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Company Achieves Key Technology Breakthrough in Geothermal Energy Pilot Project

Fervo Energy on July 18 announced that it has successfully completed the well test at its full-scale commercial pilot, Project Red, in northern Nevada.

The successful well test confirms the commercial viability of Fervo’s drilling technology and establishes Project Red as the most productive enhanced geothermal system in history, Fervo said.

The 30-day well test, a standard for geothermal, achieved a flowrate of 63 liters per second at high temperature that enables 3.5 MW of electric production, setting new records for both flow and power output from an enhanced geothermal system.

Fervo said it is the first company to successfully drill a horizontal well pair for commercial geothermal production, achieving lateral lengths of 3,250 feet, reaching a temperature of 191 °C, and proving controlled flow through tracer testing.

Fervo notes that it implemented an induced seismicity mitigation protocol following best practices established by the U.S. Department of Energy and completed the project without incident.

“Data collected through the course of this pilot will enable rapid advancement in geothermal deployment, with Fervo’s next horizontal well pair planned to achieve more than double the power output of the pilot design,” it said.

In 2021, Fervo and Google signed the world’s first corporate agreement to develop next-generation geothermal power. The goal of the partnership is to power Google’s Cloud region in Las Vegas with an “always-on,” carbon-free resource.

Fervo said its results from Project Red support the findings of the DOE Enhanced Geothermal Earthshot and show that geothermal energy could supply over 20% of U.S. power needs and compliment wind and solar to reach a fully decarbonized grid.

“Fervo’s drilling and well test results pave the way for the U.S. to meet this goal ahead of schedule; with Fervo’s breakthrough, no technological barriers to geothermal deployment remain,” it said.

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