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Analysis of the potential use of geothermal energy for power generation along the Texas Gulf Coast

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Research and Development

  • Link:http://www.osti.gov/bridge/advancedsearch.jsp
  • Source:http://www.osti.gov/rdprojects
  • Resource Type:Technical Report
  • OSTI Identifier:7154290
  • Published Date:2011-03-23
  • Subject:15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 03 NATURAL GAS; GEOPRESSURED SYSTEMS; POWER POTENTIAL; GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; COST; ECONOMICS; NATURAL GAS; RECOVERY; TEXAS; GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES; COASTAL REGIONS; GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANTS; GULF OF MEXICO; POWER GENERATION; SAND; SHALES; ATLANTIC OCEAN; CARIBBEAN SEA; ENERGY; ENERGY SOURCES; FLUIDS; FOSSIL FUELS; FUEL GAS; FUELS; GAS FUELS; GASES; METAMORPHIC ROCKS; NORTH AMERICA; POWER PLANTS; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; RESOURCES; ROCKS; SEAS; SOUTHWEST REGION; SURFACE WATERS; THERMAL POWER PLANTS; USA
  • Description:Three forms of potential geothermal energy may exist in the State of Texas: hot rocks in the Trans Pecos region, convection type geothermal water in the Rio Grande Rift basin, and geopressured geothermal water along the Gulf Coast. Of these, only the geopressured waters have been verified. Exploration wells for oil and gas have established the presence of deep hot water deposits along the coastal area, offshore and inland for 75 miles. These exist in thick shale and sand beds in the geopressured ...Show More
  • Description:Three forms of potential geothermal energy may exist in the State of Texas: hot rocks in the Trans Pecos region, convection type geothermal water in the Rio Grande Rift basin, and geopressured geothermal water along the Gulf Coast. Of these, only the geopressured waters have been verified. Exploration wells for oil and gas have established the presence of deep hot water deposits along the coastal area, offshore and inland for 75 miles. These exist in thick shale and sand beds in the geopressured zone. The most favorable area appears to be at depths of 12,000 to 15,000 feet where the temperatures range from 300 to 400/sup 0/F. Indications are that a series of relatively small, 10 to 50 megawatt, power plants could be located along the coastal plain of Texas. These plants could produce at least 20,000 megawatts and possibly as much as 100,000 megawatts under the most favorable conditions. Cost of the power appears to be in the range of 25 to 35 mills per kilowatt hour in 1980 providing the water is saturated with natural gas which could be sold to offset some of the cost. If the gas is present, at least 6 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas would be produced. Unit capital investment for such plants would exceed projected costs for nuclear or fossil fueled power plants. Successful development of a demonstration plant with public funds could establish the viability of geopressured waters as a source of power and natural gas and encourage private investment to exploit this energy source, should it prove competitive with other sources of electric power generation. ...Show Less
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