The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for up to $84 million to support the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).
Enhanced Geothermal Systems offer the potential to extend geothermal resources to larger areas of the western United States, as well as into new geographic areas of the entire country. Conventional geothermal energy systems must be located near easily-accessible geothermal water resources, limiting its nationwide use. EGS technology would allow power generation in a broad variety of geographic locations. EGS makes use of available geothermal resources to heat engineered reservoirs, which can then be tapped to produce electricity.
The FOAs will explore two specific areas: component research and development/analysis; and support for EGS demonstration projects.
The first FOA seeks advanced technology to address important aspects of engineered geothermal reservoir creation, management, and utilization. DOE anticipates making 20 to 30 awards for a total value of up to $35 million under this FOA, based on annual appropriations. Proposals will be evaluated based on their applicability to the program’s multi-year research, development, and demonstration plan; level of technical innovation; and ability to introduce new technologies into the marketplace. Research teams comprised of academia, industry, or both are expected to apply.
In addition, DOE will continue its partnership with the geothermal community to support field demonstrations of EGS technologies. The second FOA seeks domestic 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 that produce at least 5 MWe per year per project. DOE anticipates making 5 to 10 awards under this announcement for up to $49 million, based on annual appropriations. Applicants eligible to apply include institutions of higher education, non-profit entities, for-profit private entities, State/Local Governments, and Indian tribes.
For each of the Financial Opportunity Announcements, DOE and non-DOE Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), National Laboratories, and federal agencies will be allowed as subcontractors only with any of the previously mentioned entities.