Researchers Successfully Turn Abandoned Oil Well into Giant Geothermal Battery

Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have repurposed an old oil well structure and are using it for a geothermal energy storage system.

“Many of the same properties that make subsurface rock formation ideal for oil and gas extraction also make it ideal for geothermal storage,” said Tugce Baser, an environmental engineering professor at the University of Illinois. The infrastructure is already in place, and it is a good environment for artificial geothermal storage due to all the surrounding sponge-like rocks and minerals.

The goal is to store heat here and release it as electric power when user demand is high. The researchers have concluded that this solution is efficient, affordable and a cleaner way to produce electricity.