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Empowering geothermal energy

 

Fervo Energy is developing technology for power generation from enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) that can deliver electricity at a cost of 5 to 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Fervo's design incorporates proven, cost-effective technologies from other fields, such as horizontal drilling, to unlock the potential of geothermal energy.


FELLOWS

 Jack Norbeck and Tim Latimer

Jack Norbeck and Tim Latimer

Tim Latimer worked as a completion engineer at McClure Geomechanics and as a consultant in Boston Consulting Group’s energy practice while pursuing his joint M.B.A./M.S. in environment and resources at Stanford University. Prior to that, he worked as a drilling and completion engineer for BHP Billiton’s U.S. onshore shale operation, where he held both engineering and field operations roles. Latimer holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tulsa and is a proud native of Texas.

Jack Norbeck is a recent Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow and research petroleum engineer with the US Geological Survey, where he performed research on induced seismicity related to oil and gas activity.  His experience with the geothermal industry includes a reservoir engineering internship at The Geysers geothermal field, designing well tests for the Raft River Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) project with Idaho National Laboratory, and collaborating as a visiting scholar with the Geothermal Institute at University of Auckland. Norbeck holds a Ph.D. in energy resources engineering from Stanford University, a M.S. in civil engineering and a minor degree in petroleum engineering from Colorado School of Mines, and a B.S. in civil engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder.

The pair founded Fervo Energy in 2017 to leverage advances in drilling techniques and a new understanding of subsurface reservoir geomechanics, based on research performed at Stanford University, to develop innovative EGS projects. 

 

technology

Critical Need
Geothermal energy is a massive, mostly untapped resource for clean energy production in the United States. In the US today, geothermal electricity installations generate 3.7 gigawatts per year, or 0.4% of the nation’s electricity supply. But clean, always-on electricity from geothermal reservoirs has the potential to produce over 100 GW of electricity in the United States alone.

Previous developments of enhanced geothermal systems have primarily relied on designs utilizing vertical wells, single zone completions, and shear stimulation conceptual models, but have produced lower flowrates than required for commercial viability. Fervo Energy's approach can overcome these technical challenges and unlock the 100 GW potential for clean geothermal energy production in the United States.

Technology Vision
Fervo Energy will develop geothermal wells with high flowrates and large reservoirs, at low cost and in a wide variety of geologic settings. We will apply these techniques toward increasing production through in-field or nearfield expansion at existing geothermal facilities. This could boost U.S. geothermal production by nearly 30 percent. Our reservoir and geomechanical modeling shows we will achieve the necessary technical benchmarks to be cost-effective

Fervo Energy's technology is based on a recent advance in the understanding of geomechanical behavior called mixed mechanism stimulation (MMS), which grows available geothermal reservoirs by enhancing their natural permeability. Researchers at Stanford University developed the model for MMS and validated it through advanced reservoir geomechanics simulations. MMS designs represent a radical departure from previous geothermal systems and show promise for commercially viable flowrates, and more efficient heat mining.

Potential for Impact
In the U.S., successful commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems would add at least 100 GW of electric power generation by 2050. This represents a $300 billion market opportunity that could reduce US power sector emissions by 500 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year.

Fervo Energy is Looking for...

  • Team members - scientist, engineers, interns

Links:

Fervo Energy

Contact:

tim [at] fervoenergy [dot] com

Recognition:

TomKat Center innovation grant

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

 


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