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Hydrothermal Success Stories

June 9, 2015
Hydrothermal Success Stories
Energy Department Honored for Inroads in Geothermal Energy

As renewable energy takes a stronger role in supplying the U.S. grid, geothermal power could support a more flexible role to balance the intermittent and variable capacity of wind and solar.

June 5, 2015
Geothermal energy, traditionally a baseload power source among renewables, is poised to emerge also as a flexible power source, balancing intermittent wind and solar power production and reducing variability in energy prices. Source: NREL
Award-winning research takes a fresh look at Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy technologies under development at the Energy Department could accelerate the supply of more than 100 gigawatts of clean energy to the grid.

May 29, 2015
The Energy Department's project partner Foro Energy lab tests a high power laser tool with a patented technology that could maximize heat recovery from geothermal wells. Source: Foro Energy.
High Power Laser Innovation Sparks Geothermal Power Potential

The Energy Department is backing a new patented technology that uses high power lasers to maximize heat recovery for geothermal energy production.

May 14, 2015
Through funding by the Energy Department, Sandia National Laboratories have refined a useful percussive hammer tool for harsh geothermal applications. Source: Sandia
Percussive Hammer Enables Geothermal Drilling

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.

April 28, 2015
Hydrothermal Success Stories
Energy Department Announces Project Selections for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Subsurface Laboratory

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.

April 2, 2015
Energy Department Opens Job Search for Geothermal Technologies Office Director Position

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.

March 30, 2015
Phase II commercial operation of Ormat's McGinnis Hills Geothermal Power Plant - which came online in February 2015 - doubled the plant's generating capacity in less than three years, thanks to the Energy Department's loan guarantee program. The plant now generates a combined total of 70 MW. Through early DOE investment, Ormat improved efficiency of energy extraction from geothermal brines there by 10%.
More Than Half of New U.S. Energy in February Derived from Geothermal Sources

Geothermal accounted for more than half of the new U.S.

January 6, 2015
Hollett speaks on the Energy Department's geothermal portfolio at the largest geothermal industry gathering of the year in Portland, Oregon, September 2014.
Hollett Takes on Renewable Power

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.

November 4, 2014
Up to $1.15 Million Available to Small Businesses for New Products or Technologies that Expand Geothermal Markets

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.

September 29, 2014
GTO Director Doug Hollett Delivers Keynote at the Nation's Largest Industry Gathering, September 29, 2014

The Energy Department's Geothermal Technologies Office participated in the industry's largest geothermal gathering in Portland, Oregon, with a keynote address by Director Doug Hollett.

July 31, 2014
New Studies Aid in Optimizing Water Use in Geothermal Applications

Geothermal energy water conservation is a vital concern for this clean energy sector. Read more about how the Energy Department is undertaking safe practices to optimize water use.

July 29, 2014
Geothermal Energy Association Recognizes the National Geothermal Data System

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.

July 9, 2014
A new DOE report, Geothermal Exploration Policy Mechanisms, was recently released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory | photo courtesy of Geothermal Resources Council.
NREL Releases Report on Policy Options to Advance Geothermal Exploration

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.

July 2, 2014
Energy Department Announces First-of-its-Kind, High-Temperature, Downhole Rechargeable Energy Storage Device

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.

May 28, 2014
The National Geothermal Data System deploys free, open-source online scientific information, a mammoth resource of geoscience data. In the data visualization shown here, 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 | photo courtesy of Schlumberger
National Geothermal Data System Deployed to Serve Industry

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.

May 14, 2014
Grand Challenges: Request for Information on the Subsurface

Geothermal Technologies Office posted a Request for Information submitted by the Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration (SubTER) Cross-cut.

March 5, 2014
Foro Energy, Inc. partners with the United States Department of Energy to commercialize high power lasers for the oil, natural gas, geothermal, and mining industries. photo courtesy of Foro Energy
2013 Geothermal Technologies Office Peer Review Technical Report

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.

January 10, 2014
Hydrothermal Success Stories
Alaska Harbors Geothermal Energy Potential

Leveraging historical investments in from Energy Department, a USGS study released yesterday estimates a potential 29 MW of geothermal energy in one of Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

December 17, 2013
New Working Fluids Cut a Wider Swath of Geothermal Reserves

Scientists at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have made a commercially viable discovery: how to capture substantially more heat from low-temperature resources. In a market where binary working fluids are costly

December 10, 2013
Foro Energy partners with Dept of Energy to commercialize high power lasers for the oil, natural gas, geothermal, and mining industries. photo courtesy of Foro Energy.
New High-Power Laser Technology

laser drilling advances in geothermal energy

August 21, 2013
BLM Approves California Geothermal Development Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service Inyo National Forest on August 13 signed the Record of Decision approving a new 40-megawatt geothermal project near Mammoth Lakes, California.

July 11, 2013
Caldwell Ranch: Innovative Exploration Technologies Yield Geothermal Potential

As part of a geothermal exploration effort to search for geothermal resources nationwide, a $5 million U.S. Department of Energy investment to Calpine Corporation this year culminated in the confirmation of an initial 11.4 MW of equivalent steam — 50% more than early estimates — from three previously abandoned wells at The Geysers geothermal field in northern California.

June 5, 2013
Energy Department Develops Regulatory Roadmap to Spur Geothermal Energy Development

The Energy Department today issued a Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap that will help developers navigate regulatory requirements at every level of government to deploy geothermal energy projects.

February 27, 2013
New Geothermal Prospects in the Western United States Show Promise

New geothermal prospects in the western United States show promise, according to the new 2013 Annual U.S. Geothermal Power Production and Development Report, published by the Geothermal Energy Association this week.