Energy Department Honored for Inroads in Geothermal Energy

June 9, 2015

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The Energy Department’s geothermal office garnered five awards at the Geothermal Energy Association’s (GEA) National Geothermal Summit on June 3, 2015, amidst a celebrated list of twelve sector trailblazers and industry standouts, including Ormat Technologies, Enel Green Power of North America, and Cyrq Energy. The 2015 GEA Honors mentioned four DOE awards managed by our national laboratories for their transformative work in diminishing the risks of geothermal energy adoption. GEA also honored former director of the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) Doug Hollett for his outstanding achievements in geothermal development. Annually, the GEA selects candidates who have advanced the technologies and economics of geothermal energy.

The GEA honored Ernie Majer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab for his efforts to advance the understanding of induced seismicity in EGS systems. Majer’s instrumental work with the Energy Department on a novel seismicity protocol – recognized as a best practice by the National Academy of Sciences – set the standard in the subsurface community for safe and responsible drilling. His body of research continues to help geothermal scientists monitor the behavior and benefits of microseismicity in EGS systems.

Thomas Edmunds and Pedro Sotorrio, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, took home a special recognition award for advancing our understanding of flexible and ancillary geothermal services, which in addition to conventional baseload power will be needed to balance the renewable energy grid. Research published by Edmunds and Sotorrio is a potential first look at our energy future and a critical analysis for defining the new flexible paradigm. Read the full report here.

Dan Getman, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was honored for pioneering the Geothermal Prospector mapping tool, which provides an excellent data resource for visual exploration of geothermal resources. By drawing on tools and datasets from the GTO project portfolio and industry data, Getman’s mapping capabilities enable better access to both exploration gap analysis and Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) planning.

In tandem with an Energy Department award conducted by Argonne National Laboratory on water efficiency issues, Jordan Macknick at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory was recognized for his work improving the understanding of geothermal water use in a water-constrained west. Read his full technical analysis here.

In addition to our national lab partners, Douglas Hollett, now Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power at the Energy Department, was honored for his leadership and vision as former director of the Geothermal Technologies Office. Hollett secured unprecedented support and funding to advance and grow the office’s technical portfolio, with new initiatives such as FORGEplay fairway analysis, and the GeoVision Study.

Learn more about the Energy Department's transformative research in geothermal energy. Learn more about the Geothermal Energy Association and their full list of GEA honorees here.