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2023-11-01 - 2027-10-31

Bedretto Energy Storage and Circulation of Geothermal Energy (BEACH)

The BEACH project aims to address energy transition challenges by demonstrating a new technology for storing and retrieving energy in the subsurface, specifically using geothermal reservoirs. This technology aims to provide baseload energy and address seasonal fluctuations in energy demand. As a significant portion of the Swiss subsurface consists of fractured crystalline rocks, the project will pioneer energy storage in this rock type. Utilizing the Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geosciences and Geoenergy (BedrettoLab), the project plans to establish a fully monitored and controlled geothermal reservoir, operating over four years with a seasonal energy storage and retrieval cycle. Various circulation procedures will be tested, including injecting water at different temperatures to assess energy balance and storage efficiency, alongside monitoring physical, chemical, and biological responses. Enhanced monitoring and modeling frameworks will be developed, with a focus on real-time data assimilation. The project will analyze the energetic and economic aspects of the underground energy reservoir and define business cases and upscaling possibilities aligned with cantonal and national energy strategies. This pilot test, a global first, will demonstrate the feasibility of heat storage in fractured crystalline rocks. The roll out of the technology will contribute significantly to net-zero emission goals by filling a technological gap in the energy transition landscape. It will support national and international long-term energy strategies by showcasing the viability of geothermal energy storage in such geological formations.

Project Leader Institution

ETH Zurich

Project Contact

Maren Brehme


Swiss Federal Office of Energy


  • SUPSI (Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana)
  • GES (Geo Energie Suisse)
  • AET (Azienda Elettrica Ticinese)

Tags: project