Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. (MOECO) and TEPCO Renewable Power, Inc. (TEPCO RP) agreed to jointly engage in the consideration on geothermal power generation that employs new heat recovery technology (the joint consideration). This new technology differs from conventional geothermal power generation whereby hot water and steam are directly harvested in that subterranean loops of wells are formed in the hot rock layer to circulate water, etc. from the surface thereby recovering only heat from underground to generate power.
This new technology is unique in that water permeability is not necessary thereby reducing the difficulty of exploration and consequently shortening the lead time between exploration and development. Furthermore, since steam and hot water are not directly harvested from underground, this new technology is also advantageous in that it reduces the load on the environment.
In accordance with this agreement, MOECO will provide knowledge and technical prowess pertaining to the assessment and development of underground resources, and TEPCO RP will provide knowledge and technical prowess pertaining to the construction and operation of power stations as well as the ability to build trustworthy relationships with local communities and government officials.