And they’re off! After more than a year since the announcement of available funding, the project teams selected for our Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) each hosted our geothermal experts at their candidate sites this fall. We’re calling it our road trip through the geothermal frontier.
The Energy Department's Geothermal Data Repository hit a milestone this past July when it received its 500th submission. This database helps accelerate research and development of geothermal energy resources by providing easy access to the work of hundreds of teams of researchers, engineers and scientists.
New Small Business Vouchers Pilot will connect clean energy innovators across the country with the top-notch scientists, engineers, and world-class facilities at Energy Department National Laboratories.
In 2013, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) successfully completed the development of a high-temperature drilling technology able to withstand the harsh conditions present in geothermal reservoirs. SNL developed and tested a high-temperature downhole motor that includes an indexing tool for use with commercially available percussive hammers. Conventional pneumatic down-the-hole-hammer drilling systems—widely used in the mining and oil and gas sectors—perform well in hard rock environments and are capable of removing a volume of rock with low energy input.
The DOE Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) is seeking input on ideas that encourage geothermal development by exploring innovations in extracting critical materials found in geothermal brines. Geothermal fluids could be a key pathway for supplying a growing domestic demand for these materials, which are predominantly imported today.
DOE is exploring the potential of using hybrid applications to raise power plant outputs at low cost. During 2014, industry partner Enel Green Power—in collaboration with Idaho National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory —began work to quantify the economic benefits of combining geothermal and solar thermal systems. Positive results could enhance deployment of these clean, renewable energy technologies in regions where the resources overlap.
The United States Department of Energy announced new $31 million geothermal field laboratory dedicated to cutting-edge research in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Called the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), this effort could unlock access to enough clean geothermal energy to power 100 million homes in America.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, is seeking applications for the permanent position of Director to lead a national program in the development of innovative geothermal technologies that advance geothermal's role in the U.S. energy portfolio.
The Energy Department is supporting geothermal exploration at lower temperatures, thanks to a technology breakthrough that allows geothermal energy to be produced at temperatures below the boiling point (212 degrees Fahrenheit).This innovation increases the development potential of geothermal sites worldwide. The exciting news comes from Energy Department-funded research and development at Chena Hot Springs, a promising hot spot in Alaska for onsite geothermal energy production among many in the state’s Native American lands.
EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.
When the University of Rochester’s student team won first place in the 2013 DOE National Geothermal Student Competition, they earned two scholarship awards that were presented to the University of Rochester in 2014.
Doug Hollett, director of the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), was promoted to Deputy Assistant Secretary, Renewable Power, on November 21 and assumed responsibility for the Solar, Wind and Water, Geothermal, and Grid programs within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Hollett directed the GTO for three years, providing both technical and project oversight for new technologies designed to advance geothermal’s role in the U.S. energy portfolio.
A resource in central Alaska is showing promise for geothermal development—the renewable energy that draws on Earth’s natural heat for electricity and other uses. The myriad benefits of this clean, domestic power source make geothermal exploration an attractive proposition for this state, where off-grid demand means that Alaskans often use expensive, polluting diesel power.
The Energy Department announced funds targeted to small businesses in two separate geothermal subtopics: a) innovations to develop under-utilized markets and b) a technology transfer opportunity for coproduced geothermal resources. An informative webinar will cover the geothermal topic on Friday, November 7, at 1:30 pm.
The Energy Department announced the 2014 winners of the National Geothermal Student Competition and the Geothermal Case Study Challenge last week at an industry gathering in Portland, Oregon. These competitions challenged college and university students to develop professional business solutions for public outreach as well as case studies that could help industry more accurately pinpoint geothermal resources in subsurface areas across the United States.
As part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced up to $18 million for 32 projects that will advance geothermal energy development in the United States.