Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Geothermal Energy in Hawaii—Present and Future1

By
John W. Shupe
John W. Shupe
2
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.
Search for other works by this author on:
Paul C. Yuen
Paul C. Yuen
2
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1981

Abstract

Drilling at geothermal well HGP-A on the Big Island of Hawaii was completed on April 27, 1976 to a depth of 6,450 ft (1,966 m). This culminated a 4-year program of planning, exploratory surveys, related research, and experimental drilling requiring over $2.5 million of federal, state, county, and private funding. Maximum downhole temperature recorded was 358°C (676°F), and initial sampling indicated that the quality of the fluid was excellent—low in chloride content, mercury, and hydrogen sulfide.

Subsequent ERDA and state funding supported a comprehensive well-testing program, which resulted in the following preliminary results:

1. The Kapoho reservoir is liquid-dominated; has a tight formation, permeability thickness of approximately 1,000 md/ft; has high temperatures and formation pressures 350°C and 2,000 psi; is a potentially large reservoir, possibly 1,000 MWe for 50 years; and contains slightly brackish relatively benign fluid, although high in dissolved silica.

2. HGP-A geothermal well drilled in the Kapoho reservoir probably has severe skin damage, since the flow rate increases with each test. It exhibits wellhead pressure of 160 psi at steam flow rate of 60,000 Ib/hr; has a potential power output of 3.5 MWe for at least 30 years; and indicates that flashing occurs in the formation. During flashing, the borehole contains steam and water at saturation. The probable producing zones are at bottomhole and 4,300 ft (1,310 m).

Approval has been obtained from DOE for major funding for a wellhead generator of around 2 MWe capacity—the limit of the existing power line in the area. State and county matching funds will be provided and negotiations are under way. The Big Island utility has agreed to purchase the power and assist with construction.

Deterrents to rapid expansion of geothermal energy on the big island are: (1) Limited guaranteed power demand; (2) the onlv confirmed aeothermal resource is in an active vulnerability on seaborne petroleum and high energy costs; (2) major potential markets in mineral refining and other energy intensive industry; (3) potential nonelectrical geothermal uses; and (4) a very positive attitude toward geothermal energy use at all levels of government in Hawaii, as well as by the general public.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

AAPG Studies in Geology

Energy Resources of the Pacific Region

Michel T. Halbouty
Michel T. Halbouty
Search for other works by this author on:
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
12
ISBN electronic:
9781629811802
Publication date:
January 01, 1981

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal