The chemical analyses in two wells with data from the early s indicate water compositions largely unchanged from those measured prior to development of RHS. Poor groundwater quality is a positive environmental factor for the FORGE site because it diminishes concerns that somehow the project could contaminate potable groundwater, and it also removes concerns that the project will be consuming groundwater that might have been used for other purposes. Preliminary investigation of productive potential of these groundwater wells confirms excellent flow characteristics, so the project is optimistic that one well may be able to supply the all water needs for stimulation of the granite beneath the FORGE site.
An analysis of the chemical reactivity of these ground waters when used as drilling fluid or during long term heat exchange testing will be part of Phase 2. The primary landowner where the surface infrastructure will occur if this proposal is successful, Murphy-Brown, is a livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. Murphy-Brown also owns the mineral lease rights to the subsurface resources beneath their lands. The agreement with Murphy-Brown for access to the surface for surveying and drilling, and to the subsurface for reservoir stimulation and heat exchange testing is contained in Appendix A.
The agreement with SITLA also includes approval to drill underneath their land for the purposes of reservoir stimulation and heat exchange testing, if this is required. Murphy-Brown has also offered an additional 50 acre-feet of water for this project from their appropriated but unused water rights if more than 50 acre-feet is required in a particular year. A change application may have to be filed with the State Engineer to allow use of the Murphy-Brown water, but this is not a difficult process.
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The project therefore has access to a total of million gallons for the project, which is considered ample for the drilling, stimulation, and heat exchange testing. The water right from the State Engineer includes a permit for the deep production and injection wells with horizontal legs. BLM have land parcels adjacent site options B and C.
The agreement with BLM Appendix A allows access for non-invasive surveying as required in Phase 2B, and the ability to apply for a casual-use permit for drilling thermal gradient wells on their land during Phase 2B. Drilling under BLM land for the purposes of extracting heat as envisaged by this project would require a competitive permit, so the project will avoid this requirement. At site option A, a acre work site can also be located outside their wind-influence envelope, but the location of a clean-out rig over Acord-1 is technically within their influence envelope. Discussions with First Wind have indicated that a request to temporarily put a rig over this well for the clean-out or for drilling another nearby well is reasonable and would be considered once the details on location and timing are known copy of email exchange, Appendix D.
Structures up to about 60 feet from ground level do not intrude the wind-shed, and this easily allows small rigs that might be needed to install instrumentation and other general FORGE site activities. First Wind has also requested no above-ground power lines nor ponds within the wind farm area. Both these constraints can be met. During the cleanout of Acord-1, the existing groundwater well and existing pond next to this well will be used. If site option A becomes the preferred choice, any ponds can be covered, or large frack tanks can be used for surface water storage.
SHPO does not have specific concerns about the proposed area, but has stated there are likely to be sites which the project will be able to avoid letter in Appendix A.
Due to the intense land use, the numerous wells drilled over the last three decades around the proposed FORGE site, and the recent wind-farm development which cleared NEPA, no difficulties with cultural clearances are expected. They are the operator of the Blundell power plants several miles from the proposed EGS site.
Their letter of support is attached in Appendix D. Other than being kept informed of progress, they are not interested in direct involvement in the project. Over the last few years they have allowed a considerable volume of data from the exploration wells at Roosevelt Hot Springs to be published e. Data from the three wells west of the hydrothermal system , , and ; Figures 2 and 6 are available for this project. In addition we have logs and cuttings from well inside the production borefield — this well was the hottest well drilled in the RHS.
Each of these wells has many geophysical logs, and penetrated granite a shallow depth. These logs should provide insights to the physical properties of the granite. Beaver County has five different types of renewable energy power projects within a 50 mile radius, with several hundred MW of solar PV about to be commissioned.
Renewable energy developed is a major driver of economic development within the county, so this project is a welcome addition to ongoing energy developments.
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Milford High School has for several years run courses for the students on renewable energy, and combined this with visits to the various sites. Some of their students have been able to gain summer work at these sites, and they run a renewable energy fair each year which attracts participation from the local community.
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There are opportunities for the proposed FORGE project to interact with both the High School and with the local community, and the National Energy Foundation has agreed to assist with educational initiatives. Permitting is not expected to be a problem at the proposed site, which is on private land, and may, if required, extend onto or under two nearby Utah State Trust Lands SITLA sections. The rights for access to the required water have already been obtained, and this includes permission to drill the deep wells. There has already been significant ground disturbance from early geothermal exploration and drilling in the region, and more recently from development of the wind farm, which achieved NEPA clearance.
There are no significant wetlands, archeological sites, or sole source aquifers near the proposed site. The nearest population center is Milford about 16 km away.
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Anthropogenic seismicity from quarry blasts have historically occurred near Milford, and the daily passage of freight trains through the town likely cause far greater shaking and noise than potential fracturing events at the proposed FORGE site. The primary constraint is not interfering with the operations of the wind farm, which is easily manageable at reservoir site options B and C east and south of the wind-shed respectively , and can also be achieved at option A.
Demonstrating how geothermal developments and wind farm developments can be compatible is considered to be a valuable aspect of this project proposal. MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, p. Grant M. Recovery factors for EGS. Smith, R. Engdahl, E. Skip to content Facebook Twitter. Figure 1. Other forms of renewable power generation in Beaver County are also highlighted. Abbreviations are: g geothermal, w wind, and s solar. Thermal Suitability An area of about 25 km 2 10 miles 2 has been identified as containing three possible reservoir options for the ultimate test site Figure 2, labelled A, B, C.
Figure 2. Site map with primary landowners and deep geothermal wells indicated temperatures at 2 km depth. The RHS hydrothermal system lies east of the Opal Mound Fault and includes 6 deep production wells within the lightly dashed area.
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Figure 3. Details of temperature data from Acord-1 UGS files. The existing geothermal infrastructure includes of 40 thermal gradient wells discussed above; data held by UGS , 15 deep geothermal exploration and development wells logging data for many held by EGI and UGS , and a large collection of geoscientific reports generated by University of Utah Research Institute UURI during the late s and 80s summarized in Appendix B.
The UGS holds the cuttings for the 3. At least five groundwater wells are available for sampling or monitoring, and we expect additional wells in the area will be found. The University of Utah has been operating a 3-component, short period seismograph NMU 5 km from reservoir option B in the proposed FORGE site since , and this will contribute important understanding of local baseline seismicity. Figure 4. Temperature profiles in deep exploration wells within or near the proposed FORGE site area deep well locations are in Figure 2.
The DOE site criteria are outlined in the dashed box, and the reservoir site options are highlighted. Thermal regime based on deep wells during exploration of the RHS. The surface of the granite is based on 2-D interpretation of gravity. Option C is in a similar location to Option A based on the gravity and shallow thermal regime.
Figure 6. The regional groundwater gradient in the northern Milford valley is from south to north. Reservoir site options are labeled A, B, C. Other Site Characteristics Terrain The three site options are on gently-sloping ground towards the west Figure 7. Geology The proposed site straddles lacustrine deposits near the center of the valley, and predominantly alluvial fan deposits in front of the Mineral Mountains.
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