Eden receives ARPA-E funding for novel geothermal stimulation tech
Eden GeoPower's project aims to develop electromagnetic reservoir stimulation technology to maximize the output of Enhanced Geothermal Systems without the issues associated with hydraulic fracturing.
Eden GeoPower Inc. (Eden) has been selected to receive USD 3.79 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will go towards the “Electro-Hydraulic Fracturing of Enhanced Geothermal Systems” project that aims to a novel electromagnetic reservoir stimulation technology to increase subsurface permeability in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) with minimal environmental impact.
With this project, Eden can help make EGS projects economically viable without having to resort to traditional hydraulic fracturing methods that can consume billions of gallons of water.
“Current hydraulic fracturing techniques, which had tremendous success in the oil and gas industry, have been mostly unsuccessful in stimulating geothermal reservoirs due to the extreme pressure and temperature conditions downhole.” described Eden Co-founder and CEO Paris Smalls.
“We are developing a radically different approach to reservoir stimulation, which utilizes high-voltage electricity as the main mechanism to increase reservoir permeability. This technology complements recent innovations in geothermal reservoir drilling, since drilled wells will need to be successfully stimulated to achieve maximum net power output per well,” added Smalls.
As sub-recipients of the award, world-class researches from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will also be supporting the project.
“I’m excited to be working with Eden and the rest of the team on a potentially revolutionary technology for Enhanced Geothermal Systems power generation and to use my pulsed-power expertise to tackle a new challenge.,” said Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT Dr. Jack Hare.
The project will involve studies of the ERS technology in the lab and numerical model environments, as well as the development of engineering equipment for field demonstrations. This technology will serve as a complement to innovations made in geothermal drilling. The researches envision the technology being used to maximize the net power output per well upon successful stimulation.
Since its founding in 2009, ARPA-E has provided $2.93 billion in R&D funding, and ARPA-E projects have attracted more than $7.6 billion in private sector follow-on funding to commercialize clean energy technologies and create sustainable clean energy jobs. In 2019, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) received funding under the ARPA-E awards for the development of a revolutionary high-rate drilling system using electric pulses to drill high-temperature geothermal wells.
Source: Business Wire