Over the past year the Geothermal Technologies Office’s largest initiative, the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), kicked off its first portfolio of research and development projects following Solicitation 2020-1.  Released in April 2020, this was the first R&D solicitation managed and administered by University of Utah as part of the FORGE initiative. The resultant portfolio of 17 projects covers testing and evaluation of new and innovative enhanced geothermal systems tools and techniques and has a combined total funding of $49 million over the next 3 years. Read more about the projects’ objectives and visit Utah FORGE’s website for more information.

Topic

Awardee

Topic 1: Devices suitable for isolating zones of a well at temperatures greater than 225°C

Welltec

PetroQuip Energy Services

Colorado School of Mines  

Topic 2: Estimation of stress parameters

Battelle Memorial Institute

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

University of Oklahoma

Topic 3: Field-scale characterization of reservoir stimulation and evolution over time, including thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical effects

Clemson University

Stanford University

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Rice University

Topic 4: Stimulation and configuration of the well(s) at Utah FORGE

Fervo Energy Company

University of Texas at Austin 

Topic 5: Integrated laboratory and modeling studies of the interactions among THMC processes

Pennsylvania State University

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

U.S. Geological Survey

University of Oklahoma

Purdue University

Forge awards map

Also, in April of this year, the Utah FORGE team successfully completed a three-stage hydraulic stimulation of its first highly deviated injection well, an important phase of the project and a key milestone in creating a fully human-made geothermal reservoir. The stimulation involved injecting fluid into rocks at high pressures to create new fractures and make the rocks permeable and able to harness geothermal. Initial results are promising, and after the new subsurface reservoir is mapped the FORGE team anticipates drilling the second full-size wellbore in early 2023. With continued success, FORGE has the potential to chart a commercial pathway for further EGS development. Read the full EERE Success Story.