The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (Utah FORGE), was recently profiled in two national publications. Utah FORGE is a five-year, $220 million USD research project seeking to create a demonstration of a commercially viable Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS). This technology could revolutionize how future geothermal energy projects are constructed and make geothermal energy a larger part of the energy transition.
This May, the American business magazine Forbes interviewed Utah FORGE Co-PI Dr. John McLennan. The full interview appeared in two articles discussing Utah FORGE and geothermal energy development in the United States. Utah FORGE has recently made significant strides towards demonstrating a commercially viable EGS project. The injection well has been completed, reaching a depth of 10,987 ft (or a true vertical depth of 8520 ft below ground level). Next, the team completed a series of hydraulic fracturing treatments to stimulate natural fractures at the toe of the well, to form the linkage with the production well. Dr. McLennan is optimistic about the future of EGS development in the United States, building on the techniques that Utah FORGE is developing. “Success at FORGE means testing technologies that would not otherwise be considered, passing viable technologies to private industry, and encouraging geothermal development overall,” he said.
In July, Science profiled the work of Utah FORGE and its promising developments in creating an EGS in central Utah. Both private companies and government agencies are exploring EGS development with unprecedented investment. FORGE is leading the way with future EGS project development by pioneering techniques from the oil and gas industry in a geothermal energy application. Utah FORGE Co-PI Dr. Joseph Moore said the goal of Utah FORGE is to “take EGS to the point where the private sector can see its viability.” FORGE has already made some breakthroughs to achieve that goal, such as using synthetic diamond drill bits to cut through the hot bedrock.
EGI congratulates the Utah FORGE team on their scientific breakthroughs in advancing EGS technologies.
Read Dr. McLennan’s interview with Forbes: Part 1 and Part 2