Energy, Utilities & Water  February 18, 2022

Transitional Energy, United Power partner with geothermal plans

BRIGHTON — Aurora-based Transitional Energy is joining forces with United Power to launch a geothermal energy pilot program. The program intends to harness heat captured from oil wells to power oil facilities.

Most oil and gas facilities are powered by traditional electricity, even in remote areas. This program would redirect waste heat that is naturally found deep underground into providing energy for well pads, drilling rigs and abandoned facilities.

The program is set to develop using the organic Rankine cycle, which uses temperatures below the boiling point of water to produce electricity. Oil wells frequently encounter the natural high temperatures found deep within the ground, which typically go unused.

The women-owned, native-led Transitional Energy LLC prioritizes transforming waste into usable material. The program will be partially funded by a grant from the Colorado Office

of Economic Development and International Trade. The company was recently awarded another grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop geothermal technologies for oil and gas.

Brighton-based United Power Inc. provides electric service to oil and gas operations throughout the Denver-Julesburg oil basin in northeastern Colorado. The geothermal program is just one renewable energy project United Power is working on.

“Utilizing clean, economical geothermal energy to provide local power that can be dispatched when needed is a critical component of our growing energy portfolio,” Dean Hubbock, chief energy resources officer for United Power, said in a statement.

Traditionally, operations are powered through grid power or on-site diesel generators. The program would power both active and abandoned wells geothermally.

The intent of the program is to reduce the overall carbon footprint of oil and gas providers. Transitional Energy and United Power intend to work with individual owner-operators to use otherwise-unused geothermal resources found within thousands of wells.

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