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Techno-Economic Evaluation and Optimization of Flexible Geothermal Power (2021-2025)

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Investigator: Mohammad (Jabs) Aljubran

Intermittent renewables (e.g., solar and wind) are characterized with diminishing effective load carrying capabilities, and cannot solely drive a reliable net-zero energy portfolio. Consequently, geothermal operators have been exploring flexible generation to supply dispatchable power. There is limited literature that investigated how dispatchable geothermal power can be achieved through steam vent-off , wellhead throttling, turbine bypass, storage, etc. However, these methods involve various technical and economic challenges. This research investigates the techno-economic viability of flexible geothermal power generation. Specifically, the goal is to:

  1. Investigate integrated systems for flexible geothermal power dispatch. Such systems may consist of one or multiple approaches (e.g., installing surface storage tanks, throttling wells, bypassing turbines, etc.) towards optimal flexible generation.
  2. Conduct deterministic optimization based on historical data to allocate the optimal dispatch geothermal resources for various system designs. This allows for establishing baseline comparisons across these potential systems versus other industry standard solutions.
  3. Develop stochastic sequential optimization models using the reinformcement learning framework to enable online decision-making under uncertainty and provide practical algorithmic means for achieving optimal dispatch in practice.