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ENGIE Solutions wins 2021 European Geothermal Innovation Award

ENGIE Solutions wins 2021 European Geothermal Innovation Award Drilling rig at Velizy-Villacoublay, France (source: Engie Solutions)
Alexander Richter 24 Jun 2021

ENGIE Solutions receives this year's Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award for its multidrains boreholes that allow nearly doubling output from geothermal reservoirs.

This year the winner of the Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award 2021 is ENGIE Solutions with its innovative multidrains boreholes well architecture, so the release by the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) in conjunction with the GeoTHERM expo & congress. The project, developed by ENGIE Solutions and built with Antea Group and other partners, can almost double the productivity of a geothermal reservoir.

The multidrains technology has been designed for a new geothermal district heating network in Velizy-Villacoublay, a Paris Basin’s municipality eager to cover more than 60% of the heat demand with geothermal energy. This means satisfying the heating needs of 12,000 houses and saving 22,800 tons of CO2 per year compared to a gas solution.

The multidrains is a technical leap, which allows to cross a geothermal reservoir multiple times. This is the first time that this method, already used in the Oil & Gas sector, has been employed in a deep geothermal project. This configuration maximises the exchange surface and therefore increases the general flowrate of +80% compared to a conventional doublet. This allows the geothermal plant to provide much more power.

Miklos Antics, President of the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) and member of the jury, said “This innovation opens up countless opportunities of development for the geothermal sector. The fact that it can be easily replicated in municipalities all over Europe makes many areas with poor reservoir quality (and therefore lower geothermal capacity) new possible targets. The potential of this technology to reduce emissions in the coming years is massive, considering how untapped geothermal energy still is.”

Nicolas Monneyron, Geothermal Director at ENGIE Solutions, said “This innovative architecture is considered as “Game Changer” for French Geothermal activities development. By 2030, ENGIE is targeting 10 new geothermal district heating networks in France, using this innovative multidrains technology, which means around 6.4 million tons of CO2 saved over time. At a larger scale, the multidrains technology will allow to develop more geothermal green district heating networks in complex or thin geological areas with low and stable heat price for cities and territories.”

Nicolas Frechin, Geothermal Expert at Antea Group, said “We thank Engie Solutions for its trust and commend its pioneering spirit. This recognition from EGEC rewards a teamwork that strongly involved Engie Solutions and Antea. We are looking forward to new opportunities to further deploy this approach.”

Following the tradition, the award has been handed out at GEOTHERM Expo & Congress. This year the event took place on 24th June in an online format due to the sanitary restrictions.

As every year, the competition was very high-level. The finalists included: AIMEN Technology Center (Spain), with a novel electrochemical-based sensor to monitor corrosion in wells and pipes; ERAMET-ESG (France), which extracts lithium from geothermal brines; Hunosa (Spain), which turned closed coal mines into a geothermal district heating; MegaWatt Solutions Nordic AB (Sweden) with theirintegrated heat pump solution (the E-Box); ON Power (Iceland) with their eco-industrial Geothermal Park.

The jury for 2021 was composed of Miklos Antics (France, representing EGEC), Inga Berre (Norway, research expert), Sandra Kircher (Germany, representing Messe Offenburg), Fausto Batini (Italy, representing ETIP-DG, industry expert), and Javier Urchueguia (Spain, representing RHC-ETIP geothermal panel).

The Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Award is an initiative of EGEC, the European Geothermal Energy Council, in collaboration with Messe Offenburg, organisers of the GeoTHERM Fair and Congress. It is given to companies which have made an outstanding contribution towards the field of geothermal energy in the form of innovative products, scientific research and project initiatives.

Source: EGEC release