Assessing Geothermal Projects Using Envision

Date and Time
October 23, 2020 03:45 PM (PDT)–04:45 PM (PDT)
Geothermal settings are ideal for a Resource Park philosophy, where projects strive to maximize delivery of energy, material and community benefits. Envision, a sustainability rating system developed for infrastructure projects, can be used as a structured process to reveal these opportunities. The Envision framework helps highlight potential project improvements in five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World and Climate & Resilience. Each category has multiple credits that the project team can explore to reach higher levels of achievement. The Iceland School of Energy (ISE), hosted at Reykjavik University, is a practical working ground for graduate students interested in renewable energy. As part of this curriculum, the students use Envision to evaluate geothermal and other power projects. Thanks to the willingness of owners to provide data, students can assess real-world developments, with the findings returned for use to the owners during their formative study stages. The feedback includes value engineering suggestions of ways projects may be able to harness additional revenue streams or other benefits for their communities that might have gone unseen without the wider perspective that Envision provides. Geothermal projects are particularly applicable to be evaluated and scored using Envision as they are a precious yet complex and continually evolving resource and member of their community. Their competitiveness is increased if they can deliver a wide range of benefits compared to other electrical power sources. Envision helps to generate, quantify and tabulate these potential improvements. It can also help describe the broader project benefits to the community and other decision makers, increasing acceptance. This paper describes how teams at ISE have applied Envision for studies of geothermal projects, processes which could be adapted by other interested developer, design or student teams.
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