The Eavor team recently visited the Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) to begin a geothermal prototype project at the base; a first-of-its-kind said to mark history in the making according to U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Russell D. Driggers, JBSA and 502nd Air Base Wing commander.
Driggers emphasized the importance of forward-thinking and the exploration of diverse, resilient energy sources to mitigate emissions, bolster security, and ensure sustainable operations for the long term. The pilot project at JBSA is viewed as a potentially major stride in achieving these goals.
The contract between JBSA and Eavor was announced in early October, with the agreement to have Eavor assume a leadership role in the contract execution. Eavor’s feasibility operations will be guided by the oversight of the Air Force Office of Energy Assurance (AF OEA). Furthermore, a partnership with Chesapeake Energy will optimize their technical and operational expertise.
Kirk Phillips, Director of AF OEA, underscored that geothermal pilots are the base’s top priority, as its success could be a crucial benchmark that could achieve widespread adoption.
“If we can prove this works at JBSA, where it might not be the best base for geothermal potential, then we can make this work anywhere,” said Lucinda Notestine, AF OEA Special Projects Division Chief.
Blanche Dudoit, JBSA Electromagnetic Defense Initiative director of operations and project manager for the geothermal prototype, emphasized the urgency of bringing stakeholders together for a swift execution, as the project aims to operate on a timeline shorter than traditional acquisition processes. The article states that this will align with the diverse needs of the DOD, the state, and the local community while prioritizing environmental considerations.
Once operational, the system is anticipated to provide a seamless and dependable supply of clean baseload energy, even in the face of commercial grid outages. It’s expected to create a more robust infrastructure for American defense, enhance operational capabilities at JBSA, and elevate energy security for both on and off-base communities.
As the feasibility studies and testing of the selected site’s geothermal potential kick off in the coming year, the project is poised to set the stage for a transformative shift in how military installations and, potentially, communities nationwide approach clean, reliable energy solutions.