Why there’s global significance at a geothermal project in Beaver County

Desert News, 10-31-2020, Amy Joi O’Donoghue

Key takeaways:

  • Drilling of a deep “deviated” well near Milford, Beaver County, recently began in project known as FORGE, which is using the first-of-its-kind technology to tap deep, renewable geothermal energy resources.
  • The project hit a milestone recently with the start of the drilling of one of two deep, deviated wells that ultimately reach depths of 10,800 feet underground and are seeking to capture geothermal energy bubbling at 437 degrees.
  • The well will go vertically to a depth of 6,000 feet and make a 65-degree turn. The total length of the well will be approximately 11,000 feet with the “toe” — or the end of the well — reaching a vertical depth of 8,500 feet.
  • This well will serve as the conduit of injected water, at 2,000 gallons per minute, to be circulated through the fractures it makes in the hard granite underground rock. The second deviated well will then bring that water up, only to be injected again, over and over.
  • This is the first research attempt to harness geothermal energy using such a drastic angle of 65 degrees. Most geothermal wells are pretty close to vertical and about 30 to 40 degrees toward the reservoir.
  • Interestingly, the goal is not to generate electricity but to prove the technology so we can take that technology to Salt Lake City, to New York, Iowa or to Mumbai (India.)
  • If we could extract 2% of the geothermal energy that is between 2 and 6 miles down, it would equate to more than 2,000 times the amount of energy used in the United States per year.