Techno-Economic Performance of Eavor Loop 2.0

Koenraad Beckers, Henry Johnston

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This project evaluated techno-economic performance for a sample Eavor-Loop 2.0 design for electricity production and direct-use heating. The Eavor-Loop 2.0 design investigated is a 7.5-km deep closed-loop geothermal system consisting of 12 laterals for a total of more than 90 km of downhole well and lateral length. Both a high geothermal gradient scenario of 60 degrees C/km and a low geothermal gradient scenario of 30 degrees C/km were considered. With pure water injected at 60 degrees C and 80 kg/s, reservoir simulations with the Slender-Body Theory simulator indicate average production temperatures over a 30-year lifetime of ~125 degrees C and ~210 degrees C for the low and high geothermal gradient scenario, respectively. These correspond to heat production of ~22 M Wth and ~51 M Wth, respectively. Using IPSEpro simulations, we find average power production of ~2.2 M We and ~8.6 M We, respectively, for a subcritical organic Rankine cycle power plant with air-cooled condensers. Cost estimates indicate the overall capital and levelized costs are dominated by the lateral drilling cost. Obtaining a levelized cost of electricity below $70/M Wh requires a geothermal gradient of 60 degrees C/km, a discount rate below 9%, and lateral drilling cost below $400/m. A well cost model indicates that ~$400/m for the Eavor-Loop 2.0 design investigated can be obtained for a drilling rate of penetration about 40 ft/hr (with bit life of 50 hours), and omitting casing and cement. Traditional (geothermal) well drilling has achieved these drilling rate conditions, including the Utah FORGE project where the rate of penetration has exceeded 50 ft/hr in granite. However, it is unclear if these conditions are still valid for drilling the Eavor-Loop 2.0 laterals (i.e., ~82 km of laterals at 4 to 7.5-km vertical depth with rock temperatures up to 460 degrees C), as such downhole completion has never been developed before. Competitive levelized cost of heat values ($1.2-$8.2/GJ) are calculated, even for the low geothermal gradient scenario (30 degrees C/km) and lateral drilling cost of $600/m.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 Stanford Geothermal Workshop - Palo Alto, CA (virtual conference)
Duration: 7 Feb 20229 Feb 2022


Conference2022 Stanford Geothermal Workshop
CityPalo Alto, CA (virtual conference)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-81887


  • advanced geothermal system
  • closed-loop geothermal
  • Eavor Loop
  • geothermal energy
  • techno-economic analysis


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