Traditional and Emerging Energy Innovation

Beating the Stress: The Potential Key to Unlocking Geothermal Energy

Associate Professor Andy Bunger stands in front of his lab equipment.
Written by Staff Writer

University of Pittsburgh Engineers Receive $1.26M to Collaborate with National Labs to Unlock Vast Geothermal Energy Resources

 Geothermal energy utilizes the heat of rocks far below the Earth’s surface to create steam to spin turbines which generate electrical power. But tapping these vast resources thousands of feet below the surface is a challenge that requires a better understanding of the rocks and all the stresses on them.

Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh are joining a cohort of national laboratories, companies, and universities to support the geothermal research and demonstration program at the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), an underground field laboratory in Beaver County, Utah. The Pitt team was recently awarded $1.26M from the U.S. Department of Energy for two collaborative projects that will characterize the stresses in the rock formation targeted by Utah FORGE.

More information at

Paul Kovach
(412) 624-0265

About the author

Staff Writer