Fervo Energy announces the successful completion of a large-scale well test of its commercial pilot, Project Red, in northern Nevada. This historic milestone confirms the commercial viability of Fervo’s drilling technology and establishes Project Red as the most productive enhanced geothermal system in history.
A revolutionary test for enhanced geothermal energy: flow and power records achieved
The 30-day well test, a standard for geothermal systems, achieved a flow rate of 63 liters per second at high temperature, enabling power generation of 3.5 megawatts, setting new records for the flow rate and power output of an enhanced geothermal system. Fervo is also the first to successfully drill a pair of horizontal wells for commercial geothermal production, achieving lateral lengths of 3,250 feet, a temperature of 191°C and controlled circulation through rigorous tracer testing.
“By applying drilling technology from the oil and gas industry, we’ve proven that we can produce carbon-free energy resources 24/7 in new parts of the world. The incredible results we’re sharing today are the result of many years of dedicated work by Fervo employees and our industry partners, especially Google,” said Tim Latimer, CEO and co-founder of Fervo Energy.
In 2021, Fervo and Google signed the world’s first corporate agreement to develop next-generation geothermal energy. The aim of the partnership is to power Google’s Cloud region in Las Vegas with an “always-on” carbon-free resource, reducing the company’s hourly dependence on fossil fuels.
Fervo – Google: a promising partnership for 24/7 carbon-free energy
Michael Terrell, Senior Director of Energy and Climate at Google, said, “Achieving our goal of running on 24/7 carbon-free energy will require new sources of clean, reliable power to complement intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. We have partnered with Fervo in 2021 because we see significant potential for their geothermal technology to unlock a critical source of 24/7 carbon-free power on a large scale, and we are delighted to see Fervo achieve this important technical milestone.”
The results of Fervo’s Project Red confirm the findings of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Enhanced Geothermal Earthshot project, and show that geothermal energy could meet over 20% of the USA’s electricity needs, complementing wind and solar power to achieve a fully decarbonized grid.
Fervo’s revolutionary drilling and subsurface analysis technology paves the way for the United States to achieve this goal ahead of schedule. Thanks to Fervo’s breakthrough, there are no longer any technological barriers to the deployment of geothermal energy.
Fervo Energy: the Earth’s new guardian
Jesse Jenkins, Assistant Professor and Head of the Zero Carbon Energy Systems (ZERO) Research and Optimization Laboratory at Princeton University, said, “Power system modeling confirms that geothermal can play an essential role in a fully decarbonized grid. Fervo’s successful commercial pilot takes modeling to reality, and paves the way for us to unlock geothermal’s full potential.”
This summer, Fervo launched its first development project in southwestern Utah, next to the DOE’s Geothermal Energy Research Observatory (FORGE). The revenues and lessons learned from the Utah project will be used to develop other projects in new regions.
Fervo Energy provides 24/7 carbon-free energy thanks to the development of new-generation geothermal energy. Its mission is to use innovation in geoscience to accelerate the global transition to sustainable energy. Geothermal energy will play a major role in the future electricity grid, and Fervo’s key advances in drilling and subsurface analysis provide a full range of modern technologies to make geothermal energy economically competitive.