Technical Demonstration and Economic Validation of Geothermally-Produced Electricity from Coproduced Water at Existing Oil/Gas Wells in Texas Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Technical Demonstration and Economic Validation of Geothermally-Produced Electricity from Coproduced Water at Existing Oil/Gas Wells in Texas
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies Program
Project Type / Topic 2 Geothermal Energy Production from Low Temperature Resources, Coproduced Fluids from Oil and Gas Wells, and Geopressured Resources
Project Type / Topic 3 Coproduced Fluids for Oil and Gas Wells
Project Description A Universal GeoPower LLC Team (UGP), including Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (PWPS), POWER Engineers Inc (PEI), and Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory (SMU), will install, operate, and report data from a power plant at a Henderson Oil/Gas well in Liberty County, Texas, that is representative of a technical addressable market (defined as including all marginal or unproductive O/G wells with sufficient geothermal water temperature and flow rate to produce 200 kW of electrical power) containing over 37,500 sites in Texas and the neighboring Gulf Region states.

A geothermal oil and gas power plant will be commissioned within 7 months of the project start. This result could be rapidly replicated in a technical addressable market of more than 37,500 sites in Texas and the Gulf Region, creating a strong stimulus for economic growth and job creation while also enhancing U.S. energy security, providing a new option for states to satisfy Renewable Portfolio Standards, and avoiding emissions of CO2 greenhouse gas and NOx.

State Texas
Objectives Demonstrate the technical feasibility and economic viability of geothermal electricity production from oil/gas (O/G) coproduced water.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Universal GeoPower, LLC
Awardee Website
Partner 1 Pratt & Whitney Power Systems
Partner 2 Power Engineers, Inc
Partner 3 Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000109
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,499,288.00
Awardee Cost Share $2,050,000.00
Total Project Cost $3,549,288.00

Principal Investigator(s) Chris Luchini

Targets / Milestones The results of the demonstration will establish the applicability of the power plant to the O/G opportunity and the economic viability to rapidly replicate it and achieve the associated strong economic stimuli. It is projected that 7,800 MW of geothermal electrical power could be generated, 4 trillion standard cubic feet (SCF) of otherwise abandoned natural gas could be recovered, and 75,000 jobs could be created. The power plant, based on the PWPS PureCycle® Model 280 system, is a modular design of proven components to allow rapid deployment. UGP has the geothermal and mineral rights to the Henderson O/G site. The well will be reworked, and the power plant will be designed by PEI, installed, commissioned within 7 months of the project start, and operated for 2 years with the electricity delivered to a nearby distribution line and natural gas to a nearby gas line. Operational data will be transmitted wirelessly to all partners and to a host for National Geothermal Data System. SMU will access these data and develop performance reports and lead technology transfer; all DOE reporting requirements will be met.

Location of Project Liberty County, TX

Impacts Powerplant that is modular and easily replicable- if successful, there could be widespread application in the O/G industry.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs