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Texan Universal GeoPower receives US$1.4 million DOe funding for oilwell geothermal

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 12 Nov 2009

Universal GeoPower, LLC based in Houston, Texas, was awarded a $1.4 million grant to generate electricity using geothermal energy harnessed from abandoned oil and gas wells along the Texas gulf coast.

Announced by the company, “Universal GeoPower, LLC based in Houston, Texas, was awarded a $1.4 million grant to generate electricity using geothermal energy harnessed from abandoned oil and gas wells along the Texas gulf coast. The U.S. Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program, announced the award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Thursday, October 29, 2009.

Universal GeoPower CEO, and petroleum geologist George Alcorn Jr. states, “This is great news for the future of unconventional geothermal energy production. These grant funds will go toward completing a pilot project to demonstrate how hot water from abandoned wells can be converted into electricity.”

Alcorn and his partner, Chris Luchini, a PhD physicist based in Los Alamos, NM, worked with SMU’s Geothermal Lab, POWER Engineers from Hailey, Idaho and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems to complete the extensive DOE application. With Thursday’s announcement, Universal GeoPower stands ready to begin work on a number of abandoned wells in Texas. The company plans to recomplete the wells to produce low temperature, geopressured brine water and run the brine through the PureCycle® Geothermal Power System, an Organic Rankine Cycle binary generator, manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Power Systems.

Geothermal renewable energy projects in Texas will help reduce carbon emissions, create clean energy jobs and provide base load power to stimulate the growth of the Texas economy. The electricity generated from these projects is eligible for renewable energy certificate attribution and additional Federal tax incentives.”

Details about the company: “Universal GeoPower is a company engaged in the geothermal and geopressured energy power business. UGP will design, develop, build, own, and operate clean, environmentally friendly geothermal and geopressured energy-based power plants, using equipment purchased from companies that design and manufacture binary Organic Rankine Cycle turbines, commercial turbo expanders, heat exchangers and bi-phase turbines.

UGP geothermal power plants will utilize low temperature, geopressured reservoirs and well bores which were originally drilled in the exploration for Oil and Natural Gas, as a source for geothermal energy. UGP will also employ our proprietary technology of combined geothermal cycle systems in our power plants. The capacity of UGP geothermal power plants depends on various factors such as the heat content of the geothermal reservoir, flow capacity and sustainability of the reservoir and operational factors relating to the extraction of the geothermal fluids.

UGP’s primary focus will be the development, and the construction of new power projects and enhancements of existing oil and gas wells. UGP expects to increase the total generating capacity and operating income of the company year over year. UGP is always looking at opportunities to convert additional well bores to geothermal energy producers.”

Source: Company release