Climate Change Law and Policy Seminar Field Trip

Feb 29, 2024 | Stegner Center

Professor Lingxi Chenyang recently took her Climate Change Law and Policy seminar on a field trip to Beaver County, Utah to see Utah FORGE, the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy. FORGE is an an underground field laboratory that tests and accelerates breakthroughs in Enhanced Geothermal Systems technologies. It sits beside 180 wind towers and 1,500 acres of solar panels in the “silicon valley” of renewable energy in the Utah high desert.

The Blundell Geothermal Power Plant in Beaver County was the first electric-generating geothermal plant outside California when it went online in 1984. After years of planning, the FORGE team—a multidisciplinary team of University of Utah researchers sponsored by the Department of Energy—drilled its first production well in 2021.

Chenyang’s class toured the facilities with Garth Larsen, site manager for FORGE. Dr. Joseph Moore, principle investigator for FORGE, gave a guest lecture in her climate change law seminar. “Geothermal is the ultimate renewable energy source,” Moore says. “It is safe and clean, and it has a very low environmental footprint. And it is available 24 hours a day.”

“Opportunities to see the energy transition up close make S.J. Quinney College of Law a unique place to learn environmental law,” Chenyang said.