US' DOE ready with enhanced geothermal system research teams selection

Geothermal power station. Featured Image: N.Minton/Shutterstock.com

April 28 (SeeNews) - Geothermal project teams in Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah will receive USD 2 million (EUR 1.83m) in funds from the Energy Department as part of an enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) research initiative.

The department, also known as DOE, announced on Monday the winning teams in the first phase of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) effort. Details on the teams are shown in the table below.

Winner (find more information here) Location
Idaho National Laboratory & partners Snake River Plain, Idaho
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory & partners Newberry Volcano, Oregon
Sandia National Laboratories & partners Coso, California
Fallon, Nevada
University of Utah & partners Milford City, Utah

As part of FORGE’s phase I, the teams will have to complete over the next 12 months mission-critical technical and logistical tasks that demonstrate site viability and show the team’s capability of meeting FORGE objectives and developing plans for phase II. In that next phase, the Energy Department will select no more than three teams for USD 29 million in additional funding. They will work to fully instrument, characterise and permit candidate sites for full-scale operations at FORGE in the third and final phase.

Subject to the availability of appropriations, phase III is anticipated to fund the full implementation of FORGE at a single site, managed by one team. The goal is to improve, optimise and bring down the costs of deploying EGS.

EGS represent engineered geothermal reservoirs, created beneath the surface of the earth, where there is hot rock but limited pathways through which fluid can flow. It is estimated that EGS development could result in over 100 GW of economically viable power generating capacity in the continental US, the Energy Department said.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.916)

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