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University Geothermal Research Tapping New Sources


Director of the Nevada Bureau of Nevada Mines and Geology Jim Faulds talks about mapping geothermal resources with students. Faulds is leading the University of Nevada, Reno efforts in the recently funded Department of Energy FORGE project to identify a site to develop enhanced geothermal systems. Photo courtesy of University of Nevada, Reno.

University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) researchers are working with the U.S. Department of Energy and other partners to tap into geothermal energy sources. The Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) project aims to expand the number of potential geothermal power sources.

Among other leaders in geothermal systems, UNR professors Jim Faulds and Wendy Calvin are providing their knowledge to the project. They will be providing geographic models of two potential FORGE sites in California.

“The feasibility studies will help determine where best to establish the FORGE project,” according to Faulds.

These two potential FORGE sites will act as field laboratories for the team to conduct further research.

“The potential is enormous,” Faulds said. The FORGE project could provide 100 million homes in America with clean, renewable energy, according to the Department of Energy.

“FORGE will lay the groundwork for new methods, expand our exploration from surface to the subsurface and allow us to include new projects in reservoir modeling and 3D data synthesis,” said Calvin, a professor in geophysics and remote sensing.

“The FORGE project offers the University and the State of Nevada a huge opportunity to showcase our cutting-edge research capability in enhanced geothermal systems,” said Mridul Gautam, the University’s vice president for research and innovation. “I thank the Department of Energy for recognizing the leadership and commitment demonstrated by this University and the state to advanced research and development of clean-energy technologies, in general, and geothermal energy, in particular.”


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