news | 16 April 2024

Three Additional Next Generation Geothermal Technology Companies Advancing DoD Energy Resilience

The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy, or FORGE, is an underground field laboratory specifically focused on an emerging field of research and development of geothermal energy. (Eric Larson, Flash Point, SLC)

A total of six companies are supporting the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy at seven installations around the country 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (April 16, 2024) — The Department of Defense (DoD) is expanding efforts to enhance installation energy resilience using geothermal energy. Next-generation geothermal technologies show potential to produce onsite round-the-clock carbon-free energy year-after-year increasing resilience and eliminating the need for fuel deliveries during long-term power disruptions. Threats from wildfires, extreme weather, cybersecurity attacks are increasing, and geothermal energy is an ideal solution to support DoD missions and communities with power.

“With the addition of three more novel technology companies in this “groundbreaking” initiative, DoD is doubling its efforts to leverage advancements in geothermal commercial technologies for energy resilience and support DoD carbon free energy goals,” said Michael Callahan, Senior Energy Advisor and Program Manager, at DIU. 

To complement DoD efforts announced last September, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Washington Headquarters Service have collectively initiated additional geothermal projects at three more DoD installations in California, Nevada, and Texas.  The three additional companies seeking to deploy their novel geothermal technologies include: Fervo Energy, GreenFire Energy, and Sage Geosystems. Last fall, Eavor Inc. Teverra, and Zanskar Geothermal and Minerals Inc began work at U.S. Airforce and U.S. Army installations in Alaska, California, Idaho, and Texas. There are now seven installations with ongoing projects under this geothermal initiative.  

  • Fervo Energy provides 24/7 carbon-free energy through the development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Fervo's key advancements in drilling and subsurface analytics bring a full suite of modern technology to make geothermal cost competitive and globally scalable. Fervo will explore EGS potential at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon in Nevada.

  • GreenFire Energy is accelerating the generation of clean, continuous, reliable geothermal energy. The firm’s approach includes GreenFire’s GreenLoop ® closed-loop technology, an advanced geothermal system (AGS). This technology offers flexible designs that overcome site-specific challenges and extracts energy while preserving reservoir mass and pressure. GreenFire will explore the potential of this technology at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro in California.

  • Sage Geosystems is developing geopressured geothermal system (GGS) technologies deep in the earth, which harnesses both the pressure and heat of the working fluid. Sage uses their proprietary GGS design to deliver more electricity from hot dry rock geothermal, which is a more abundant geothermal resource than traditional hydrothermal (hot aquifer) reservoirs. Sage Geosystems will be conducting activities at the Fort Bliss Army installation in Texas.

“The U.S. Army is excited to explore the potential for hot dry rock geothermal systems at Fort Bliss through the unique application of technology from both the traditional geothermal industry as well as leveraging innovations from the oil and gas sector,” said Michael Jones of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives. “We are seeking to deploy novel geothermal technologies and techniques to ensure our installations remain energy resilient while lowering our carbon footprint.”

Andy Sabin, a Navy geothermal Subject Matter Expert, indicated that “past geothermal exploration efforts suggest that NAS Fallon is ideally suited for enhanced geothermal systems to be deployed onsite.  Additionally, the geology at NAF El Centro looks promising for leveraging advanced geothermal systems to support energy resiliency for the Navy”

The Department of Energy recently released a report on geothermal power showing how next-generation geothermal technology could increase the United States’ geothermal energy production to 90 gigawatts or more by 2050, a twenty-fold increase.