DGSE Seminar Series—Monday September 11:

DGSE Seminar SeriesMonday September 11:
Engineered Geothermal Systems and the Fallon FORGE Project
Dr. Bridget Ayling
Abstract: Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) have the potential to significantly contribute to our baseload energy requirements, with over 500 GWe of resource potential estimated for the western USA alone (USGS, 2008). After the first R&D project to test the EGS concept was initiated at Fenton Hill (New Mexico) in the 1970s, there have been several projects in the USA and internationally that aimed to evaluate the viability of EGS and progress the technologies required to make EGS economic. The key technical challenges associated with EGS center on creating and maintaining appropriate reservoir heat-exchange networks, while managing any induced seismicity associated with stimulation of the reservoir.

In this talk, I will introduce the US Department of Energy’s FORGE initiative (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) that aims to develop a site for the testing and development of EGS technologies. I will also present an overview of the progress to date at the Fallon FORGE site in Nevada, and upcoming activities planned for the project.

A message from Philipp Ruprecht (Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, phone 775-682-6048): “The speaker list is mostly complete and below you find a preview of what is to come for this semester.”

These seminars are on Mondays at 4:00 PM in SEM 326 at UNR:
9/11/17    Bridget Ayling (UNR/NBMG/Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy)
9/25/17    Adrian Fiege (American Museum of Natural History, NYC)
10/2/17    Cin-Ty Lee (Rice University)
10/16/17  Greg Stock (National Park Service)
11/13/17  Michael Krawczynski (Washington University, St. Louis)
12/4/17    Pre-AGU student presentation

Parking information

Stepping Up Outreach for the Fallon FORGE Project

By Bridget Ayling

Members of the Fallon FORGE team staffed a booth at the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival and Country Fair, 24–27th August 2017, to meet the Fallon community and provide them an opportunity to meet us, ask questions and learn more about the Fallon FORGE project. The booth was a success: we spoke with many locals and visitors to the region, and the majority were interested to learn more about our activities and are supportive of the project going forward. We also attracted the younger generation via our swag options (drink bottles, etc.), geothermal core samples borrowed from NBMG’s core facility (the Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library), and a microscope set-up with petrographic thin sections available for viewing. Outreach activities for the Fallon FORGE project are ongoing, and will become increasingly important if the project makes it into the next phase of the FORGE initiative—this will be determined in spring/summer 2018.

Representatives of the Fallon FORGE team at the beginning of the festival:
ready to go and spread the word about geothermal! Photo: Bridget Ayling
New NBMG/DGSE graduate student Kurt Kraal guides a future geologist
in looking at geothermal thin sections under a microscope. Photo: Bridget Ayling
Visitors at the booth learning more about the Fallon FORGE project. Photo: Bridget Ayling

If you want to learn more about the Fallon FORGE project, Dr. Bridget Ayling will be the guest speaker for the DGSE seminar series this Monday, September 11.

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—May 4

Dr. Bridget AylingEngineered Geothermal Systems: The Habanero Project (Australia) and the Fallon FORGE project (USA)
Nevada Petroleum & Geothermal Society
Monthly Dinner Meeting
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Bridget Ayling
Topic: Engineered Geothermal Systems: The Habanero Project (Australia) and the Fallon FORGE project (USA)

Abstract: Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) have the potential to significantly contribute to our baseload energy requirements, with over 500 GWe of resource potential estimated for the western USA alone (USGS, 2008). After the first R&D project to test the EGS concept was initiated at Fenton Hill (New Mexico) in the 1970’s, there have been several projects in the USA and internationally that aimed to evaluate the viability of EGS and progress the technologies required to make EGS economic. The key technical challenges associated with EGS center on creating and maintaining appropriate reservoir heat-exchange networks, while managing any induced seismicity associated with stimulation of the reservoir.

In this talk, I will present an overview of the Habanero EGS project in the Cooper Basin, central Australia. Managed and developed by Geodynamics Limited, the Habanero project was one of the deepest, hottest and most challenging EGS sites developed anywhere in the world to date, and was operated as an active test site from 2002 to 2015. I will also introduce the US Department of Energy’s FORGE initiative (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) and the Fallon FORGE site in Nevada. Currently in Phase 2, FORGE aims to develop a site for the testing and development of EGS technologies. I will provide an update of activities at the Fallon FORGE site.

Bio: Dr. Bridget Ayling completed a PhD in paleoclimate and environmental geochemistry at the Australian National University in 2006, after which she began working at Geoscience Australia (Australia’s national geological survey). Dr. Ayling worked at Geoscience Australia for 10 years, including a 2-year secondment to the Energy and Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah. During her time with Geoscience Australia, she worked in both conventional and unconventional (i.e. Engineered Geothermal Systems [EGS]) geothermal settings in Australia and the USA, conducting regional geothermal resource assessments, surface heat-flow measurements, aqueous geochemistry studies, reservoir characterization, geochemical tracer studies, and numerical modelling to understand reservoir fluid flow regimes. Dr. Ayling joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2016 as an Associate Professor and new Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy. Her current activities include teaching, managing the National Geothermal Academy and the GBCGE, conducting research, outreach, and contributing to the Fallon FORGE project.

Details:
Ramada Reno Hotel
1000 East 6th Street, Reno, NV 89512
Cocktail Reception 6:30, Skyline Bar, 14th Floor
Cocktails served at 6:30 PM,
Dinner Served at 7:00 PM
NPGS Members $20, Non-Members $23, Students $10

Please RSVP for the Dinner Meeting by Tuesday May 2 with the following link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfImr0IcRQg335rGH4-EDOpxM6u-qPQuHuuLkSKXIdrJGpvFA/viewform

If you find that you cannot attend, please email Vicki  Ehni at vehni@aol.com or you can call at 775-720-6387. NPGS will be charged for all no shows. Thank you for your consideration.

Nevada Today NSights Blog about Jim Faulds

Nevada Today NSights Blog about Jim Faulds:
An outstanding faculty member spanning all three aspects of the University’s mission

4/7/2016 | By Kevin R. Carman
Professor, Executive Vice President & University Provost

You can read the story here:
http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/blogs/2016/outstanding-faculty-three-missions?utm_campaign=nevadatoday

“Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss the work of one of our outstanding faculty members, Jim Faulds, whose career in the geological sciences area spans all three aspects of our University’s mission – learning, discovery and engagement.

Jim is the director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and is the State Geologist. In these public service roles he is providing critical research and mapping for the entire state. Jim’s research is also providing geologic modeling for an innovative U.S. Department of Energy initiative, called FORGE, which holds the potential to unlock new resources of power generated from geothermal sources.

Jim has received national recognition from the Department of Energy for his work on geothermal energy technology, earning the 2012 Peer Review Excellence award with his project, “Characterizing Structural Controls of EGS and Conventional Geothermal Reservoirs.” He received perfect scores across all categories.

Jim is equally proud of his teaching, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, which has helped lead many of our students into a wide array of professions associated with geologic sciences in our state. The interview, which was featured on KUNR’s “Beyond the Headlines” show hosted by KUNR general manager David Stipech, provides yet another example of the high-caliber, nationally recognized faculty that we have at our University.

Click here to listen: http://kunr.org/post/university-research-key-realizing-nevadas-geothermal-potential#stream/0

Kevin Carman is provost and executive vice president of the University.”

Nevada Today Article—Cutting-Edge Geothermal Research at UNR

Forging new geothermal resources through research: U.S. Department of Energy project calls on University expertise in geologic modeling and geothermal exploration

8/5/2015 – By: John Seelmeyer, Nevada Today

http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2015/forging-new-geothermal-resources-through-research

RENO, Nev. – Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno are poised to play a key role in a project that holds the potential to unlock massive new resources of power generated from geothermal sources.

The project dubbed “FORGE” – short for Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy – seeks to dramatically widen the number of potential locations where power could be produced from geothermal resources. University professors Jim Faulds and Wendy Calvin, among the world’s leaders in the understanding of geothermal systems, are providing their expertise to the project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Researchers from the University will provide geologic modeling of two potential FORGE sites – one near Fallon and a second near Coso, California. This geologic modeling is critically important to the FORGE project, Faulds, director of the University’s Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, explained. “The feasibility studies will help determine where best to establish the FORGE project.”

The establishment of FORGE at these two sites will provide the geothermal community a field laboratory where the science and engineering needed for widespread commercialization of EGS, enhanced geothermal systems, can be developed and refined.

Traditionally, geothermal power plants have been built at locations where they could tap into a naturally occurring source of steam heated under the earth’s surface. After the hot water is used to generate power, it is re-injected back into the earth and re-heated to be used again and again.

The FORGE project, however, seeks to develop enhanced geothermal technology for use at locations where heat is available but water doesn’t naturally flow through the underground rock. Those locations are widespread through the Great Basin.

“The potential is enormous,” Faulds said. The Department of Energy, which is funding the FORGE program, estimates that enhanced geothermal systems could power 100 million homes in American with clean and renewable energy.

But the geological challenges are difficult, he said, because researchers need to find ways to open formations sufficiently so that water can move through the heated rock and become steam to drive generating units.

“We know that there are huge resources in the subsurface,” the geologist said. “Finding that fluid flow is the trickiest part.”

The researchers based in the University’s College of Science bring valuable experience to the FORGE team: experience that will make that job easier.

“We have a long history of working with the geothermal systems in the region and understanding the geologic setting of those systems,” Faulds said.

Participation in the FORGE project provides an opportunity for University researchers to widen their knowledge of geothermal operations and maintain the state’s position on the cutting edge of development of the geothermal industry.

“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 who serves as director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy [gbcge.org] headquartered at the University.

The program also draws the spotlight to other University research.

“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.”

The two FORGE projects in which the University was selected to participate are among five sites under analysis that will share $2 million in Department of Energy funding.

In this first phase of the project, researchers will examine the feasibility of each of the five sites. Up to three of the sites then will be selected for further research, totaling up to $29 million, during the next two years. From that second phase work, one site will be selected for FORGE research and development.

Sandia National Laboratories is leading both FORGE research teams in which the University is participating. Other key partners in both the Fallon and Coso research include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, GeothermEx/Schlumberger, the U.S. Navy and Itasca Consulting Group.

In the Fallon project, Ormat Nevada, Inc. of Reno is a key partner. In the Coso project, the Coso Operating Company LLC is a key partner.

PHOTO CUTLINE [see link to Nevada Today article above]: 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.

Founded in 1874 as Nevada’s land-grant university, the University of Nevada, Reno ranks in the top tier of best national universities by U.S. News and World Report. With nearly 20,000 students, the University is driven to contribute a culture of student success, world-improving research and outreach that enhances communities and business. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. Bringing outreach and education programs to all Nevada counties and home to one of the largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.

Media Contacts:
Mike Wolterbeek
Communications Officer
University of Nevada, Reno/108
Reno, NV 89557
775-784-4547
mwolterbeek@unr.edu
Media newsroom: http://newsroom.unr.edu