Tuesday, June 4, 2019

USA: Support team Announced for Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy

Science and Technology Analysis Team Formed for FORGE Initiative (DOE/EERE/GTO)

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) initiative, a diverse group of experts has been formed to support the Utah FORGE team. The Science and Technology Analysis Team (STAT) convened for the first time in April in Salt Lake City and in addition to members of STAT, personnel from DOE and the Utah FORGE team were also in attendance. This meeting served as a powerful reminder of the potential of the FORGE initiative to advance enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to a place of commercial readiness. Initial public outputs of the meeting will be the release of the first round of FORGE research and development (R&D) funding opportunity announcements, scheduled for later in calendar year 2019.

Since April, the STAT has been providing technical guidance to ensure that the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO)’s objectives are considered and incorporated into the execution of FORGE and R&D. Specifically, the STAT is assessing R&D needs in accordance with GTO roadmaps and goals, working to establish technical baseline information and performance specifications, and reviewing ongoing site characterization and monitoring efforts. Additionally, the team is developing topics for recurring FORGE R&D solicitations, providing guidance for review and selection of R&D projects, and developing out-year R&D strategies. The STAT will also assess the progress and results of R&D technology and techniques implemented at FORGE and provide input to the Utah FORGE team for the development of annual reports.

FORGE – GTO’s flagship initiative – will be a dedicated site where the subsurface science and engineering community will be able to develop, test and improve new technologies and techniques directed at the development of EGS.

The STAT is comprised of the following members:

  • Doug Blankenship (Chair) – Sandia National Laboratories
  • Joseph Morris (Vice Chair) – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Kate Baker – Independent Consultant
  • Stephen Hickman – U.S. Geological Survey
  • Mack Kennedy – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • George King – GEK Engineering PLLC
  • Ernest Majer – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Affiliate
  • Jean-Claude Roegiers – Independent Consultant
  • Eric Sonnenthal – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Herbert Wang – University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Geothermal Technologies Office would like to thank the University of Utah team and the STAT members for their hard work and leadership. Their contributions serve as a powerful reminder of the potential of advancing EGS to a place of commercial readiness through this groundbreaking initiative.