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Greenpower Energy starts early exploration work in Western Australia

Esperance, Western Australia (source: creative commons, flickr/donpugh)
Alexander Richter 25 Mar 2010

Australian company Greenpower Energy is exploring an area of 10,732 square kilometres around Esperance after receiving two permits from the Department of Minerals and Petroleum in Western Australia.

Reported from Australia, “work has started on a six-year, $42.9 million exploration bid that could deliver geothermal power to the Esperance region.

Perth-based company Greenpower Energy is exploring an area of 10,732 square kilometres around Esperance after receiving two permits from the Department of Minerals and Petroleum.

Greenpower Director Gerard King said the company is using data collected from a range of exploration drilling programs in the past as a starting point.

He said analysis of basic geological information had revealed that heat-emitting granite rocks occur in the Esperance district.

“This analysis also shows that strong structural events have occurred in the same area and this should assist in the ability to retrieve the geothermal energy for power generation,” he said.

“We think Esperance would be a good place to do a geothermal energy project because it could reach the point of supplying a fair bit of electricity to the town.”

During the first year of the project several investigations will map the extent of the heat-emitting granites.

“Then probably we’ll do a bit of on-ground examination and maybe drill some shallow holes to get an indication of the heat being generated,” Mr King said.

Deeper drilling has been programmed for 2012 if shallow drilling results are encouraging.

Mr King said the deep wells could be up to 5,000 metres under the surface.

He said Greenpower believed the prospects of finding suitable source rocks was quite good.

“You’ve got to find underground temperatures that are high enough to provide steam to drive turbines,” he said.

The company is expected to visit Esperance during the second half of this year to carry out fresh research.

Mr King said developing and harnessing geothermal energy was a significant opportunity for base load emission-free electricity generation in the Esperance district.

The south-east area was the subject of WA’s third geothermal acreage release.

Under the permit conditions the company is required to fund a $42.9 million works program over the six years.

“We’ve got fairly high expenditure requirements under the leases that have been granted,” he said.

The company is looking at bringing in a joint venture partner once the prospects had been targeted.

“We’d look seriously at some of the bigger geothermal players, of whom there are quite a few across Australia, who might be interested in coming in on this particular project.”

He said geothermal energy was more reliable as a base load power source than other alternative energies such as wind and solar power.

Mr King said there are several projects across Australia which are likely to result in large-scale emission free electricity generation.

“These projects enjoy strong policy and financial support from government agencies,” he said.”

Source: Experance Express