The application period for the first round in this rolling funding opportunity closed on June 16, 2023.
Scroll to the Key Dates section below to learn about the anticipated schedule for future rounds.
Office: Geothermal Technologies Office
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002826
Link to apply: Apply on EERE Exchange
FOA Amount: $74 million
First Round Letters of Intent Due: March 8, 2023
First Round Full Applications Due: June 16, 2023 (corrected)
On February 8, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $74 million to support enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) pilot demonstration projects called for in President Biden’s landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The legislation authorizes DOE to support up to seven competitively selected pilot projects that collectively demonstrate EGS in different geologic settings, using a variety of development techniques and well orientations.
These demonstration projects will provide valuable information about EGS in the field, maintain progress 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 abundant, always-available low-carbon energy. The untapped potential of EGS could provide at least 90 gigawatts of U.S. electricity-generating capacity alone by 2050, resulting in enough clean, reliable power to power the equivalent of more than 65 million American homes.
Under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) anticipates making several awards on a rolling basis over the course of fiscal years 2023–2025. Individual awards may range between $5 million and $25 million.
GTO's EGS program actively pursues research, development, and demonstration projects to facilitate technology validation and demonstration, reduce cost, and improve performance of EGS. The economic viability of EGS depends on developing and improving enabling technologies and detailed understanding of the subsurface, including geologic qualities, permeability, and other attributes.
The objective of this funding opportunity is 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.
The pilot demonstration activities funded through this FOA will advance the Biden Administration’s goals to achieve carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. Strategic goals for this FOA are derived from the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™, the GeoVision analysis, and GTO’s Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP).
A key component of this FOA is the variety of geologic formations and subsurface conditions in which these pilot demonstrations take place.
To ensure that variety, the projects selected under this FOA will build on the lessons of previous GTO EGS demonstration initiatives to help accelerate EGS commercialization pathways throughout the United States under four Topic Areas. The technology developments targeted in this FOA 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, 3, and 4).
Topic 1: EGS Proximal
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.
Topic 2: EGS Green Field
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.
Topic 3: Super-Hot/Supercritical EGS
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.
Topic 4: Eastern United States EGS
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)
This FOA may remain open for up to 48 months, with review cycles occurring every eight months. The “rolling” nature of this announcement is meant to accommodate our community of applicants, who may need time to find the appropriate mix of experience to develop effective teams and to identify high potential sites, perform critical due diligence on those sites, and accommodate operational restrictions on sites before applying. In addition, DOE recognizes a perennial challenge given the small size of the geothermal industry, which makes it more difficult for personnel to be available to support the DOE FOA application and project management process. Dates for the first round of applications—under Topic Areas 1, 2, and 3 only—are as follows:
|Key Dates for 1st Round Applications|
|FOA Issue Date:||02/08/2023|
|Informational Webinar:||02/09/2023 (View webinar slides)|
|Submission Deadline for 1st Round Letters of Intent:||03/08/2023 5:00pm ET|
|Submission Deadline for 1st Round Full Applications:||06/16/2023 5:00pm ET (corrected)|
|Expected Date for First Round Selections:||10/15/2023|
The planned schedule for further rounds of this rolling FOA are outlined below. Starting in Round 2, DOE will accept applications under all Topic Areas. Please note that appropriated funding may be expended after the 2nd Round selections are made. If this is the case, DOE will notify the community via EERE Exchange that subsequent submission periods will be withdrawn.
|Anticipated Dates for Subsequent Application Rounds|
|2nd Round Letters of Intent Due||November 2023|
|2nd Round Full Applications Due||March 2024|
|3rd Round Letters of Intent Due||July 2024|
|3rd Round Full Applications Due||November 2024|
|4th Round Letters of Intent Due||March 2025|
|4th Round Full Applications Due||July 2025|
- Download the full funding opportunity on the EERE Exchange website. Note: All applicants need to have a Login.gov account to access Exchange and apply to open opportunities.
- Review this FOA’s Quick Guide as a reference to determine eligibility for future rounds and learn how to apply.
- For FOA-specific support or questions, contact BIL_EGSPilotDemos@ee.doe.gov.
- Sign up for GTO email notifications and subscribe to our monthly Drill Down newsletter to stay current with the latest GTO news.
- Sign up for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) funding emails and EERE news and the Weekly Jolt newsletter to get notified of new EERE funding opportunities and stay up to date on EERE news.