The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy: Past, present and future
The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy (GBCGE) was established at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2000, to work in partnership with the geothermal industry to increase the uptake and development of geothermal resources in the western United States. Mechanisms to achieve this include conducting innovative research, pursing collaborative projects with industry, student projects, outreach activities and training. Research conducted at the GBCGE aims to better understand the geothermal resource potential of Nevada and the broader Great Basin, by investigating geological factors that control where geothermal resources are located in the region, and by developing new approaches for geothermal exploration to increase our discovery of ‘blind’ geothermal systems. In addition, we seek to understand the characteristics of geothermal reservoirs in terms of their temperature, volumes of fluid, permeability, fluid geochemistry, and fluid flow pathways, which are important factors for optimizing the development and management of geothermal resources. Notable achievements since the establishment of the GBCGE include:
Future activities within the Center will include the ongoing release of data and products useful for geothermal explorers and resource operators, focused research to address the key challenges facing the geothermal industry in the Great Basin, community outreach, and training through the NGA. Anticipated future research directions include a focus on reservoir characterization and modeling, to better understand the dynamics of geothermal reservoirs in the Great Basin. In addition, the Center is currently involved in the US Department of Energy's FORGE (Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy) initiative that aims to develop a site for operation and testing of Engineered Geothermal System technologies. In Phase 1 of FORGE, the Center has been involved in two of the five candidate sites: West Flank of Coso (California) and Fallon (Nevada). Both projects are being led by Sandia National Laboratories. Phase 1 is to be completed in June 2016, and the sites that will continue into Phase 2 of FORGE will be selected and announced in the following months.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90266 © 2016 AAPG Pacific Section and Rocky Mountain Section Joint Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2-5, 2016