GreenFire Energy Inc. of the US said Thursday it signed an agreement with Energy Development Corp. to perform a retrofit that will restore and generate steam from an idle geothermal well in its Mahanagdong facility in Leyte province.
GreenFire Energy said in a statement EDC’s idle geothermal well had not been usable because of high level of non-condensable gases produced from the well when flowing.
It said the heat mining system would correct this and meet its surface system pressure requirements once installed and commissioned in the well by the fourth quarter.
Both parties are gathering data to evaluate the feasibility of using Greenfire GreenLoop technology in other opportunity wells of EDC.
GreenFire GreenLoop is a patented, closed-loop geothermal energy system that generates power from geothermal resources where conventional geothermal systems cannot effectively operate, typically due to lack of permeability, water or pressure.
“We have been looking at GreenFire Energy’s closed-loop approach to geothermal for some time and are happy to see the progress. While we see potential for the technology in large greenfield projects too, we see the fast payback on well retrofits as the easiest way to start,” said Liberato Virata, senior vice president and head of EDC facilities operations and maintenance group.
GreenFire Energy and EDC are also working to analyze other unproductive geothermal wells and less productive geothermal fields where the potential for using the technology will be of the greatest technical and economic benefit.
“Being able to generate steam from our idle geothermal wells that will enable us to supply more of that much-needed clean, reliable, stable power that our country needs is all a part of fulfilling EDC’s mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future,” said Virata.
EDC’s over 1,400 megawatts of total installed capacity accounts for 20 percent of the Philippines’ total installed renewable energy capacity.
Its more than 1,200 MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, putting the Philippines on the map as the third largest geothermal producer in the world.
“We really appreciate EDC’s willingness to consider and implement new solutions to geothermal wells and resources that have excellent potential but with production issues that can’t be addressed by conventional technology. Many geothermal operators around the world have similar needs, but EDC is one of the most innovative, so we’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with them,” said Joseph Scherer, chief executive of GreenFire Energy.
The first demonstration of GreenLoop was performed at the Coso KGRA in California in 2019 and showed that GreenLoop can retrofit unproductive or idle geothermal wells and run successfully at field-scale.
It is estimated that over 20 percent of geothermal wells worldwide were unproductive from inception or due to degradation over time. It is also estimated that only 2 percent of the world’s geothermal resource can be profitably harvested with conventional technology.