Establishing the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) on the Newberry Volcano, OR
The proposed Newberry Volcano FORGE site is in central Oregon on the northwest flank of the largest volcano in the Cascades volcanic arc. Beneath Newberry Volcano is one of the largest geothermal heat reservoirs in the western United States, extensively studied for the last 40 years. The large, shallow (200 deg C at less than 2 km depth), conductive thermal anomaly has already been well characterized by extensive drilling and geophysical surveys. Four deep (greater than 3,000 m) boreholes completed on the leasehold currently managed by AltaRock have conductive thermal gradients with bottom hole temperatures above 320 deg C. Three large geothermal pads and two deep geothermal wells exist on the leasehold as well as eight, 200-290 m deep monitoring boreholes that have been used for seismic monitoring and sampling of shallow groundwater. All these investments have built the scientific foundation that establishes the site as high EGS potential, demonstrates a record of addressing potential risks (induced seismicity, wildlife, groundwater, etc.), and has developed true support and engagement with the local and regional communities. The high temperatures at relatively shallow depths at the site will allow a greater variety of drilling methods to be tested and a greater share of funds to be reserved for non-drilling activities.
DOE Project Number: EE0007158
DOE Project Lead: Lauren Boyd