AGEPP Director provides updates on the Lavey-les-Bains geothermal project, Switzerland

AGEPP Director provides updates on the Lavey-les-Bains geothermal project, Switzerland Project site at Lavey-les-Bains, Switzerland (source: AGEPP/ Régis Colombo/
Carlo Cariaga 22 Jul 2022

AGEPP Director Jean-François Pilet shares details on the current status of the Lavey-les-Bains project in Switzerland, including the challenges that the team has faced and the project's updated timeline.

In an interview with Geothermie Schweiz, Jean-François Pilet, Director of Alpine Geothermal Power Production (AGEPP), provides updates on the drilling work and more details about the geothermal project in Lavey-les-Bains, Switzerland. Drilling is expected to be completed towards the end of August 2022.

If everything goes to plan, the geothermal power plant in this site will be operational by the second half of 2023 – the first facility to produce geothermal electricity in Switzerland.

Pilet provides details on some of the issues that were encountered by the project team during drilling. Progress was very slow for the first 600 meters, as they were drilling through hard gneiss. Logging measurements planned at 1,800 meters depth also had to be given up, although the team was able to record a temperature of 95 degrees Celsius at this depth.

As we reported previously, the geothermal well is planned to be drilled to a depth of 2,500 meters with the option to continue to 3,000 meters if flowrates and temperatures are below expectations. Pilet revealed that the ideal conditions at the bottom of the well would be 110 degrees Celsius and a flowrate of 40 liters per second.

If the ideal conditions are met, the well is expected to produce 4.2 GWh of electricity and 15.5 GWh of heat. If the flow is less than 25 liters per second, the plans for electricity generation will have to be cancelled but will there will be higher flow temperatures available for heating.

As opposed to many other geothermal heating projects in Europe, the Lavey installation is not designed as a doublet. Instead, the cold brine will flow directly into the intake tunnel of the Lavey hydroelectric power station. This residual volume is small enough that it will hardly influence the temperature of the water in the gallery.

After the end of drilling at Lavey-les-Bains, the drilling rig will be dismantled and mobilized toward Vinzel. It will then be used for the EnergeO La Cote project. We had previously reported on the identification of several other prospective sites around the Vinzel site as indicated by a seismic survey.

Source: Geothermie Schweiz