Electro-Hydraulic Fracturing for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

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OPEN 2021
Somerville, Massachusetts
Project Term:
07/29/2022 - 07/28/2025

Critical Need:

Developing and commercializing geothermal reservoirs as an alternative energy source would provide 24/7 renewable energy and accelerate decarbonization of the energy sector. In Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), the high geothermal gradient heats water circulating through the rock’s existing fracture network, and subsequently, the water is extracted for power production. Traditional hydraulic fracturing methods from the oil and gas industry have been attempted in EGS reservoirs with minimal success. This is due to high temperatures > 200 °C, challenging downhole conditions, and few fractures that allow pathways to heat the water.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

To use EGS as an unlimited renewable energy source, Eden will develop a new class of hydraulic fracturing methods to create fluid pathways for water to be heated and extracted for power production. Eden’s new “Electro-Hydraulic Fracturing” (E-HF) technology will use electricity and water to access a more extensive fracture network for heat recovery. This E-HF process will increase the heat transfer surface area for the water circulating through fractures, improving EGS power plant efficiency up to 500%. This technology can potentially save 270 billion gallons of water by limiting water use compared with traditional hydraulic fracturing and would provide access to untapped renewable geothermal energy.

Potential Impact:

E-HF uses state-of-the-art high-power equipment to increase EGS power production efficiency.


EGS re-stimulation can be completed using 100% renewable energy. E-HF increases EGS power generation, which will lead to increased investment in EGS development, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and reduce energy-related emissions.


This technology will help to unlock the potential of EGS, which contains 98% of the earth’s geothermal power resources.


By maximizing the power generation of EGS reservoirs, E-HF can decrease the levelized cost of electricity to $0.07/kWh, 75% less expensive than current EGS power plants.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Douglas Wicks
Project Contact:
Dr. Paris Smalls
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Idaho National Laboratory

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