As part of the agreement, Shell will provide technical expertise towards the design of the drilling, completion, and facility construction of Eavor's demonstration project, as well as a follow-on commercial implementation.
Eavor's Eavor-Loop system circulates a benign working fluid which is isolated from the environment in a closed loop, much like a massive subsurface version of a traditional radiator. It simply collects heat from the natural geothermal gradient of the Earth, at geologically common rock temperatures. Unlike traditional geothermal, it is not reliant on volcanic-like temperatures in combination with highly permeable aquifers.
The CAD$10 million (US$7.5 million) demonstration project, Eavor-Lite, is designed to showcase all of Eavor's unique and proprietary design elements at scale. The site, located near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada, will also be used as an ongoing test facility for advanced operating fluids being developed under Eavor's ongoing R&D program. Drilling is to commence on Eavor-Lite in Q3 2019.
Following successful completion of the demonstration facility, work will commence towards a commercial Eavor-Loop installation.
While Eavor has a growing pipeline of such commercial power, heat and combined heat and power opportunities from around the world, the first commercial Eavor-Loop project is expected to be a €65million (US$73.6 million) heat-only project in the Netherlands.
Explaining the relevance of Eavor and its demonstration project, Malcolm Ross, the geothermal focus leader in the Shell New Energies Research & Technology team, said: "In searching for the next breakthrough in geothermal energy, we at Shell came up with our top ten list of what was holding geothermal energy back. We recognised that Eavor-Loop, and its unique conduction-only closed-loop design had the potential to address many of these concerns. That is why we're supporting Eavor and their Eavor-Lite demonstration project."
"Working with Malcolm and his colleagues at Shell's New Energies Research & Technology team, has been extremely helpful," said John Redfern, president and CEO of Eavor. "We appreciate Shell's ability to look beyond conventional geothermal paradigms and see the potential of this completely new scalable form of geothermal energy. Eavor continues to seek out and work with progressive companies like Shell to leverage this technology on a global scale. Our goal is to convert the energy equivalent of ten million homes in ten years to the Eavor-Loop solution."