From Open Energy Information




The grading criteria is based around the student’s overall research, writing, and organizational skills.

Grading Criteria

The case study assignment will be graded on a 36-point scale as follows:

1. Completeness/Focus (12 Points)

Case studies should attempt to provide a detailed compilation and integrated discussion of all documented exploration, well field testing, and reservoir development efforts applied to the selected geothermal area. This should include any routine or experimental activities conducted by private industry, as well as academic or government research relevant to the evaluation of the geothermal resource area. If possible, NREL will attempt to select industry judges with direct experience with the geothermal resource areas chosen for research, in order to facilitate effective evaluation of this criterion.

The bulk of the case study Narratives and Exploration Activities list should be constructed from information relating to exploration for geothermal resources in a case study area, as well as aspects of the regional geology, local structure/stratigraphy, and fluid geochemistry that influence temperature, pressure, fluid-rock chemistry, reservoir volume, and/or fluid flow paths within the hydrothermal system. Narratives should:

  • Focus on the relevant details of techniques applied to the exploration, evaluation, and development of a geothermal prospect area.
  • Provide details of the regional geology, local stratigraphy, structures, fluid chemistry, and thermal history of an area that relate to the geothermal resource under investigation.

While the completeness of each submission is a highly valued aspect of the case study initiative, it is also true that some geothermal resource areas have served as natural laboratories for ongoing research. For these areas, there is a wealth of published research that, while interesting, has little relevance to geothermal exploration or development. Such activities should not be discussed at length in the Geothermal Exploration Narratives, but may be included in the Exploration Activities list (see How To – Students).

2. Conciseness/Clarity (12 Points)

Effective research and reporting requires concise communication of detailed information. Narratives should not exceed 25 pages in length using Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri 11 point size fonts with 1.15’’ line spacing for completed Geothermal Case Study Narratives submissions. This page total excludes the auto-generated references list.

Narratives should show consistency in describing the names of features or entities associated with the geothermal resource area. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Place Names
  • Structures
  • Geologic/Lithologic Units
  • Exploration/Development Companies

Case studies should use the most recent revisions to the stratigraphic nomenclature when describing geologic/lithologic units of the geothermal resource area. Similarly, references to geothermal exploration and development companies should reflect the most recent rebranding/restructuring of the company (e.g. Enel Green Power, formerly Enel North America, Inc.). Abbreviations may be used in the text of the Case Study Narratives, but should initially be specified by stating the full name of the feature or entity being discussed.

3. Formatting (6 Points)

The submitted Geothermal Case Study Narratives, Exploration Activities, and Data Tables templates should be formatted to correctly display on OpenEI. This includes proper formatting of document text, links, figure captions, and in-line citations. Complete reference metadata should also be provided for materials cited in the Case Study Narratives, and formatting should be consistent between the Reference List template and the reference collection in Zotero. Case Study Narratives and Exploration Activity Deployment Notes should also be free of spelling errors to avoid deductions.

4. Referencing (6 Points)

Information summarized in the Case Study Narratives must be accompanied by a citation of the original source reference materials. Relevant quotations of published material may be included in the text of the Exploration Activity Deployment Notes and in the Case Study Narratives, but should be used sparingly and must also be properly credited. Reuse of supporting maps, images, charts, and figures is permitted, but the original source material(s) must be appropriately credited. Information in the Data Tables Template should include a citation of the title of the source reference material. Case studies that use plagiarized material or that fail to document sources appropriately will be excluded from judging and will be ineligible for awards in the Geothermal Case Study Challenge.