Geodynamics changes focus to solar, storage and hybrid energy

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The company formerly known for its efforts to generate energy from “hot rock geothermal” will diversify into solar, battery storage, and hybrid renewables.

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ASX-listed Australian geothermal hopeful Geodynamics has announced plans to change its name and principal focus and turn its attention to solar PV, battery storage and hybrid energy systems.

The company became famous for its efforts to generate energy from South Australian geothermal “deeps” – and even though the efforts were successful, they could not be done at a cost that could compete on the market.

It will now be known as ReNu Energy, and its new focus comes less than two months after the company closed and remediated the sites of several geothermal test wells and generation plants in South Australia’s Cooper Basin, after deciding they were not financially viable.

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While the company had created a buzz in clean energy circles by managing to extract super-heated water from five kilometres below the earth’s surface and using it to generate small amounts of electricity, their efforts hit a wall when it came to funding and scale.

“The technology worked but unfortunately the cost of implementing the technology and also the cost of delivering the electricity that was produced to a market was just greater than the revenue stream that we could create,” Geodynamics chief executive Chris Murray said in August.

In 2014, Geodynamics agreed to return more than $30 million in funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency that was awarded to the company for the development of its Cooper Basin geothermal resources – particularly the drilling and stimulation of Habanero 4 and subsequent Habanero 1 MW Pilot Plant trial.

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In an AXS announcement published on Thursday, Geodynamics said ReNu Energy would be the band the company would conduct its biogas generation and broader renewables business, while also expanding into the agribusiness sector to include solar PV, battery storage and hybrid energy solutions.

The company said that the Australian agribusiness sector was in a strong position, but that as high users of energy, was exposed to rising electricity and gas costs.

“These businesses represent not only an opportunity for biogas energy solutions but are also ideal candidates for the installation of solar PV, battery storage and hybrid energy systems,” Carnegie said.

The plan is for ReNu Energy – should the shareholders approve the name change – to align and partner with well established suppliers of solar PV, battery storage and hybrid energy solutions to deliver an “expanded offering”.

“With the cost of renewable technology continuing to fall and demand for Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGC) driving high prices, it is an opportune time to be participating in this market,” the statement said.

Geodynamics director and CEO Chris Murray said the company was well positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for renewables.

“We will continue to identify and evaluate further transformational opportunities for the company focussed on renewables energy generation, clean energy products and associated services,” he said.

The company’s share price, which reached a high of just over $2 in december 2007, currently sits at $0.017.

Sophie Vorrath

Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.

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