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Geothermal Energy Development

Land Acquisition and Leasing

Similar to oil and gas exploration, geothermal energy development projects begin with the identification of geothermal and landowner surface rights. Holders of geothermal rights are typically compensated with an initial annual lease payment and a long-term royalty payment based on the power generated by the project.

Berrendo has developed geothermal and landowner leases terms and conditions that are competitive in the marketplace and offer adequate protections and flexibility for the leaseholder. Specific land acquisition and leasing services performed by Berrendo include:

  • Identification of owners of geothermal rights and surface land
  • Contacting landowners and negotiating terms and conditions
  • Providing regular communication with landowners

Low temperature oilfield water

Assess Geothermal Energy Potential

Berrendo utilizes a variety of geologic mapping, historical information and databases of measured temperatures and flowrates to make a preliminary determination of the geothermal energy potential of a location. More intrusive methods are required after this to assess bottom hole temperatures, thermal conductivity and gradients, and geothermal water flowrates.

Specific energy assessment services performed by Berrendo include:

  • Reviewing historical information and databases
  • Performing seismic and AMT/MT (Audio-frequency Magneto-Tellurics/Magneto-Tellurics) studies
  • Utilizing subsurface tracer studies
  • Drilling slim-hole and exploratory production wells

Utility Negotiations and Interconnection Process

Identifying available physical transmission capacity and contracting for this capacity are essential early steps in developing a geothermal energy project. Berrendo negotiates with utilities throughout the Midwest and West, making capital investments to secure interconnection with the appropriate transmission companies. Specific utility negotiation services performed by Berrendo include:

  • Identifying interconnection options and constraints
  • Evaluating transmission options
  • Selecting cost effective interconnection configurations

Energy Marketing and Contracting

Geothermal energy is considered base load electricity and offers a 24/7 dispatch for utilities, therefore commanding a higher value than other intermittent resources. Berrendo makes it part of its business to understand the renewable energy needs of the various utilities and looks at all options for selling a geothermal energy plant’s power into the market. Specific energy marketing services performed by Berrendo include:

  • Analyzing electrical output characteristics to improve load profile and project attractiveness
  • Identifying potential buyers of energy
  • Negotiating power purchase agreements (PPA’s) with buyers
  • Selling Renewable Energy Credits


The permitting of a geothermal energy plant typically involves obtaining environmental, water supply, water disposal, and construction permits. Depending upon the location of the plant, these permits may involve county, state and federal agencies. Specific permitting and regulatory compliance services performed by Berrendo include:

  • Identification of county, state, federal agency requirements
  • Coordinating public relations and governmental affairs

Design and Construction

The design phase of a geothermal energy plant includes the evaluation and selection of the most efficient binary power plant. This selection depends on the geothermal resource available and the location of the facility. Berrendo has evaluated all of the leading suppliers of geothermal energy plants. Once a geothermal energy plant supplier is selected, Berrendo initiates the design and construction phase of the project. Specific design and construction services performed by Berrendo include:

  • Completion of final design and material specification
  • Selecting geothermal energy plant suppliers
  • Procuring equipment
  • Selecting general contractors
  • Performing construction management