Thursday, April 27, 2017

USA, California: Energy Commission to Address Flexible Geothermal Energy Generation Issues

Energy Commission Adopts Research Investment Plan (News Release)

The California Energy Commission (CEC) today adopted a three-year strategic investment plan for its clean energy research and development program.

The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) 2018-2020 Triennial Investment Plan is a proposed strategy for administering research and development funds. The Energy Commission invests more than $120 million annually through EPIC for innovations and concepts that help California meet its energy and climate goals.

One funding initiative will lower the cost, improve the efficiency, and advance the potential for the flexible operation of geothermal in support of high penetration of renewable energy.

Initiative 4.3.2 Geothermal Energy Advancement for a Reliable Renewable Electricity System (Page 156 of the report)

Based on project findings and discussions with facility owners, operators prefer to operate geothermal as a baseload because of issues associated with flexible generation, such as the buildup of hydrochloric acid, hydrogen sulfide and other
corrosive and toxic materials. From an efficiency perspective, steam generation and the energy associated with distribution are generally wasted or lost during curtailment of production. This initiative will address flexible generation issues identified by exploring strategies such developing materials, designs and
operational techniques to mitigate corrosion issues and possibly integrating energy storage, a strategy that has not yet been demonstrated. The initiative will also support activities that explore the economic values of capturing the useful
elements from buildup of these condensates (such as solid sulfur for agriculture use or metals for industrial application).

The initiative will also support strategies that boost geothermal from existing facilities and wells that are declining or idle. The goal is to further position geothermal energy as a key player in attaining the RPS goal by backing up intermittent renewables and providing sustained and increased renewable
generation to the grid.

EPIC was established by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2011. The plan, which is the third since the program’s inception, will be submitted to the CPUC for adoption.

Read More........