Utah Geothermal Project Championed by US Energy Secretary

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent visit to Utah comes at the heels of Biden’s new State of the Union address about the future of green energy.

The United States is planning a gradual transition from a total reliance on oil and gas to leveraging green energy technology. This transitional process is necessary to keep a reliable source of power for the nation.

“This is a transition. It’s not an on and off switch,” Granholm said at a news conference. “We need to make sure people have power.”

On top of the 220 million that the DOE already granted Utah FORGE, Granholm announced an additional 75 million USD will be invested in enhanced geothermal systems. 

An article from the Salt Lake Tribune addressed what this will mean for Utah geothermal energy. An increased reliance on geothermal energy is anticipated to produce 8 percent of the American power grid, which is approximately 90 gigawatts of energy.

Utah FORGE relies on fracking to access wells 350 feet in the earth’s crust. This is convection-based technology, which has not yet been proven to be globally scalable.

Eavor-Loop is a conduction-based system that has proven to overcome this obstacle, and there is a facility already established in New Mexico. As of December 2022, Eavor met its objectives in its next-generation geothermal project. The demonstration’s objective was to test the Eavor-Loop 2.0 design’s technological capabilities against hot, deep granite on the outskirts of the Lightning Dock geothermal facility in Animus.

As a result, Eavor has attracted a follow-up investment of $10 million CAD from bp Ventures. as well as a €91.6 million grant from the EU.

Eavor’s closed-loop system is truly scalable because it can be established anywhere on the planet. It does not require access to wells or unreliable fracking techniques.

Eavor-Loop harvests heat in a way that’s low-risk and predictable because it uses a thermosiphon effect within the closed system. This system removed any parasitic load, or standby power.

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