U.S. Assistant Secretary visits U and Utah FORGE site

PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC LARSON, FLASH POINT SLC Alejandro Moreno and DOE officials in front of the drill rig at the Utah FORGE site.

Managed by the University of Utah, the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) hosted Alejandro Moreno, acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, for a two-day visit to the University of Utah and the Utah FORGE site, during which he learned about geothermal energy and the ongoing research in Beaver County.

Utah FORGE is a geothermal laboratory located northeast of Milford. The $218M project was awarded to the U’s Energy & Geosciences Institute after a three-year, five-way competition, and is the university’s largest-ever research grant. Along with the FORGE team, Assistant Secretary Moreno was joined by Lauren Boyd, acting director of the DOE’s Geothermal Technology Office, and several other officials from the department.

The visit comes about a month after FORGE announced that the drilling of its second highly deviated deep well has commenced. This second well will serve as the production well of a two well doublet, and will mirror the existing injection well, which was drilled between October 2020 and February 2021. The new well will be located approximately 300 feet from the injection well.

Like the injection well, the upper part of the well will be drilled vertically through approximately 4,550 feet of sediments at which point it will penetrate into hard crystalline granite. At about 5,600 feet, the well will be gradually steered at a 5-degree angle for each 100 feet until it reaches an inclination of 65 degrees from its vertical point. The total length of the well will be approximately 10,700 feet with the “toe” – or the end of the well – reaching a vertical depth of 8,265 feet. The temperature at this depth will be 440 degrees F.

Dr. Joseph Moore, the principal investigator of Utah FORGE, Research Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and adjunct faculty member in the U’s Department of Geology & Geophysics in , presented an overview of the project and answered questions from the Assistant secretary and others in attendance. Assistant Secretary Moreno was eager to learn more about the potential offered by the research in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), the progress achieved thus far, and its role in advancing the nation’s renewable energy goals.

Read further about Assistant Secretary Moreno’s visit to the U and the lab site in @TheU