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

August 25, 2010

DOE Offers $15 Million Geothermal Heat Recovery Opportunity

Photo of pipes in a heating plant in the desert.

Geothermal power, from plants such as this one in Nevada, will gain under a new DOE initiative.
Credit: Patrick Laney, INL

DOE's Geothermal Technologies Program announced on August 20 a $15 million funding opportunity to research and develop innovative methods of extracting heat from geothermal resources. DOE is promoting the advancement and commercialization of technologies for heat recovery with environmental, technical, and financial risks that are potentially lower than currently available methods are. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks applicants to expand geothermal power generation into geologically diverse environments, such as permeable sedimentary formations that minimize the risk of rapid drawdown of a reservoir's heat. The FOA also calls for the reduction of the levelized cost of electricity for new methods of geothermal energy production from $0.10 kWh to $0.06 kWh.

Applicants must submit an initial, pre-application concept paper by October 1. Eligible full applications, which must address environmental risk factors associated with geothermal heat recovery, are due November 30, 2010. Funding will be available on a competitive basis for two phases of work. Phase I will encompass feasibility studies of the applicant's proposed heat recovery method, including numerical analysis of the proposed reservoir, economic modeling, and unproven component technology engineering and validation plans. Phase II will include the validation of unproven component technology. See the DOE progress alert, the FOA on the FedConnect Web site, and the Geothermal Technologies Program Web site.