Geothermal energy

Fervo Energy Launches First Phase of 400-MW Geothermal Project in Utah

The oil and gas industry-backed geothermal firm plans to drill up to 29 wells in southwestern Utah that will deliver electricity to the state's grid by 2026.

Drilling for heat in Beaver County, Utah.
Source: Fervo Energy.

Geothermal company Fervo Energy held a groundbreaking ceremony this week to celebrate its exploration drilling campaign that is underway in southwestern Utah where it plans to develop a 400-MW project.

Located in Beaver County, Utah, Fervo expects the first phase of its “Cape Station” geothermal project will supply the grid with around-the-clock power by 2026 with peak capacity reached by 2028.

Fervo billed the project as the “world’s largest” next-generation geothermal project. The Houston-based company is among a handful of groups using hydraulic fracturing and a number of other key oil and gas technologies such as directional drilling to create highly efficient geothermal wells sometimes referred to as enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).

Fervo received regulatory approval for the Cape Station project in February and said it started appraisal drilling in June.

Environmental assessment documents submitted to regulators by the company show the initial phase is expected to generate up to 150 MW of power. Development plans call for the drilling of up to 29 wells—21 horizontal geothermal wells and eight vertical observation wells.

Fervo said target depths for the horizontal injection and production geothermal wells are anticipated to be about 8,000 ft with laterals that will extend for about 5,000 ft.

The vertical observation wells will be drilled to similar depths; however, Fervo noted it may elect to drill some of them as deep as 12,000 ft to test other formation intervals.

Fervo is moving forward with its biggest project to date after reporting in July that itachieved commercial viability with a pilot EGS well in Nevada.The company said the 3.5 MW generated over a 30-day period represented a record-high output for an EGS well.

Founded in 2017, Fervo’s investors include US upstream firms Helmerich & Payne, Devon Energy, and Liberty Energy.