EGS - Enhanced Geothermal Systems - Pilot Demonstrations

Office: Geothermal Technologies Office 
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002826
FOA Amount: $74 million 
Phase 1 Selections Announced: February 13, 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced two projects to receive up to $40 million to support enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) pilot demonstration projects. These selections are in support of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and represent the first round of EGS demonstration projects directed by the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). 

The projects are:

  • Chevron New Energies (HQ: San Ramon, CA)—This EGS pilot demonstration will use innovative drilling and stimulation techniques to access geothermal energy near an existing geothermal field in Sonoma County in northern California.
  • Fervo Energy (HQ: Houston, TX)—This pilot within the Milford Renewable Energy Corridor in Utah and adjacent to the DOE’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory aims to produce at least 8 megawatts of power from each of three wells at a site with no existing commercial geothermal power production.

These demonstration projects will provide valuable information about EGS in different geologic settings, using a variety of development techniques and well orientations. This work will advance EGS towards DOE's ambitious Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ and GeoVision analysis goals, and help spur further growth of geothermal energy, which has vast potential to be a critical source of firm, flexible, clean energy. The untapped potential of EGS could provide at least 90 gigawatts of domestic electricity-generating capacity by 2050—enough to power the equivalent of more than 65 million American homes.


The economic viability of EGS depends on developing and improving technologies and detailed understanding of the subsurface, including geologic qualities, permeability, and other attributes. 

These projects aim to identify and develop EGS pilot demonstration projects in a variety of geologic formations and subsurface conditions that will act as:

  • Models, proving reliability and performance, and ultimately de-risking the suites of technologies required to develop and sustain EGS reservoirs.
  • Experiments from which to learn (learn-by-doing), using the upscaled opportunity to identify new problems that are not apparent at smaller, lab-based scales.
  • An opportunity to test hypotheses and validate design approaches for the geological conditions in which projects are located and extend those approaches to broader EGS development.
  • Opportunities for collaboration, such that best practices can be established and general operational processes can be standardized and improved.
  • Opportunities to begin connecting with consumers and off-takers to understand their needs and define the market, and to take those factors into account in design.

These pilot demonstration activities will advance the Biden Administration’s goals to achieve carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. GTO’s strategic goals for this work are derived from the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™, the GeoVision analysis, and GTO’s Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP).

Topic Areas

A key component of this BIL-funded initiative is to demonstrate EGS in a variety of geographic locations, geologic formations, and subsurface conditions.

To help ensure that variety, this FOA is rolling—meaning that multiple rounds are expected—and seeks EGS demonstrations throughout the United States, under four Topic Areas. The three projects selected in round one are intended to increase geothermal power production in the United States in the near-term from areas surrounding existing geothermal fields (Topic Area 1) while facilitating new opportunities for widespread power (or power with cascaded heat production) in the future from regions where heat is present, yet no geothermal energy production exists (Topic Areas 2 and 3). The rolling FOA includes a fourth topic that will be issued in the second round, aiming to demonstrate EGS in the eastern United States. 

EGS - Enhanced Geothermal Systems Pilot Demonstrations Topic Area 1-5; EGS Proximal, EGS Green Field, Super-hot/Supercritical EGS, Eastern-U.S. EGS.

EGS demonstrations utilizing existing infrastructure proximal to existing geothermal/hydrothermal development with immediate potential for electrical power production.

EGS Proximal demonstrations will show that the use of EGS stimulation methods can transform low permeability or underproductive wells in or near existing hydrothermal fields into productive, economically beneficial assets for geothermal developers, with the goal of sustainably increasing the output of the existing reservoirs by at least 5 megawatts (MW) per site/well. 

Sites with no existing geothermal development and potential for sedimentary, igneous and/or mixed metamorphic rock EGS with near-term electrical power production potential.

EGS Green Field demonstrations will target low-permeability geothermal anomalies with the potential for power production, where no current geothermal development exists. Selected projects will continue to hone understanding of what is required, especially with respect to zonal isolation and stimulation, to scale up EGS and ensure its viability throughout the United States.

Super-hot/Supercritical EGS demonstrations located at well-characterized sites with existing well(s) in place and near-term electrical power production potential.

Super-hot/Supercritical demonstrations will target low-permeability, super-hot/supercritical EGS resources (>375°C) with the potential for power production. Selected projects will be required to both improve understanding of the mechanisms controlling fracture generation and sustainability in superhot environments, and elucidate the relationships between reservoir permeability, fluid chemistry, temperature, and pressure.

EGS stimulation demonstration located at a well-characterized eastern U.S. site, with existing well(s) in place and near-term electrical power and heat production potential.

Eastern U.S. demonstrations will target low-permeability, high-temperature geothermal anomalies in the eastern United States with the potential for generation of electrical power and heat production as a cascaded resource. Selected projects will hone understanding of what is required to demonstrate the viability of EGS in the terrains of the eastern United States, especially with respect to stimulation technology/methodologies.

Key Dates (Subject to Change)

These selections represent the first round of this “rolling” FOA, meaning that it may remain open for up to 48 months. Dates for the second round of applications will be provided soon.

If appropriated funding is expended after the second-round selections are made, DOE will notify the community that subsequent submission periods will be withdrawn.

Additional Information