Outreach News and Events
June 14, 2018:
In release today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the University of Utah will receive up to $140 million in continued funding over the next five years for cutting-edge geothermal research and development. After three years of planning, site characterization, and competition, the proposed site outside of Milford, Utah, has been selected as the location of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory. This new FORGE site is dedicated to research on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), or manmade geothermal reservoirs. See this link.
Feb 4, 2018:
NPR All Things Considered special on the FORGE project entitled ‘The Forgotten Renewable: Geothermal Energy Production Heats Up’. Check it out at this link.
Dec 13, 2017:
Last week the Utah FORGE project completed a two- and three-dimensional seismic surveys to further characterize the project area’s buried granite reservoir. Specifically, the survey may help to identify any buried faults that might be zones of fluid flow.
Seismic surveys create subsurface images by generating, recording, and analyzing sound waves that travel through the Earth (such waves are also called seismic waves). Density changes between rock or soil layers reflect the waves back to the surface, and how quickly and strongly the waves are reflected back indicates what lies below.
For the Utah FORGE survey, vehicle-mounted vibrator plates (called vibroseis trucks) generated the source waves and a grid of geophones recorded them. The survey included two 2D surveys that were 2.5 miles long and included approximately 160 source points and geophone receivers each, and a 3D survey that covered 7 square miles and included 1,100 source points and 1,700 geophone receivers. The data is now being processed to generate a three-dimensional map of the subsurface reservoir.
For more a more information on seismic surveys see https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/survey-notes/glad-you-asked/what-are-seismic-surveys/
More information is also found on this page of the UGS Blog.
Watch this youtube video to see how it’s done.
Oct 1, 2017:
Aug 23, 2017:
In August, the Utah FORGE project took a big leap forward with the drilling of a 7,000-foot deep geothermal scientific well. As part of our continuing effort to keep all stakeholders engaged and up to date, Utah FORGE conducted a field visit for stakeholders on August 23rd. See this link for pictures and highlights.
Aug 1, 2017:
Interview: Dr. J. Moore, Managing Principal Investigator Utah FORGE site. Check it out at this link, www.thinkgeoenergy.com
July 31, 2017:
Drilling in progress at the FORGE site
July 20, 2017:
Pad and drilling site preparation for drilling of the test well are in progress.
June 1, 2017:
In conjunction with the 2017 Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit, the Office of Energy Development produced a great video which features Utah energy and minerals innovations, including the Utah FORGE project.
March 20, 2017:
Stephen Potter presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America in Denver on April 19. Stephen has been analyzing the historic seismicity around Milford the Roosevelt Hot Spring system, and the FORGE site. No seismicity has been detected at the FORGE site.
March 10, 2017:
In late March a drilling pad was prepared for an investigation well to be drilled this summer. This well will be drilled to 7000 feet, and will provide data on the thermal regime, rock type, permeability, and stress regime beneath the site.
January 27, 2017:
In mid-December 2016, a group of four graduate students deployed 96 three-component Nodal seismic instruments in two grid configurations centered on the proposed Utah FORGE site. It was cold and windy when the instruments were installed, but nothing like the weather they faced (snow and cold) in mid-January 2017 when they returned to retrieve the instruments. The data from these instruments will be used to look for extremely small (M 0 or less) earthquakes, and will be used to construct a subsurface image of the rocks beneath the proposed drill site.
November 21, 2016:
Dr Robert Podgorney has joined the Utah FORGE team. Dr. Podgorney will be the Technical Expert on Reservoir Modeling activities. Dr. Robert Podgorney is a senior scientist and department manager at the Idaho National Laboratory and an affiliate faculty member with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, a public–private research partnership between the INL and Idaho public research universities. He is currently developing a fully coupled hydro-thermal-mechanical simulator for modeling, with targeted applications for simulating enhanced geothermal systems and unconventional gas reservoirs. His research interests in general center on water and energy related issues, focusing on experimental, numerical, and analytical investigations of multiphase fluid flow in fractures and fracture networks and the development of massively parallel simulators for describing these systems. The International Partnership for Geothermal Technology has recently recognized his expertise in geothermal simulation, as he has been appointed to serve as the US Convener to the Reservoir Modeling Working Group for an indefinite term. His experiences ranges from field based well drilling and monitoring activities to regional scale groundwater management and modeling, for both environmental and energy applications.
October 18, 2016:
With its successful selection as one of two finalists in the FORGE initiative, the Utah FORGE team continues its efforts to keep stakeholders informed and up to date with an outreach trip on October 18th. Co-Principal Investigator, and Utah State Geologist, Dr. Rick Allis led the trip, which included meetings with and presentations to SunEdison’s wind farm, Rocky Mountain Power PacifiCorp’s Blundell geothermal plant, area land owner Smithfield (a division of Murphy Brown LLC), the Beaver County Utah Economic Development Director, and the Milford City Council. Interest in, and support for the project appeared strong among all stakeholders.
The FORGE Utah project was prominently represented at the annual Geothermal Resources Council meeting in Sacramento held during October (2016). In addition to a poster reviewing the site characteristics, there was a presentation and poster led by Mark Gwynn (Utah Geological Survey) reinterpreting the thermal regime around the FORGE site. This poster won the “Best Poster” award at the conference. See the poster at this link.
September 7, 2016:
A small patch of land north of Milford, Utah, could become the country’s hotbed of research development into geothermal energy, clean and renewable electricity generated from hot rocks deep underground.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced that the University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) is one of two research groups selected as finalists to establish a new multimillion-dollar geothermal laboratory to study techniques for developing geothermal energy in places where it’s not currently feasible. EGI is a research institute for geothermal technologies that is comprised of faculty members from the University of Utah’s College of Engineering and College of Mines and Earth Sciences. Read More »
September 1, 2016:
The University of Utah emerged as one of two final candidates in a nationwide hunt to develop an underground laboratory tapping ways to harness the power of man-made geothermal reservoirs.
The U.’s Milford site and Sandia National Laboratories share $29 million in funding under the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy, or FORGE, program. Read More »
May 24-25, 2016:
EGI hosted a booth at the The Fifth Annual Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit, highlighting the FORGE project and Milford, Utah site.
The Governor’s Energy Summit serves as a meeting place and display case for businesses, provides educational opportunities for non-profits and the public, and brings together state and national officials to better understand regulatory issues and policy options. The 2016 Summit addressed regional, national and international energy issues, encouraging the participation of energy professionals from the Intermountain West and far beyond. In Utah, energy not only fuels our diverse economy, but it touches our daily lives, and the Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit annually recognizes its significance, and aims to promote the sector’s responsible growth in the Intermountain West and throughout the nation. Read More »
February 2-4, 2016:
STEM Fest is a unique gathering of Utah educational and business leaders engaged in science and technology. The event offers students in 7th through 10th grades the opportunity to discover exciting and innovative career opportunities right here in Utah.
EGI hosted a booth in conjunction with the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development at the three-day event for schools throughout Utah, as well as an evening session open to the public. EGI’s booth offered a broad array of interactive learning opportunities, including the DOE FORGE Utah EGS project, 3D Geology, rock and mineral identification, microscope examination of mineral samples, and robotic mining. Read More »
January 27, 2016:
Dr. Joseph Moore presented an invited talk to a class in NUCLEAR ENGINEERING at the University of Utah. The presentation covered the basics of geothermal energy and the need for EGS development and a national FORGE laboratory, where new technologies can be tested.
December 15, 2015:
Dr. Joseph Moore gave an invited presentation at the 6th Annual Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) convened by the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy. The theme of the conference was Building Risky Energy. Dr. Moore discussed the role geothermal energy can play in today’s energy mix. He discussed challenges facing conventional geothermal development and the potential of EGS. He stressed the importance of the FORGE laboratory where new techniques for EGS development could be developed and tested. Read More »
December 3 2015:
Dr. Rick Allis and Stuart Simmons conducted a site visit for landowners, regulators and interested stakeholders Thursday morning, Dec. 3, 2015. The locations of the deep drill holes, the potential access routes, and the main groundwater collection facility were visited.
April 27, 2015:
SALT LAKE CITY – Generating electricity from the hot rocks deep underground is clean, safe and renewable – and it’s about to take a step forward in Utah.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Monday that a team from the University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute is one of five research groups selected to study new techniques for developing geothermal energy in places where it’s not currently feasible. EGI is part of the U’s College of Engineering. Read More »