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Enhanced Geothermal Systems

  • EGS R&D Projects

    The AltaRock Energy EGS demonstration project at Newberry Volcano, Oregon, leverages DOE funds to demonstrate engineered geothermal systems in a green field setting. Image Source: Elisabet Metcalfe

  • EGS Program Highlight

    Armed with a wealth of data and new data analysis and integration techniques, images of the subsurface are getting clearer. Image Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • EGS Program Highlight

    PNNL researchers have extensively characterized the properties of a novel stimulation solution they developed, subjecting it to a wide range of pressure and temperature settings for measuring volume expansion, viscosity, shear rate, and chemical evolution.Image Source: PNNL

What are Enhanced Geothermal Systems?Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are engineered reservoirs created to produce energy from geothermal resources that are otherwise not economical due to lack of water and/or permeability. EGS technology has the potential for accessing the earth's vast resources of heat located at depth to help meet the energy needs of the United States. 

Learn the basics of in our Enhanced Geothermal Systems infographic or watch How an Enhanced Geothermal System Works animation. Both provide an overview of EGS and illustrates how an EGS works. Enhanced Geothermal Systems animation illustrates the steps in the EGS process and presents the benefits of EGS development. This animation is on display at The Geysers Geothermal Visitor Center in Middletown, California.

EGS Program HighlightsTo advance EGS R&D and deployment the program focuses on multiple research tool, techniques and methodologies that include high temperature logging tools and sensors, zonal isolation, smart tracers, coupled models to predict reservoir development and performance, advanced drilling systems, well stimulation technologies, advanced fracture characeterization technologies, and induced seismic monitoring, prediction and mitigation tools. The following are awards that have successfully achieved results in the program focus areas.

- AltaRock Newberry EGS Demonstration Site 
- University of Utah Raft River EGS Demonstration Site
Poroelastic Tomography by Adjoint Inverse Modeling of Data from
  Seismology, Geodesy, and Hydrology

- Correlation of Neutron Imaging Based Particle Image Velocimetry with Simulation of  
  Fluid Flow through Fractures
PNNL Successes with Novel Stimulation Solutions 

EGS Program PrioritiesThe Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) actively pursues EGS R&D and demonstration projects to facilitate technology validation and deployment, reduce cost, and improve performance. While achieving cost-competitive electricity generation from EGS is a long-term goal, in the near-term, R&D and demonstration projects will move industry along the learning curve toward technological readiness.

The economic viability of EGS depends on developing and improving enabling technologies. While these technologies are vital to the success of EGS, they also apply across the geothermal continuum.Learn more about EGS demonstration projects or visit our projects database for other projects that are relevant to geothermal and EGS development.

To achieve the GTO's goal to demonstrate the capability to develop and sustain a 5 MW EGS reservoir by 2020 the following are priorities for the program.

FORGE Laboratory
EGS R&D Projects
EGS Roadmap

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