RenewGeo is the branding behind the concept of collecting solar energy in the form of heat and inject this heat into the ground to create a synthetic geothermal resource.
UC-Won has built an experienced team of engineers, geologists, and experts in geothermal plant operation to execute proprietary technology to create a utility scale, carbon free source of electricity to displace the fossil fueled outdated legacy grid.
RenewGeo will provide critical grid infrastructure, carbon-reducing electrical generation technologies, and grid storage opportunities.
Thermal injection, which involves the introduction of heat, is one form of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and dates back to the early 1900's. Themal injection today accounts for 40 percent of EOR production in the United States, with most of it occurring in California.
Solar thermal has been used for EOR, dating back to 1957, when Atlantic Richfield tried an experimental facility in California.
The world’s first full field Thermally Assisted Gas Oil Gravity Drainage (TAGOGD) development has been successfully implemented in Oman at Qarn Alam Fractured Carbonate Reservoir. The concept of TAGOGD was invented by Shell in 1992 and the first successful pilot was developed in the Qarn Alam field from 1995 to 2005, during which 1.3 million tons of steam were injected. The benefit was clearly demonstrated by the fact that this recovery process increased the recovery factor tenfold from 3% to over 30%. This is exceptional for any EOR project.
In the early 2000s, Doug Swift and Ron Whelan traveled to Oman to offer assistance and expertise on solar energy systems for EOR for the Qarn Alam project. At the time, the project was looking for an alternate to burning natural gas for the thermal energy source. Doug and Ron developed a solar powered solution and their unique proposal was adopted. Sovani Meksvanh, Doug Swift, and Ron Whelan filed application for a patent entitled, "Solar Augmented Geothermal Energy" in 2005, and this application was granted a patent (2006/0048770) in March 2006.
In July 2015, Petroleum Development Oman and GlassPoint Solar announced that they signed a $600 million agreement to build a 1 GWth solar field on the Amal oilfield. The project, named Miraah, will be the world's largest solar field measured by peak thermal capacity.
Mark Hauenstein with UC-Won, in working with the original inventors, was granted a license for the patent 2006/0048770 for solar augmented geothermal process. Together with other patents filed by UC-Won, an architecture and team emerges that brings together the technology and expertise to create large scale 24/7 carbon free electricity from a solar augmented charged geothermal resource.
UC Won secured leases on existing geothermal production wells in Northern Nevada to begin testing to deploy RenewGeo technology. Securing these wells ends a two-year search for suitable wells to use for testing. According to Steve DeOreo, geothermal geologist working on the project, “Although the site was originally developed and has potential for conventional geothermal, the configuration of the existing wells is suitable for the RenewGeo technology.”
May 2019 - Idaho National Laboratory publishes paper where "The present study evaluated the use of a large number of dedicated wells to store and recover heat, essentially creating a synthetic geothermal reservoir." The report concludes the system "provides a potential pathway for the nation's energy infrastructure to evolve more quickly to renewable, carbon-free electric sources and a sustainable energy future."