Regional-scale assessment of geothermal reservoirs of Nevada for CO2 geological storage


Project lead: Steven Bacon et al., (DRI)

Research partner: Jonathan Ogland-Hand et al., Carbon Solutions

Primary goal

Perform a regional-scale assessment of the potential of CO2 geological storage in sedimentary

basin geothermal reservoirs in Nevada

Impact on Carbon Storage

Mitigate CO2 emissions in Nevada by assessing potential use of CO2 as a geothermal working fluid

Project duration

One year

Anticipated volume/year

An analysis will be performed to estimate potential volumes

Ogland-Hand, J.D., Adams, B.M., Bennett, J.A., Middleton, R.S., 2022. A geospatial cost comparison of CO2 plume geothermal (CPG) power and geologic CO2 storage. Frontiers in Energy Research. 10:855120.

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Carbon Solutions LLC are collaborating on an assessment of the CO2 geological storage potential in sedimentary basins and geothermal reservoirs in Nevada. The general objectives of the project are to perform a regional-scale assessment to fill a data gap of critical information related to CCUS technologies in Nevada, and to develop a new approach to regionally assess the potential that using geologic CO2 storage in sedimentary basin geothermal reservoirs may have for increasing the states capability for CCUS.

The project has some specific objectives. First, pertinent geologic and geothermal information will be used to identify areas that are favorable for geologic CO2 storage in sedimentary basin geothermal systems. Then the team will use the model input data to identify “hot spot” locations where CO2 Plume Geothermal (CPG) power plants could be deployed. CPG power plants use gigatonnes-levels of sequestered CO2 to generate dispatchable and renewable electricity. They are proven most effective in saline aquifers with high transmissivity in deep sedimentary basins. The team will estimate the power capacity and CO2 storage at “hot spot” locations under different CO2 policy combinations*. Updated SCO2T-pro software will be use to screen sites for CPG power generation, estimate power capacity and cost of CPG power generation and finally estimate geologic CO2 storage at CPG sites. Some of the workflow approaches used in Nevada will also then be used to investigate CCS opportunities in other CUSP states with sedimentary basin geothermal resources.

The state of Nevada is particularly suited to realize this study. Northwestern Nevada has the highest geothermal favorability with 18 operational geothermal plants and over 65 active geothermal systems that could be developed.

*Ogland-Hand J. et al., 2022, A Geospatial Cost Comparison of CO2 Plume Geothermal (CPG) Power and Geologic CO2 Storage, DOI:10.3389/fenrg.2022.855120