U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced up to $338 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of new geothermal fields, and research into advanced geothermal technologies. These grants will support 123 projects in 39 states, with recipients including private industry, academic institutions, tribal entities, local governments and DOE’s National Laboratories. The grants will be matched more than one-for-one, with an additional $353 million in private and non-Federal cost-share funds.
These grants are directed toward identifying and developing new geothermal
fields, and reducing the upfront risk associated with geothermal development
through innovative exploration and drilling projects, and data development and
collection. In addition, the grants will support the deployment and creative
financing approaches for ground source heat pump demonstration projects across the
Collectively, these projects will represent a dramatic expansion of the U.S.
geothermal industry, and it is thought that they will create or save thousands
of jobs in drilling, exploration, construction and operation of geothermal power
facilities, and manufacturing of ground source heat pump equipment. The
projects selected for negotiation of awards fall into six
Innovative Exploration and Drilling Projects: Twenty-four projects have been
selected that focus on the development of new geothermal fields, using
innovative sensing, exploration and well-drilling
Coproduced, Geopressured and Low-temperature Projects:
Eleven projects have
been selected for the development of new low-temperature geothermal fields, a
vast but currently untapped set of geothermal resources. This includes
geothermal heat found in the hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells around
the United States, where up to 10 barrels of hot water are produced for every
barrel of oil.
Enhanced Geothermal Systems Demonstrations:Three projects have been selected
for the exploration, drilling and development of enhanced geothermal systems to
validate power production from deep hot rock resources using innovative
technologies and approaches.
Enhanced Geothermal Systems Components Research and Development/Analysis:
Forty-five projects have been selected to focus on research and development of
new technologies to find and drill into deep hot rock formations, stimulate
enhanced geothermal reservoirs, and convert the heat to
Geothermal Data Development, Collection and Maintenance: Three projects have
been selected for the population of comprehensive nationwide geothermal
resource database to help identify and assess new fields.
Ground Source Heat Pump Demonstrations:Thirty-seven projects have been
selected to demonstrate the deployment of ground source heat pumps for heating
and cooling of a variety of buildings for a variety of customer types, including
academic institutions, local governments and commercial buildings.
Drilling Topics: Department of Energy Awards Funding to Accelerate Domestic Geothermal Energy
February 1, 2010