what is oed doing to advance geothermal in utah?
Utah has enormous geothermal energy potential and the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (Utah FORGE) — a one-of-a-kind advanced geothermal energy underground field laboratory, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy — is making the most of that potential.
Utah FORGE supports collaborative development, testing and breakthrough acceleration in advanced geothermal energy.
What is Geothermal
Geothermal energy is captured by wells drilled into hot reservoirs below Earth’s surface that tap steam or hot water, or both. The captured heat can then be used in a variety of ways — electricity generation, direct use, heating and cooling.
The rate of energy extraction can be balanced with a reservoir’s natural heat recharge rate.
Geothermal power plants are designed to produce electricity constantly — running 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
U.S. geothermal resources can be harnessed for power production without the need to import fuel.
Geothermal power plants are compact and use relatively small amounts of land.
Modern closed-loop geothermal power plants emit no greenhouse gasses (GHG). Life cycle GHG emissions (50 g CO2 eq/kWh) and water consumption are minimal.
Geothermal in Utah
Geothermal power generation has been used in Utah since 1984. Utah’s first geothermal power plant, the Blundell Geothermal Power Plant, was developed at Roosevelt Hot Springs, in Beaver County.
In 2018, the state’s geothermal electric generation consisted of PacifiCorp’s Blundell plant (34 MW), Thermo Hot Springs (14 MW) and Cove Fort (25 MW).
Commercial greenhouses that use thermal water for space heating, operate in a variety of locations in the state. Additionally, several Utah resorts use low-temperature geothermal water to heat swimming pools, small space-heating applications and therapeutic baths.