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.
Three key reports from the Energy Department address water impacts in geothermal energy production. Two recently issued studies, produced by Argonne National Laboratory for the Department's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), highlight methods for economizing water use in geothermal applications. These reports complement a Department-wide report released in June that assesses water usage in multiple energy applications, including geothermal.
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.
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) announced today the winners of their 2014 GEA Honors, which recognizes companies, projects, and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the geothermal industry. The winners were selected in categories including Technological Advancement, Economic Development and Environmental Stewardship. Now in its fourth year, GEA also provides special recognition of companies and individuals who have made notable advances and achievements for geothermal energy.
As part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced up to $31 million to establish the initial phases of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), a field laboratory dedicated to cutting-edge research on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). EGS are engineered reservoirs, created beneath the surface of the Earth, where there is hot rock but limited pathways through which fluid can flow. During EGS development, underground fluid pathways are safely created and their size and connectivity increased. These enhanced pathways allow fluid to circulate throughout the hot rock and carry heat to the surface to generate electricity. In the long term, EGS may enable domestic access to a geographically diverse baseload, and carbon-free energy resource on the order of 100 gigawatts, or enough to power about 100 million homes.
A new DOE report, published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, highlights findings from a review of five policy mechanisms that have been successfully applied to hydrothermal exploration activities around the globe – loan guarantees, drilling failure insurance, lending support, grants, and government-led exploration – and their applicability to the U.S. geothermal market.
The Energy Department today announced commercialization of a rechargeable energy storage device capable of operating in the extreme temperatures necessary for geothermal energy production. Industry partner FastCAP Systems successfully demonstrated an ultracapacitor that is fully operational in 200°C conditions, extending the upper limit of high-temperature energy storage and electronics, and engineering a flexible system that could reduce cost and risks of geothermal drilling.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a geothermal bond bill May 30, providing $1.98 million in state funding and matching the Energy Department’s investment in geothermal energy exploration at Pagosa Springs.
The National Geothermal Data System is online open-source platform that facilitates the discovery and use of geothermal data. It will help address one of the greatest barriers to development and deployment of this promising clean energy source.
This data visualization shows how industry can model geologic features from free, open-source data through the National Geothermal Data System. In this fence diagram, Schlumberger utilized bottom hole temperatures from the National Geothermal Data Systems (NDGS) on-line platform to supplement subscription data temperatures used to create basin-wide 3D temperature models in Petrel Exploration and Production software.
National Geothermal Data System addresses barriers to geothermal deployment by aggregating millions of geoscience datapoints and legacy geothermal research into a nationwide system that serves the geothermal community.
Today, the Department of Energy recognized the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) for boosting its use of clean energy at the first campus in America to be heated by geothermal energy, achieving a major milestone toward its goal of making all seven schools in the Oregon University System carbon-neutral by 2020.
The City of West Union, Iowa, installed a closed-circuit geothermal heating and cooling system designed to heat and cool 330,000 square feet of mixed used space in the downtown area, including 80% of the 60 downtown buildings. The city also set up a system of mini-grants for downtown businesses to help defray the costs of weatherizing their buildings and connecting to the system.
The 2013 Geothermal Technologies Office Peer Review Report is now available for download. The report provides a summary and compilation of expert, independent technical feedback on GTO-funded projects, as well as feedback from the Peer Review reviewers.