Drilling has started on EGS research FORGE project in Fallon, Nevada

Drilling rig on project site of FORGE in Fallon, Nevada (source: FORGE)
Alexander Richter 6 Feb 2018

As one of the two projects as part of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) initiative by the U.S. Department of Energy, the FORGE project in Fallon, Nevada has now set up a drilling rig and has started drilling.

Reported today on Twitter, the FORGE project in Fallon, Nevada has reached a critical milestone.

While In Phase 1, the project focused on developing a conceptual geologic model and planning the activities to occur in later phases. During Phase 2, detailed plans have been developed for EGS experiments that will be conducted at the site. Permits for those activities will be acquired, if needed.

In Phases 2C and 3 started now, it is anticipated that multiple deep wells will be drilled at the site, to depths ranging from 1,500 m to 2,000 m. Additional shallow wells will be drilled for monitoring subsurface activities. The project will leverage data from existing wells drilled within and near Fallon by Ormat Nevada Inc. and the U.S. Navy.

Under the US Department of Energy’s FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) initiative, the advancement of technologies for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) is being worked on.

Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) produce energy by injecting and circulating water through fractured rock, then withdrawing the hot water and using it to supply a geothermal power plant.

The project has set up the core rig and has started drilling.

We will report more as soon as we get further news.



With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), the Fallon FORGE project has a team of geothermal experts led by Sandia National Laboratories. The U.S. Navy, led by the Navy Geothermal Program Office, and Ormat Nevada Inc. are key partners in the project because they own or lease the land dedicated to the FORGE project and bring extensive geothermal experience to the team.

Both the Navy and Ormat have drilled wells in the area that demonstrate very favourable conditions (temperature, depth, low-permeability rock) for advancing EGS technology. The project team also includes representatives from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; University of Nevada–Reno; U.S. Geological Survey (Menlo Park, California); GeothermEx/Schlumberger; and Itasca Consulting Group, Inc.