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DOE awards $8.4M for accessing geothermal potential from abandoned oil and gas wells

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected four new projects to receive up to $8.4 million to establish new geothermal energy and heat production from abandoned oil and gas wells.

With this funding, DOE is partnering with existing well owners and operators to use their idle or unproductive wells to access otherwise untapped geothermal potential. This work also supports the creation of new clean energy jobs, helping transition some of the oil and gas workforce to the production of renewable energy.

The selected projects include:

  • Geothermix, LLC (Austin, TX) Geothermix will harvest waste heat from existing oil and gas wells in Texas to generate commercial quantities of geothermal electricity.

  • ICE Thermal Harvesting (Houston, TX). ICE Thermal Harvesting will produce electricity from 11 existing oil and gas wells in California’s San Joaquin Valley using an innovative power generation technology.

  • Transitional Energy (Aurora, CO). Transitional Energy will install state-of-the-art, American-made geothermal heat engines at Blackburn Oilfield in Nevada for electrical power production. As a result of the project, Transitional Energy will generate geothermal energy at the site and construct new rural electric vehicle charging infrastructure. University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)

  • University of Oklahoma will produce heat from an Oklahoma oilfield for use in Tuttle Elementary and Middle Schools in Tuttle, Oklahoma. With access to four hydrocarbon wells within a mile, the schools will benefit from the ‘recycling’ of oil and gas infrastructure at considerable savings for the schools.

This program is part of the Wells of Opportunity initiative, funded by the Geothermal Technologies Office, that launched in 2020 and focuses on bringing geothermal online using existing infrastructure to lower costs and reduce development timelines. Last year, three projects were funded to help support research and development and reduce the costs and risks associated with geothermal development.


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