Frequently Asked Questions

Cape Station is being developed by Fervo Energy Company, the leader in next-generation geothermal power development, and its affiliates. Our team has decades of experience developing more than a gigawatt of power across the western U.S., managing complex drilling projects, and pioneering cutting-edge geologic research.

Appraisal drilling will begin at Cape Station in Q3 2023. Phase 1 is expected to be operational by 2026 with subsequent phases expected by 2028.   

Geothermal energy is generated by heat (thermal) from the earth (geo). Heat from the earth's core elevates temperatures of rock beneath the ground. When drilled into, those rocks can transfer heat to geothermal fluids that can be used to generate electricity.

Geothermal energy is a naturally occuring, carbon-free resource with the lowest land use requirements of any renewable energy source. Modern geothermal uses an efficient "binary cycle" power generation process that converts heat to electricity, emits no carbon or other pollutants, and has low water use requirements. Fervo's choice of air cooled systems further reduces consumptive water use.

Cape Station sits atop non-potable saline aquifers. As a result, drilling at Cape Station will not interfere with drinking water in the area regardless of the precautions taken. Still, our well construction process has integrity protocols in place to eliminate threats to water quality, including:

  • Working proactively with regulators to design operations to include contingency casing strings that isolate shallow aquifers from stimulation fluids
  • Executing cement bond longs on each well drilled to ensure cement integrity and proper zonal isolation
  • Monitoring well conditions for signs of well integrity disruption in all phases of drilling and completion and following industry protocol should any incident occur
  • Requiring containment units to be placed underneath any and all equipment that may experience hydraulic fluid loss or other leakage to ensure those fluids are controlled at all times
  • Working with service providers to disclose chemical components and ensure maximum transparency with local stakeholders

We manage the potential for induced seismicity through engineering controls, diligent prevention, and mitigation planning. We employ a detailed Induced Seismicity Mitigation Protocol (ISMP) that mirrors government guidance documents and have worked closely with the U.S. Geological Survey on past operations to verify the efficacy of its approach. This ISMP is a four-step process that includes:

  1. Preliminary evaluation and screening of both risk-based historical data and the perceived risk by relevant stakeholders
  2. Advisory and oversight committee construction to provide formal technical reviews of the ISMP in advance of operations and make impartial and informed assessments of our induced seismicity monitoring and mitigation plans
  3. Operational response planning to classify potential events and associate them with a discrete response
  4. Reporting via real-time data streams collected and used to inform field operations regarding operational response planning

Cape Station will rely on a modern binary cycle geothermal power plant, which does not release steam into the air. Once the projects are up and running, the skyline will remain unobstructed.

Community members can contact Fervo staff at cape.station.info@fervoenergy.com.

Cape Station has received the following regulatory approvals:

  • An Environmental Assessment (EA), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The EA covers Phase 1 – Field Plan of Exploration
  • A Conditional Use Permit for Drilling Well Fields from Beaver County
  • An Appraisal Observation Well Geothermal Drilling Permit (GDP) from BLM and the Utah Division of Water Rights
  • An Appraisal Producer/Injector Well GDP from BLM (submitted to the Utah Division of Water Rights for approval)

To complete its Environmental Assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, Fervo worked closely with ecological experts and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to survey the area near Cape Station for at-risk wildlife and vegetation. The BLM issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, validating the safety of Fervo’s drilling plan.

The first two phases of Cape Station are expected to create approximately 6,602 temporary jobs during construction and 161 full-time operational jobs, resulting in more than $437 million in earned wages. Fervo will source construction jobs from the local labor pool when possible. In addition, the project will generate substantial economic impact, reflected in the total value of goods and services utilized in the project. According to the same National Renewable Energy Laboratory model used to calculate jobs generated, local supply chain and hospitality providers would realize roughly $1.1 billion during construction and operational phases of the project.

As the leader in next-generation geothermal, Fervo prioritizes environmental health and safety above all else, including the management of induced seismicity – earthquakes or tremors resulting from human activity – which can result from geothermal development.

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