• Word of the Week – Silica Sinter

    Word of the Week – Silica Sinter

    Silica Sinter Horizontally banded deposit of amorphous silica that precipitates around neutral pH hot springs that are close to boiling temperature. Read More »
  • Modeling and Simulation Forum #7 Registration

    Modeling and Simulation Forum #7 Registration

    Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #7 "An Overview of Modeling and Simulation related to Utah FORGE Research Awards" Presented by: Robert Podgorney (INL) April 21 at 11 am MST This presentation will discuss the status of modeling and simulation effort and how it relates to the Solicitation 2020-1 awards. This is the 7th forum… Read More »
  • At the Core 5th Edition (April 2021)

    At the Core 5th Edition (April 2021)

    Keep up to date on what is going on at Utah FORGE. Read about it in the quarterly newsletter. SUBSCRIBE and receive updates and special announcements. Open and download a pdf version at-the-core-april-2021 Read More »
  • Word of the Week – Granitoid

    Word of the Week – Granitoid

    Granitoid A generic term referring to hard, coarsely crystalline plutonic rock that is produced by intrusion of magma followed by a long period of slow cooling and solidification below the surface (>10 km depth). The mineralogy and composition are variable, ranging from felsic (e.g., granite) to mafic (e.g., diorite). Read More »
  • Partner Spotlight — Geo-Energie Suisse

    Partner Spotlight — Geo-Energie Suisse

    Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Geo-Energie Suisse AG (GES) is a Swiss company focused on deep geothermal energy for electricity and heat production. The founding members include municipal utilities and regional energy supply companies from all over Switzerland. Geo-Energie Suisse employs ten people, and it is also supported by numerous external specialists. The company… Read More »
  • Did you know… geothermal wells can be highly deviated too?

    Did you know… geothermal wells can be highly deviated too?

    Did you know... geothermal wells can be highly deviated too? Just as in the oil industry, the first geothermal wells were all vertical, which remains common practice mainly because it is cost-effective. The maximum depth is typically about 10,000 feet (3 km). Deviated geothermal wells have been drilled too, extending laterally over horizontal distances up… Read More »
  • Word of the Week – Zonal Isolation

    Word of the Week – Zonal Isolation

    Zonal Isolation The process of operationally isolating specific intervals or zones along a wellbore to perform well intervention activities, such as stimulation. Read More »
  • Drilling of Well 56-32

    Drilling of Well 56-32

    Seismic Monitoring Well 56-32 This well is the fourth and deepest of a cluster of vertical seismic monitoring wells that are located near the toe of 16A(78)-32. The well was drilled vertically to a total depth of approximately 9,000 feet about 1300 feet north of 58-32. Well 56-32 will be fully cased (5 ½ inch)… Read More »
  • Word of the Week – Binary Cycle Power Plant

    Word of the Week – Binary Cycle Power Plant

    Binary Cycle Power Plant A power plant in which the produced geothermal fluid passes through a heat exchanger and heats a low boiling point liquid, commonly an organic compound such as pentane, to vaporize and condense as it passes through a turbine and generate electricity. This is a closed loop power cycle, in which organic… Read More »
  • Word of the Week – Stimulation

    Word of the Week – Stimulation

    Stimulation an operation carried out on a well that increases production or injection by improving the flow characteristics of the reservoir and enhancing the flow between the reservoir and the wellbore. Read More »
  • Word of the Week – Enhanced Geothermal System

    Word of the Week – Enhanced Geothermal System

    Enhanced Geothermal System unconventional geothermal resources that contain heat similar to conventional hydrothermal resources but lack the necessary groundwater and/or rock characteristics (e.g., permeability) to enable energy extraction without stimulation. Read More »
  • Did you know… that the first wells were drilled over 2000 years ago?

    Did you know… that the first wells were drilled over 2000 years ago?

    Did you know that the first wells were drilled over 2000 years ago? Drilling is an ancient technology and it has long been used to explore for natural resources and to produce fluids such as water, brine, oil and gas that occur underground. The Chinese drilled shallow wells over 2000 years ago to produce brine.… Read More »
  • Utah FORGE announces 17 project selectees for negotiations for solicitation 2020-1

    Utah FORGE announces 17 project selectees for negotiations for solicitation 2020-1

    Utah FORGE Chooses 17 Selectees to Begin Negotiations: University of Utah to award $46 M for research in Enhanced Geothermal System development 17 selectees chosen to enter negotiations in 5 topic areas SALT LAKE CITY, UT., Feb. 24, 2021 – The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) at the University of Utah… Read More »
  • Utah FORGE Successfully Completes Drilling of First Deviated Deep Well

    Utah FORGE Successfully Completes Drilling of First Deviated Deep Well

    Drilling Completed!!! Utah FORGE team has successfully completed drilling of its first highly deviated deep well. Drilling was completed 60 days ahead of schedule. The upper part of the well was drilled vertically through approximately 4,700 feet of sediments before penetrating into high strength, crystalline granite. The well was deviated at a 65° angle from… Read More »
  • At the Core 4th Edition (January 2021)

    At the Core 4th Edition (January 2021)

    Keep up to date on what is going on at Utah FORGE. Read about it in the quarterly newsletter. SUBSCRIBE and receive updates and special announcements. Open and download a pdf version at-the-core-january-2020 Read More »
  • Partner Spotlight – Itasca

    Partner Spotlight – Itasca

    Itasca Consulting Group Inc. is a global, employee-owned, engineering consulting and software firm, focusing on geomechanical and hydrogeological projects. 3DEC model of a geothermal site showing shear displacements along existing fractures and synthetic (predicted) microseismicity.   Led by Principal Engineer Dr. Branko Damjanac, the team brings deep experience in solving complex problems in mining, civil,… Read More »
  • Utah FORGE and UofU’s Department of Communication partner up

    Utah FORGE and UofU’s Department of Communication partner up

    In yet another example of inter-departmental collaboration, Utah FORGE, a geothermal energy research project, is delighted to be working closely with Dr. Sara K. Yeo in the University’s Department of Communication, within the College of Humanities. The research being conducted by Utah FORGE near the town of Milford is focused on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)… Read More »
  • Modeling and Simulation Forum #6 RECORDING

    Modeling and Simulation Forum #6 RECORDING

    Utah FORGE Modeling & Simulation Forum #6 "Accessing Heat and Fluid Flow in Doublet Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS)" Presented by: Pranay Asai (University of Utah) and Robert Podgorney (INL) January 20 at 2 pm MDT - PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE This presentation discussed the effect of well orientation and placement on the overall heat… Read More »
  • Utah FORGE and the College of Education develop a new partnership

    Utah FORGE and the College of Education develop a new partnership

    Inter-departmental cooperation has always been a hallmark of success for the University of Utah. The latest example of this cooperation is found in two seemingly disparate groups: Utah FORGE, a geothermal energy research project, and the College of Education. Harnessing the potential of geothermal energy could provide a great boost to the nation’s energy portfolio.… Read More »
  • Drilling Progress of Well 16A(78)-32

    Drilling Progress of Well 16A(78)-32

    Current Ongoing Progress Updates: The Utah FORGE team has started drilling its first highly deviated deep well. Highly deviated wells are frequently drilled for oil and gas production, but not by the geothermal industry. The Utah FORGE team will be one of the first to tackle this challenge while drilling in hot, hard crystalline granite. Read More »

June 15, 2018:

Major news outlets continue to cover Utah’s procurement of the final phase of the FORGE project. The U.S. Department of Energy will give the University of Utah up to $140 million to support a research laboratory studying geothermal energy.

Salt Lake City Tribune Article

KSL TV/Radio Article

ThinkGeoEngery.com Article


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.

salton-sea-landscape


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.

seis_refl_method Vibrators-performing-PPV-geophone-in-foreground Vibroseis Trucks 1

Watch this youtube video to see how it’s done.


Oct 1, 2017:

University of Utah to source electricity from geothermal plant in Utah. Read about it at thinkgeoenergy.com and deseretnews.com


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

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July 20, 2017:

Pad and drilling site preparation for drilling of the test well are in progress.

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 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.

Capture


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.

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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.

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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.

antelope milford steam


October, 2016:

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 »