The Deseret News recently profiled the new FORGE project that will construct a geothermal laboratory near Milford, Utah. The laboratory, which will be spearheaded by University of Utah civil and environmental engineering research professor Joseph Moore and chemical engineering associate professor John McLennan (both of the U’s Energy and Geoscience Institute), will develop new tools and technologies for an Enhanced Geothermal System. That process involves injecting water into the ground to create a system of fractures that heat water into steam. The team recently received a $140-million U.S. Department of Energy grant to build the laboratory.

SALT LAKE CITY — John McLennan is ready to battle Mother Nature and the odds by turning 50 years of history on its head and accessing geothermal power in a new way.

“For a researcher, this is more than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said McLennan, an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah.

The project is FORGE, or the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Engineering, and the idea is to drill two wells to access geothermal energy.

In a closed loop system like this, in which cold water will be injected to circulate through hydraulic fractures and brought up to flash as steam, the connection between the two pathways has never been achieved before.

Read the full story in the Deseret News.