Why Fracking’s Gusher of Geothermal Energy is Wasted

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NPR’s State Impact featured Gulf Coast Green Energy under Energy and Environment Report for Texas

There are thousands of oil & gas wells in Texas that tap into the earth’s supply of hot water, some of it a boiling hot 250 F. There are modern, high tech steam engines that could use the water to make electricity. There was a federally-funded experimental power plant that proved the technology could work in Texas.

Yet, geothermal power has gotten a cold shoulder in the state.

RPSEA Denbury

RPSEA Denbury

“They made (the power plant) work, they proved it was successful, and then they dismantled it because they didn’t have funding to keep the project going,” said Maria Richards, a researcher at Southern Methodist University’s Geothermal Laboratory.

“The market I think is huge for this because the fact is, there are over 800,000 oil & gas wells in the United States. And there’s three million gallons per minute of hot water just in the top eight states,” said Loy Sneary, CEO of Gulf Coast Green Energy.

Sneary’s company has developed semi-truck-sized geothermal power plants that he said could provide electricity at drill and production sites. For example, in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas where drilling is surging and where hot water is plentiful.

“The utilities are strapped and they’re stressed to be able to get enough power out to the oil & gas fields. With this equipment, power can be generated on-site,” said Sneary.

Read the entire story or listen to it online here: http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/10/17/boiling-hot-why-frackings-gusher-of-geothermal-energy-is-wasted/

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