GeoRePORT Protocol Volume VI: Resource Size Assessment Tool

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


GeoRePORT is based on the concept that a geothermal system can be described both in terms of the quality of the geothermal resource as it relates to the potential to extract heat ("Resource Grade") and the progress of research and development over the lifetime of the project ("Project Progress"). Resource grade and project progress are reported for three assessment categories: geologic, technical, and socio-economic. Each category has specific criteria and guidelines for assessing both resource grade and project progress, as outlined in each of the following assessment tools (and associated colors): (1) Geological Assessment Tool (representative colors: reds, oranges, browns); (2) Technical Assessment Tool (representative colors: blues, purples); (3) Socio-Economic Assessment Tool (representative colors: greens, yellows). Additionally, users may need to estimate the project size (often reported in MWe or MWth). The resource size assessment tool (RSAT) is an essential addition to GeoRePORT due to the economic and legal context of geothermal development. In order to utilize a geothermal resource, a competitive Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), or similar, often must be obtained, for which the resource's power capacity must be demonstrated. To determine that a geothermal heat or power project is worthy of development, investors or other funding mechanisms often require information on the anticipated heat and/or power potential of the reservoir. They might also be interested in the certainty of that estimate. However, proving the existence and size of a geothermal resource is comparatively expensive and risky relative to other renewable technologies; it can cost developers 5 to 10 million USD to demonstrate a financially viable geothermal resource (Young et al. 2017). GeoRePORT aims to address this barrier to development by providing a consistent and clear assessment of resource quality and certainty. The RSAT will enable GeoRePORT users to not only qualitatively report on a given a resource, but also to compare standard methodologies for quantitatively estimating a resource size in terms of potential heat and/or power output.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-81820


  • geothermal heat
  • geothermal power estimations
  • geothermal reservoir
  • geothermal reservoir size
  • geothermal resource
  • geothermal resource assessment


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