Cyrq Energy and AltaRock Energy aim to refine geothermal drilling

Well at the Newberry project site in Oregon (source: AltaRock Energy)
Alexander Richter 29 Jun 2020

Cyrq Energy and AltaRock Energy are partnering on pushing for deeper geothermal resources with higher temperatures in an approach to increase the competitiveness of geothermal for power generation.

In the context with the upcoming tender for geothermal parcels at Mt. Baker in the state of Washington in the U.S., Cyrq Energy and partner AltaRock Energy have announced plans to partner on refining geothermal drilling technology.

With the technology the companies hope to drill far deeper underground than currently possible, so Bloomberg Law in an article today.

Cyrq Energy wants to bid on the two leases of the BLM geothermal lease sale, the first leasing tender outside of the states of California and Nevada since 2016.

In a statement, Susan Petty, CTO for both Cyrq Energy and AltaRock Energy describes the targeted technology work as the geothermal “moonshot”.  Targeting deeper resources, it is aimed to tap extremely high temperatures of up to 662 F (350 degrees Celsius).  Based on the energy density in these high temperatures, geothermal could compete head on with fossil fuel-based power generation.

The areas of Mt. Baker and Mt. St. Helens are described as hot spots with high temperature geothermal resources.

With a focus on California and Nevada, the lease sale now in the State of Washington is an important step for geothermal development in the U.S., so Will Pettit, Executive Director of the U.S. Geothermal Resources Council.

The “moonshot” might though be a bit further down the road, Susan Petty still hopes that Cyrq Energy will be able to demonstrate geothermal power development success in Washington. Local utilities are though more carefully in their estimates, as geothermal faces low-cost natural gas and cheap renewable energy sources.

If successful in the auction, Cyrq Energy aims to start exploration and hopes to then strike a power purchase agreement with a local utility soon.

An environmental assessment was completed in 2015 by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, after plans on a possible auction were announced in 2014 , we reported.

Source: Bloomberg Law