power plant, then add a new facility that will increase total production to 35 MW.
The rate of material degradation of geothermal steam turbines makes modernization a wise choice for most existing facilities. The extreme conditions of excessive moisture together with sulfides and chlorides in the steam means that wear and tear take place at a far faster pace than in traditional steam turbine environments. Although great strides have been made in reinjecting geothermal fluids back into the formation, steam-field degradation can set in soon after startup and often prior to the five-year mark.
Widespread use of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) would open the way for production in virtually every region, transforming geothermal into a major provider of renewable baseload power, claim Philippe Dumas and Thomas Koelbel.
If you imagine a graph showing the price of oil over the last 20 years, the dips and peaks would correlate fairly closely with interest in deep geothermal energy.
Nestled among the peaks of the rugged Mayacamas Mountains above California’s famous wine country is “The Geysers,” a vital source of clean power in a state always hungry for more. Two miles beneath the dry oak and pine forest landscape, a high-temperature geothermal energy resource boils to steam–locked in fractured sandstone made super-hot by ancient volcanic magma that has yet to cool.
The Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC) is located at the Teapot Dome oil field, also known as the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 (NPR-3) (see image, below). NPR-3 is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a test site for new and developing oil and gas and renewable energy related technologies, and as a producing oil field.
There are over two million ground source heat pumps used for heating or cooling around the world, yet opinion remains divided on their renewable credentials. While some hail them as a low-input means of using freely available heat, some renewables purists reject them because they require electrical input. Much depends on the overall efficiency, as explained in this outline of how heat pumps function and some of their main applications.