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Grant Awarded for Research on Geothermal Power from CO2

Geothermal power (NREL)

(National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

GreenFire Energy in Salt Lake City, Utah received a $2 million grant award from the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program to investigate and evaluate the potential for low-temperature carbon dioxide-based (CO2-based) geothermal power production.

The Department of Energy says GreenFire Energy will provide field evaluations of a low temperature CO2-based geothermal electric power generation plant. In the first phase of the project, the company will set up and initiate seismic monitoring at an existing CO2 production field, and collect and evaluate existing data. The project will then test several energy recovery techniques in existing shallow wells and the performance of CO2 as a working fluid.

The site of the project is St. Johns Dome near Springerville, Arizona, which has a a large volume of natural CO2, the likely presence of a thermal reservoir underlying the dome area, and a local connection into the power grid. That region also has six coal-fired power plants that collectively emit about 90 million tons of CO2 per year. If carbon capture technologies are deployed in the future, says GreenFire, these facilities can provide additional CO2 for added power production, while sequestering that CO2 at the same time.

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