Monday, October 2, 2017

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA GeoExpo+

U. investment in geothermal energy among summit highlights (Deseret News)

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert
Plans by the University of Utah to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable resources were among the developments in Utah's geothermal energy arena highlighted at a global summit Monday.

At Monday's plenary session of the Geothermal Resources Council's annual meeting and the Geothermal Energy Association's GeoExpo+, Gov. Gary Herbert also detailed advancements in FORGE Utah, which is unfolding near Milford, Beaver County.

The University of Utah and Sandia Laboratories in Nevada are sharing $29 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding in a fierce competition to be the ultimate destination for an underground geothermal lab.

FORGE, or Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy, is a subsurface laboratory where scientists and engineers will develop, test and accelerate breakthrough technology in enhanced geothermal systems.

The university's principal investigator, Joseph Moore, said the project has already drilled a 7,500-foot-deep demonstration well — ahead of its Nevada competitor.

The project seeks to transfer heat from hot, crystalline rock formations to create electricity for use in homes, cities, industry and vehicles — a feat that will be tested and, if all goes to plan, proven in Utah.

Moore said the location is ideally suited to demonstrate the benefits of enhanced geothermal technologies, given that it has been intensely investigated and drilled by scientists, students and companies since the mid-1970s.