Funding Will Help Advance Geothermal Deployment Nationwide and Tap into Geothermal Energy’s Potential to Provide 90 GW of Clean, Reliable Power 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that its Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory in Milford, UT, has selected 13 research projects to foster innovation in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Selectees will receive a combined total of up to $44 million for research that will build on FORGE’s existing EGS work and focus on reproducible solutions and dissemination of technical data. 

The United States has potential for 90 gigawatts of geothermal electricity-generating capacity—the equivalent of powering more than 65 million American homes—by 2050. However, only a fraction of the nation’s vast geothermal resource can be harnessed via naturally occurring hot water or steam. Tapping into the majority of this resource requires creating humanmade EGS reservoirs in which fluid is injected deep underground into naturally heated rocks that otherwise lack the fluid flow necessary to draw geothermal energy to the surface. By investing in EGS technology development through FORGE and other initiatives, GTO is working to achieve the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ goals of reducing the cost of EGS by 90% by 2035 and deploying geothermal nationwide to help meet the Biden-Harris Administration's goal for a net-zero-carbon economy by 2050.  

“Enhanced geothermal systems are the next frontier in meeting our energy needs,” said Jeff Marootian, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy “These new investments at FORGE will advance cutting-edge technologies in drilling and creating geothermal wells, which will help us leverage cost-effective and widescale geothermal power as a key resource in our clean energy future.” 

“Utah FORGE looks forward to collaborating closely with the scientists and engineers of these project teams to move us closer to commercializing this inexhaustible and clean energy source,” said Joseph Moore, Ph.D., Principal Investigator at Utah FORGE. “We were impressed with the caliber of all of the applicants and hope to continue expanding the geothermal community and propelling EGS into the nation's energy spotlight.” 

Managed by the University of Utah, FORGE is DOE’s dedicated field laboratory for developing technologies to create, sustain, and monitor EGS reservoirs. The site uses testing and research and development (R&D) to reduce uncertainty and manage risk for commercial development of EGS technologies. FORGE collects data for all aspects of EGS development, including subsurface fluid flow, temperatures, rock types, and more. These data allow researchers to better understand subsurface conditions, identify the best areas for geothermal production, and provide information that can be used to optimize tools and methods that work well in geothermal environments.  

The projects selected under FORGE’s Solicitation 2022-2 are: 

Topic 1: Adaptive Induced Seismicity Monitoring Protocols 

  • Global Technology Connection, Inc. | Atlanta, GA 
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Berkeley, CA 
  • University of Utah | Salt Lake City, UT 

Topic 2: Alternative Stimulation Schemes 

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Golden, CO 
  • University of Oklahoma | Norman, OK 

Topic 3: Field Scale Experiments to Measure Heat-Sweep Efficiency 

  • California State University, Long Beach | Long Beach, CA 
  • Sandia National Laboratories | Albuquerque, NM 
  • Texas Tech University | Lubbock, TX 

Topic 4: High Temperature Proppants 

  • Oklahoma State University | Stillwater, OK 
  • Stevens Institute of Technology | Hoboken, NJ 
  • University of Oklahoma | Norman, OK 

Topic 5: Multiset Straddle Packers for Open Hole Operations  

  • PetroQuip | Waller, TX 
  • Welltec | Katy, TX 

For more information about the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) and the FORGE initiative, visit GTO’s FORGE page, FORGE R&D page with details on FORGE’s 2020-1 and 2022-2 solicitations, and FORGE Phases and Sites page with information on Phases 1─3 of the initiative. 

For additional details about this solicitation and EGS R&D at FORGE, visit the FORGE website.  

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.