A new geothermal doublet has been recently approved at this site; it will be installed in 2017. Geothermal energy is often considered environmentally conscious. However, deploying enhanced geothermal energy (EGT) is highly challenging, because of the difficulty of developing an economically viable deep geothermal power production.
To date, the risk/reward profile for EGT electricity projects has been unattractive, in large part because of the cost of drilling two or more deep wells into hard rock and creating a reservoir at depth.
Partner GEL will tackle this challenging technological landscape in Cornwall. GEL is installing micro-seismic arrays to monitor baseline seismic data, before the drilling begins.
S4CE will assist the operation: Reykjavik Energy will provide expertise, as this partner operates EGT wells; S4CE will develop and test fluid transport models, assess the environmental fate of the injected water (UCL, UI), monitor the water quality in the geologic formation UNINA) and monitor the micro-seismic effects due to injecting water in the sub-surface (GeoT). Local seismic monitoring will be performed with 6 or more high quality stations (within 5 km of project location, preferentially ≤1 Hz 3C-sensors) and the real time data will be available to this project at no extra costs. The same is true for velocity measurements at selected sites. Baseline data will allow differentiation between anthropogenic and natural micro-seismicity during drilling, stimulation and operation. Because this activity is supported by a pre-existing Industrial R&D grant to GEL, S4CE will collect important data, to be shared with all stakeholders, at a significant saving to the European Commission.
This site will allow S4CE to assess the induced seismicity risks connected with the stimulation of a sub-surface formation to promote fluid (water) migration.