Check out the Funding Opportunity Topic Area 1 Quick Guide or Topic Area 2 Quick Guide to determine eligibility and learn how to apply to this FOA today!

Office: Geothermal Technologies Office  
FOA number: DE-FOA-0003296 
Link to apply: Apply on EERE eXCHANGE 
FOA Amount: $31M (Topic Area 1: $23.1M; Topic Area 2: $7.9M)  
Letters of Intent Due: March 1, 2024, 5:00 p.m. ET  
Full Applications Due: April 1, 2024, 5:00 p.m. ET 

On January 30, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $31M in total funding for a combined Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to support two topic areas:  

  • Topic Area 1: Projects to address downhole cement and casing evaluation tools for use in high-temperature and hostile geothermal wellbores 
  • Topic Area 2: Demonstration project for low-temperature (<130◦ C) reservoir thermal energy storage (RTES) technology with applications to industrial processes. 

Projects under Topic Area 1 will reduce costs and technical challenges associated with wellbore construction for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), which will expand opportunities to tap firm, flexible, domestic geothermal energy nationwide and support DOE’s Enhanced Geothermal Shot™. Projects under Topic Area 2 can help reduce emissions from energy-intensive industrial heating processes, spur RTES technology towards being a long-term, reliable decarbonization technology for U.S. industry and manufacturing, and support DOE’s Industrial Heat Shot™.

Under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) anticipates making several awards over the course of fiscal years 2024–2028. Individual awards may range between $100,000 and $10M. 

Objective

GTO actively pursues research, development, and demonstration projects to facilitate technology validation and demonstration, reduce cost, and improve performance of geothermal technologies. The economic viability of geothermal projects across the resource spectrum depends on developing and improving enabling technologies and detailed understanding of the subsurface, including geologic qualities, permeability, and other attributes.  

The objective of Topic Area 1 is to develop wellbore tools and technology that supplement and advance beyond available off-the-shelf solutions for cement and casing evaluation, which are suitable for the upper end of the oil and gas industry’s temperature needs but not generally considered adequate for hotter, EGS systems. Topic Area 1 funding of up to $23.1M will target more cost-effective and consistent methods for downhole evaluation of wellbore construction materials and practices. 

The objective of Topic Area 2 is to tap RTES as a unique solution to reducing emissions from energy-intensive processes that use industrial heating, such as removing moisture, separating chemicals, and treating metals. Topic Area 2 funding of up to $7.9M will support a demonstration project to demonstrate low-temperature (<130◦ C) RTES technology with applications to industrial processes. 

Topic Area 1 and Topic Area 2 activities funded through this FOA will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals to achieve carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035 and achieve a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. Strategic goals for this FOA are derived from DOE’s Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ and its associated roadmap, and GTO’s GeoVision Roadmap and Multi-Year Program Plan

Topic Areas 

This funding opportunity comprises two topic areas with separate objectives and technical focus.   

A diagram of overlapping wellbore casing and cementing materials against a depiction of subsurface layers of soil and rock, with the following text - Wellbore Construction Considerations: high temperature, high pressure/compressive, corrosive chemistries, crystalline rock, surrounding rock often fractured
Wellbore Construction Considerations with a Diagram of Wellbore Casing

Topic Area 1: High-Temperature Tools for Well Integrity Evaluation  

Topic Area 1 seeks applications to address ​​wellbore tools and technology to supplement and advance beyond currently available off-the-shelf (OTS) solutions provided by the oil and gas industry for cement and casing evaluation. Current solutions are suitable for the upper end of the oil and gas industry’s temperature needs but are not generally considered adequate for use in hotter, EGS systems. Topic Area 1 funding of up to $23.1M will support 1–10 projects targeting the shortcomings of current downhole logging and monitoring tools to provide more cost-effective and consistent methods of downhole evaluation of wellbore construction materials and practices.  

 

Reservoir Thermal Energy Storage (RTES) Diagram. Baserock at bottom; above this is Sedimentary Formation (SF). Hot Well and Cold Well tap into SF, passing through Caprock from surface. Charging Cycle flows from Cold Well via Heat Exchanger to Hot Well. Heat from non-geothermal Sources (solar, nuclear, conventional, biomass, etc.) also flow through Heat Exchanger, cycling from hot to cold. In Discharging Cycle, Hot Brine via Hot Well goes through Power Block, becoming Cold Brine returned to SF via Cold Well.
Diagram of Reservoir Thermal Energy Storage (RTES) Processes

Topic Area 2: Utilization of Reservoir Thermal Energy Storage (RTES) Technology for Decarbonization of Industrial Processes  

Topic Area 2 seeks to demonstrate low-temperature (<130 C) RTES technology with applications to industrial processes such as melting plastic, removing moisture, treating chemicals, and others. RTES takes advantage of large subsurface storage capacities, geothermal gradients, and thermal insulation associated with deep geologic formations to store thermal energy to be extracted in the future for beneficial use on a variety of timescales. Funding of up to $7.9M will support one demonstration project that helps move RTES technology from domestic feasibility studies to demonstration in the industrial sector. 

Key Dates (Subject to Change)

FOA Issue Date:January 30, 2024
Informational Webinar Posted to Exchange: February 5, 2024
Submission Deadline for Letters of Intent:March 1, 2024, 5:00 p.m. ET
Submission Deadline for Full Applications:April 1, 2024, 5:00 p.m. ET
Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments:May 16, 2024, 5:00 p.m. ET
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: July 2024
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: September 2024

Additional Information