BALTIMORE – A company based in Baltimore wants to drill geothermal wells in Weld County in hopes of generating utility-scale electricity in the Denver-Julesburg Basin.
Geothermal Technologies Inc. has filed for drilling permits with the Colorado Division of Water Resources, the company said this week in a news release.
“This is an important step forward in our plans to construct a first-of-its-kind geothermal power plant in the D-J using GTI’s proprietary suite of technologies,” said J. Gary McDaniel, the company’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “We are excited about the potential that Colorado shows to develop advanced geothermal power. Our field development plan for the D-J geothermal resource shows at least 6+ gigawatts of geothermal energy potential. We plan to begin by constructing a small 5-megawatt power plant and then expand from there.”
According to the company, its proprietary GenaSys Geothermal Energy Harvesting System, when coupled with advanced Organic Rankine Cycle power-generation technology, “enables the efficient extraction of geothermal energy in geographic regions around the globe that have been out of reach using conventional approaches.”
Jim Hollis, GTI’s president and chief operating officer, said the technology “promises to make geothermal baseload power both low in cost and truly scalable – locally, regionally, and globally.”
GTI sees geothermal electricity as a baseload power source that is constantly available and complements other sources of intermittent renewable power. In seeking the permits, it emphasizes that developing the resource will provide a major advantage to Colorado as it strives to reach its goals of 100% renewable energy by 2040 and would support Gov. Jared Polis’ “Heat Beneath Our Feet” initiative, which he has championed as chair of the Western Governors’ Association.
Other areas of Colorado also provide opportunities for the development of geothermal resources, GTI said, including the Piceance, San Juan and Raton basins.
GTI was founded in 2018 to commercialize technology that was initially developed at Johns Hopkins University.
In December, the GLADE project – Geothermal Limitless Approach to Drilling Efficiencies – secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. That project, which included drilling of two high-temperature walls in the D-J Basin, is led by Occidental Petroleum partners that include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Colorado School of Mines.