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The Fallon FORGE team seeks to establish and manage a well characterized and highly instrumented field test site dedicated to advancing EGS research, enabling the broader engineering and science community to accelerate the deployment of EGS.  The team is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to reduce our Nation’s dependency on fossil fuels and to safeguard the military readiness for the United States. Prior geothermal exploration at the proposed site has identified attractive temperatures but sub-commercial permeabilities have prevented conventional geothermal development in the area. Led by Sandia National Laboratories, the Fallon FORGE team is strongly committed to the “underground R&D laboratory” and includes: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. Navy & the U.S. Navy Geothermal Program Office, Ormat Nevada, Inc., U.S. Geological Survey (Menlo Park, California), University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), GeothermEx / Schlumberger, and Itasca Consulting Group, Inc.

Status

The Fallon FORGE team's proposed candidate site proceeded to Phase 2. To learn more about their findings you can review the Fallon FORGE team's Phase 1 Report and data submissions on the Geothermal Data Repository.   

Location

The Fallon FORGE site lies within and adjacent to the Naval Air Station Fallon (NASF), located in west-central Nevada. The proposed area sits within the Carson Sink and is bound by the Fallon agricultural district to the north and west, the Lahontan and Bunejug Mountains to the east, and the Carson Lake wetlands at the base of the White Throne Mountains to the south. The site is located on two parcels of land that are owned or controlled by the NASF and Ormat Nevada, Inc. The proposed FORGE location includes approximately 2.5 mi2 (4.5 km2) for full development and 25 mi2 (40 km2) for monitoring and instrumentation on surrounding lands.

Technical Information

More than 45 wells have been drilled for geothermal exploration within the NASF and Ormat lease area, including four exploration wells within the proposed FORGE site that will be available for use in the project. Data from these wells will be merged with available geophysical and geological data to generate a detailed 3D model of the FORGE site. 

Substantial drilling and analysis of these wells indicate temperatures greater than 350°F (175°C) at depths of .93 to 1.2 mi (1.5 to 2 km) beneath the site, however extensive flow testing has demonstrated a lack of permeability in the project area. It is these conditions that have prohibited the traditional development of this resource, but with the strong commitments of the U.S. Navy and Ormat Nevada Inc., the location will undergo further exploration from the Fallon FORGE team to assess its potential for EGS development.

Fun Facts
  • Naval Air Station Fallon is the Navy’s premier tactical air warfare training center.
  • Geothermal exploration in this portion of the Carson Sink has been ongoing since 1973.
  • The Carson Sink area currently hosts six geothermal power plants with a capacity of approximately 150 MWE. 

Additional information on the Fallon FORGE team is available at  fallonforge.sandia.gov