Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million to promote the advancement of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies and techniques. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), entitled Wells of Opportunity (WOO), supports research and development (R&D) that complements DOE’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) initiative and aligns with the goals of the recently released GeoVision study, which outlines a path to unlock the full potential of geothermal power.
"There is an incredible opportunity for geothermal to become an essential part of America’s energy mix,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The work performed with this investment will be a key part of our strategy to ensure all Americans can have access to clean, reliable, affordable geothermal energy.”
The WOO FOA will provide funding in two topic areas:
- Topic Area 1 – Pilot: Prepare and repair existing wells and host the testing of innovative downhole tools and well stimulation technologies in parallel with or in preparation for deployment at the FORGE site.
- Topic Area 2 – Amplify: Test and validate targeted stimulation techniques for improving productivity of wells or increasing inter-well connectivity at existing geothermal fields for purposes of producing additional energy.
The GeoVision study summarizes findings showing that geothermal electricity generation could increase more than 26-fold from today—reaching 60 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity by 2050. In addition to describing electricity-generation opportunities, the GeoVision analysis also shows how geothermal can enhance heating and cooling solutions for American residential and commercial consumers through direct-use and heat-pump technologies.
DOE’s FORGE initiative enables cutting-edge research, and drilling and technology onsite testing to allow scientists to identify a replicable, commercial pathway to enhanced geothermal systems. The FORGE subsurface laboratory is a fully instrumented research site, coupled with a collaboration and management platform, making it a first of its-kind endeavor. In addition to the site itself, the FORGE effort will include a robust instrumentation, data collection, and data dissemination component to capture and share data and activities occurring at FORGE in real time.
Full applications will be due by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 10, 2020. Please view the FOA and application instructions for more information.