Timelines of Hot Rock Energy development


HDR - Hot Dry Rock

The list shows the technical milesones of the development of HDR systems

1970 Proposal of the Los Alamos ScientificLaboratory in New Mexico, USA to useheat from the hot dry rocks of thecrystalline crust.

1973 First HDR experiments at Fenton Hill onthe east - side of the Valles Caldera nearLos Alamos.

Until 1979 Phase 1 of the LASL - HDR project with circulation experiments at 3 km depth at temperatures of about 195oC.Since 1980 Phase II of the LASL - HDR project at adepth of 4.5 km at temperatures of 330oCwith circulation experiments at about 3.6km depth.

1974-1977 HDR feasibility studies in Japan.

1975 Start of preparations for the Urach researchdrillhole (Germany).

Since 1977 HDR feasibility studies at shallow depth(500 m) in Falkenberg, Germany (until1986), Cornwall, Camborne School ofMines (CSM), UK and Massif Central,France. Start of the Urach geothermaldrillhole Urach 3 to a depth of 3,334meters (143°C) and hydraulic testingprogram.

1978-1979 The MAG ES - study (“use of man – made- geothermal - energy - systems”) initiatedby the International Energy Agency,operated by KFA Jülich and carried out byPreussag A.G.1977-1981 HDR studies in the former GermanDemocratic Republic at Mellin, Altmark.

1980 Deepening of the Cornwall drill holes to2.6 km depth (80°C).

1980-1986 Deepening of the Urach borehole to 3,488km (147°C) in Phase III and hydraulictesting program (single borehole system).

1984-1989 Fundamental investigations in the LeMayet de Montagne - project in France at adepth of 800 meters (University of Paris).

1986 Start of the German - French HDR projectat Soultz - sous - Forêts in Northern Alsace(F).

1987 Phase 1 of the Soultz project by drilling afirst 2-km deep hole (140°C) andinvestigation of the crystalline basement inthe Rhine-Graben.1986-1991 HDR experiments in Japan in Hijion(NRIPR) and other locations (SendaiUniversity).

1989 The Camborne School of Mines (theEnglish HDR project group) joins theSoultz HDR project. Formation of an industrial consortium to organize planing and technical operation of an European HDR - project.

1990-1993 Phase II of the Soultz project: drilling asecond 2-km deep drillhole and deepeningthe first drillhole to 3.5 km depth to a temperature of 160°C and geothermal reservoir identification. The second drillhole was used as a seismic observation hole.

1994-1995 Phase III of the Soultz project: Drilling ofthe second main hole to a depth of 3,876 m(170°C). Production tests, first steam production in Middle Europe from crystalline rocks. Massive stimulation and circulation tests with seismic monitoring,development of the heat exchanger stage I,thermal power of 8 MW was achieved.

1991-1996 Phase III of the Urach Project. Extension ofthe drillhole to a depth of 4,445 m (172°C) and intense borehole measurement program.

1996-1997 Development of the downhole heat exchanger by massive hydraulic testing ;worldwide the largest HDR system was created. Hydraulic long-term four monthcirculation test; thermal power of 11 MW was achieved.

1998-2000 Extension of the second main hole atSoultz to a depth of 5,060 m (201°C). Hydraulic stimulation and seismicmonitoring.

2001 Planning and preparation of a first scientific HDR pilot plant at Soultz-sous-Forêts. Planning and preparation of a firstHDR research pilot plant at Urach.


In Australia Recent
As of June 2008, 33 companies had applied for geothermal licence areas across Australia. According to the Government of South Australia, 23 companies have applied for 237 geothermal licences covering more than 110,800 square kilometres.  These licences account for more than 80 per cent of all geothermal exploration activity underway or proposed throughout Australia.

Historical Timelines

The case for Hot Rock Energy

Hot Rock Energy Video

The Australian Advantage

Images of Hot Rock Energy Systems