Department of Energy Announces Funding Availability for Geothermal Energy Pilot Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy on Feb. 8 announced a funding opportunity of up to $74 million for up to seven pilot projects that will test the efficacy and scalability of enhanced geothermal systems.

“Through this investment, DOE hopes the research and development from the findings would demonstrate the growth and ultimate potential for geothermal energy to provide reliable, around-the-clock electricity to tens of millions of homes across the country,” DOE said.

This is DOE’s first funding opportunity for geothermal energy since the launch of the Enhanced Geothermal Shot, part of DOE’s Energy EarthShots Initiative, which seeks to cut the cost of geothermal energy 90% by 2035. 

Geothermal energy currently generates about 3.7 gigawatts of electricity in the United States, but a new analysis shows it could provide 90 gigawatts of firm, flexible power to the U.S. grid by 2050, as well as heating and cooling solutions nationwide. This substantial geothermal energy potential is, however, largely inaccessible with conventional geothermal technologies, DOE said.

Applications for the pilot demonstrations will be accepted over multiple rounds. First-round letters of intent are due March 8, 2023, and first-round applications will be due July 7, 2023. 

DOE is providing a voluntary Teaming Partner List where interested parties can provide contact information and their expertise for use in forming partnerships in order to help a broad and inclusive range of interested entities apply.

Click here for additional details on the funding opportunity.