Berkeley Lab scientist Tim Kneafsey in his laboratory

Tim Kneafsey in his laboratory. (Photo credit: Berkeley Lab)

Tim Kneafsey, a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area, will lead a new $9 million project aimed at removing technical barriers to commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), a clean energy technology with the potential to power 100 million American homes.

Berkeley Lab, a Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratory,  will partner with seven other DOE national labs and six universities to develop field experiments focused on understanding and modeling rock fractures, an essential element of geothermal systems. Scientists will use the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in South Dakota to create small-scale fracture networks in crystalline rock 1,500 meters below ground.

“We will be putting instrumentation within tens of meters of the fractures and will be able to detect fracturing at a higher resolution than what has ever been done before,” said Kneafsey. “The goal is to work towards increasing our understanding of fracturing and fluid flow in EGS, which could provide a significant amount of electricity as a large quantity of accessible hot rock lies untapped across the U.S.”

To read the full press release, visit Berkeley Lab’s News Center here

Press

Berkeley Lab to lead $9 million geothermal energy project (Renewable Energy Magazine, July 29, 2017)
DOE Lab Works to Commercialize Enhanced Geothermal Tech (ChEnected, July 26, 2017)
Berkeley Lab to lead $9M geothermal project (Energy Wire, July 24, 2017)
DOE geothermal project aims to expand technology’s reach (Utility DIVE, July 21, 2017)
Berkeley Lab to lead $9m research on commercialization of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (Think Geoenergy, July 20, 2017)