Local company seeking permit for geothermal project at Noville, Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Chateau de Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland (source: flickr/ Kosala Bandara, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 3 May 2020

Initially searching for hydrocarbons, company Petrosvibri is now seeking a permit by the canton of Vaud for geothermal exploration at Noville at Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Reported locally before the weekend, company Petrosvibri wishes to develop a deep geothermal energy project under Lake Geneva in Noville (VD), Switzerland. The local company requested the canton of Vaud to obtain the necessary authorizations.

Petrosvibri S.A. has decided to develop a geothermal energy project on the Noville site, initially identified for the search for hydrocarbons. The exploration drilling results, carried out between 2009 and 2010, demonstrated the existence geothermal potential and the feasibility of its exploitation.

The next step consists of obtaining the necessary permits to develop this innovative project in terms of of renewable energy.
After several years of work and the drilling of an exploration well in the territory of the commune of Noville, the Board of Directors of Petrosvibri S.A. has opted for the development of a geothermal energy project. Petrosvibri sent its dossier to the canton of Vaud at the end of March, specifies its president Philippe Petitpierre. He added that meetings will be held with the authorities when the coronavirus crisis subsides.

Indeed, following the entry into force of the new Vaud law on natural resources underground (LRNSS) prohibiting the search for hydrocarbons, the decision was made to give up the search for natural gas in the Chablais region for the benefit of an energy source renewable.

In order to enhance the investments made for drilling and following the discovery of a geothermal potential during exploration work, the use of the Noville well for the heat production with a closed circulation system (deep geothermal probe) is presented as an obvious future solution in the context of the energy transition. A first estimate of such a solution demonstrated that significant production at a price profitable is possible from this well drilled to a depth of about 3,750 meters. The temperature at this horizon exceeds 100 degrees Celsius. There are also several reference projects of same type in Switzerland at depths between 1,000 and 3,000 meters.

The next step for Petrosvibri S.A. is to obtain an exploration license for the planning phase, then an operating concession to use the heat from the basement.

For Philippe Petitpierre, President of Petrosvibri, there are still “too many hazards” to set a calendar for this geothermal project. However, he said he hoped that the work could be completed by 2021, “if all goes well.”

Several other deep geothermal projects are underway in Switzerland. In the canton of Vaud, for example, the Lavey project (Agepp) obtained all the necessary authorizations last fall.

Source: company