Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that five projects will receive up to $28 million to promote the advancement of the next generation of geothermal energy technologies. Selected by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office these projects align with the goals of the 2019 GeoVision study, which outlines a path to unlock the full potential of geothermal power as a clean, reliable, and affordable energy source for American homes and businesses.
“Geothermal energy is an important part of the Trump Administration’s diverse, all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “These projects will help bring the massive promise of clean and reliable, geothermal energy, for both power production and direct use, closer to reality for all Americans.”
Wells of Opportunity
Three projects, totaling up to $10.4 million, were selected under the Geothermal Wells of Opportunity Funding Opportunity Announcement, and support research and development (R&D) that complements the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) initiative. The FORGE initiative aims to enable cutting-edge research, drilling, and technology testing to identify a replicable, commercial pathway to enhanced geothermal systems.
The projects include IDEA Member Cornell University for seeking to drill an exploratory borehole to measure, test, and verify that Earth Source Heat with innovative district heat pumps could be technically and economically feasible on their campus, and demonstrate the scalability of this technology to other facilities.
As identified in the GeoVision study, improved technologies in these areas could increase geothermal power generation nearly 26-fold by 2050, reaching 60 gigawatts of always-on, flexible electricity-generation capacity, and enhancing heating and cooling solutions for American residential and commercial consumers through direct-use and geothermal heat pump technologies.