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EGS power plant, Landau, Germany
(Courtesy of Ormat)

EGS Energy's founders have played substantial roles in the development of two EGS power stations in operation with ORC turbines: at Landau in Germany - the scheme owned by geo x GmbH and operated under contract by BESTEC GmbH; and at Soultz-sous-Forêts in Eastern France

At Landau, temperatures of 160°C have been reached at a depth of up to approximately 3,800m after a development period of three years.  Flow rates have comfortably exceeded all expectations, at 70-100l/s.  The scheme creates electricity and direct heating.  The electrical power capacity varies between 3.0 and 3.8MW, depending on the ambient temperature, and more than 20GWh of electricity is produced per year.  6,000 households are also being serviced (3,800KWh/household per annum).  Heating is equivalent to 3-6MWth and will service 200-300 households.  The project started in 2004 and was completed in 2007.

At Soultz-sous-Forêts, the permeability of fractures at depth has also been successfully enhanced.  This was an EGS research project that was started in 1988 and funded jointly by the EC, France, Germany and private companies.  Being a research project, the brief has been to try various new techniques/methods and thus the reservoir created has not been harnessed for commercial operation.  The present output is around 1.8MWe from the two wells, although this may change in the future.  The project demonstrated that many of the economic parameters required to commercialise this technology can be achieved.  Roy Baria and Jörg Baumgärtner jointly ran the project from its inception until 2005 when Roy left to become a consultant.

Substantial investment has been made in geothermal prospecting companies in Australia.  There are ten Australian Stock Exchange listed pure-play companies engaged in geothermal R&D in Australia.  The sector’s collective market capitalisation is approximately £250m with Government grants for R&D into the sector totalling £23m, and further committed; however there is no generating EGS plant yet.

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