New 3D MT survey started for pilot project in Gujarat, India

New 3D MT survey started for pilot project in Gujarat, India Farm worker at Ditala, Gujarat, India (source: flickr/ Emmanuel Dya, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 12 Oct 2015

The geothermal project in Gujarat, India has now started a 3D MT survey to explore where it can find the necessary resources to develop a 2 MW geothermal power plant, likely India's first.

Indian news are reporting that the Gujarat geothermal project, which plans to install a small 2 MW geothermal power plant has now started new exploration work. “To find out potential spots for setting up India’s first geothermal power plant using heat stored below earth’s surface, Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) has started surveys using latest 3D Magentotelluric (MT) imaging technology.

With the surveys, the developer is hopeful to identify the resources needed for the planned power plant project, so ISR Director Dr B K Rastogi said.

“ISR has started geophysical surveys for geothermal energy in various parts of state. The institute has pioneered a technique of 3D MT imaging of crust to locate the best spots. Till now, geological faults and crustal structure have been mapped in Kutch,” Rastogi said.

“As of now, we are aiming to find out spots where we get water with at least 80 degrees Centigrade temperature,” the director said. Hot water sources having 80 degrees C temperature would be good enough for a geothermal power plant, he said.

“There are places in the world where geothermal power plants get direct steam due to very high temperature. But, it may not be possible here. Thus, even if we get 80 degrees C of temperature, the plant will have to boil it till it reaches 100 degrees. Thus, it will consume very less energy than boiling water which is at room temperature,” Rastogi said.

“Such hot water sources are hidden as deep as 1 km below the surface. Apart from our own 3D mapping technology, we are also making use of some German technology to map such spots,” he said. Rastogi said the survey is underway at several locations in Gujarat, including Kutch.

“Apart from Kutch, we are doing our surveys in Dholera near Ahmedabad, Unai in south Gujarat and some places in Saurashtra region. We have not done such surveys in the past because technology was not available,” he said. He said the 3D mapping technology, developed by ISR, will prove a game changer in finding suitable spots.

“We have tried many other mapping techniques earlier, but they failed. Then we developed this 3D mapping technology, which is being put to use for the first time. We hope to get some positive results this time,” Rastogi said.

According to him, Gujarat government is keen to set up at least a 2MW geothermal power plant when a suitable energy source is tapped.

“To set up a geothermal project is an expensive affair. Thus, we have to be accurate in finding out a spot for it. If everything goes well, Gujarat would get India’s first geothermal energy-based power plant, having minimum capacity to generate 2 mega watt of power,” he said.

Source: Times of India