This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 04, 2009

DOE to Invest up to $84 Million in Enhanced Geothermal Systems

DOE issued two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) on March 4 for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), an advanced geothermal technology that drills deep wells into hot rocks, fractures them, and circulates a fluid through the fractures to extract heat. EGS technologies can be used to create new "engineered" geothermal reservoirs or to stimulate existing geothermal reservoirs that are underperforming. Together, the two FOAs offer up to $84 million over six years, including $20 million in fiscal year 2009 funding, although future funding is subject to congressional appropriations.

The first FOA offers $35 million for component research, development, and analysis. The funding will support 20 to 30 projects to develop advanced technologies that will address important aspects of creating, managing, and using engineered geothermal reservoirs. The second FOA offers $49 million to support 5-10 domestic EGS demonstration projects. DOE seeks projects in a variety of geologic formations that will quantitatively demonstrate and validate reservoir creation techniques that sustain sufficient fluid flow and heat extraction rates for 5-7 years and produce at least 5 megawatts of electricity. See the DOE press release, the EGS technologies page on the DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Web site, and the FOAs for component research and EGS demonstration projects on