Photo of a man working in a lab.

Tim Kneafsey, PI for the EGS Collab effort, conducts tests on rock core in his lab at LBNL. Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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In early 2017, the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) funded National Laboratories to focus on GTO’s vision for longer-term, transformational enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The objective of this Lab Call is to establish a collaborative experimental and model comparison initiative - the EGS Collab.

The EGS Collab is envisioned as a small-scale field site where the subsurface modeling and research community will establish validations against controlled, small-scale, in-situ experiments focused on rock fracture behavior and permeability enhancement. The EGS Collab will provide the opportunity for reservoir model prediction and validation, in coordination with in depth analysis of geophysical and other fracture characterization data with an ultimate goal of understanding the basic relationship between stress, seismicity and permeability enhancement. Identification and quantification of other parameters impacting permeability, as well as understanding how these parameters change throughout the three EGS development phases, is expected and critical to achieving commercial viability of EGS.

The EGS Collab works to act as the bridge between laboratory scale stimulation/rock mechanics studies and the large field scale of the future FORGE site. 

This initiative will address critical and fundamental barriers to EGS advancement by facilitating direct collaboration between the geothermal reservoir modeling community, experimentalists, and geophysicists in developing and implementing well-field characterization and development, monitoring, and stimulation methods.

Photo of a group of workers in hard hats in an underground tunnel.

The EGS Collab Team visits the Sanford Underground Research Facility at Homestake Mine in South Dakota. Source: Mark White, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.