GSN September 23, 2016 Membership Meeting – Guest Speaker: Dr. Bridget Ayling – Engineered Geothermal Systems: The Habanero Project (Australia) and the FORGE Initiative (USA)

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Guest Speaker:  Dr. Bridget Ayling, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Associate Professor and Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, Director
Title:  Engineered Geothermal Systems: The Habanero Project (Australia) and the FORGE Initiative (USA) 

Abstract: Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) have the potential to significantly contribute to our baseload clean-energy needs. After the first R&D project to test the EGS concept was initiated at Fenton Hill (New Mexico) in the 1970’s, there have been several initiatives within the USA and internationally, to evaluate the viability of EGS and develop the technologies required to make EGS economic. The key technical challenges associated with EGS center on creating and maintaining reservoir permeability.

I will present an overview of the Habanero EGS project in the Cooper Basin, central Australia, including my involvement in a geochemical tracer study at the site. Managed and developed by Geodynamics Limited, the Habanero project is one of the deepest, hottest and most challenging EGS sites developed anywhere in the world to date, and was operated as an active test site from 2002 to 2015. The project demonstrated proof-of-concept in 2013, when a 1 MWe pilot plant was operated at the site for 5 months during a closed-loop circulation test between a well doublet.

I will also introduce the US Department of Energy’s FORGE initiative (Frontier Observatory for Geothermal Energy) and the Fallon FORGE site in Nevada. FORGE aims to develop a site for the operation and testing of EGS technologies. Phase 1 of the FORGE initiative was completed in June 2016, and the successful candidates that will proceed to Phase 2 include the Fallon FORGE site (Nevada) and the Milford FORGE site (Utah).

Bio: Dr. Bridget Ayling recently joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno as an Associate Professor and new Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.  Dr. Ayling is a geologist and geochemist with over 9 years of combined experience in the geothermal and unconventional gas sector. Dr. Ayling has worked in both conventional and unconventional (i.e. Engineered Geothermal Systems [EGS]) geothermal settings in Australia and the USA, contributing to regional geothermal resource assessments, surface heat-flow measurement, characterization of reservoir fracture mineralogy, geochemical tracer studies, and conducting numerical modelling to understand reservoir fluid flow regimes. Her current research interests center on reservoir characterization and integration of multidisciplinary datasets to understand the dynamics of geothermal systems at the reservoir and basin scale.

For dinner reservations, please e-mail Laura Ruud at or call 775-323-3500  by 5:00 p.m. on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
Social Hour begins @ 6:00 pm; Dinner @ 7:00 pm;
Speaker to Follow @ 7:45 pm
Location:  RENO ELKS LODGE, 597 KUMLE LANE (across from the Convention Center)
DINNER COST—$25.00 per person. (You will be invoiced if you do not cancel your reservation)

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