The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Geothermal Technologies Program has announced a $15 million funding opportunity to research and develop innovative methods to extract heat from geothermal resources from the earth’s crust to produce clean, renewable energy. The DOE’s objective is to promote the advancement and commercialization of technologies for heat recovery with potentially lower environmental, technical, and financial risks than methods currently available.

This funding opportunity seeks applicants to expand geothermal power generation into geologically diverse environments, such as permeable sedimentary formations. Naturally permeable rock formations not only reduce the need to increase permeability artificially, but minimize the risk of rapid drawdown of the reservoir’s heat to allow for sustained heat recovery.

Proposals should address potential environmental risk factors associated with geothermal heat recovery, such as water consumption and induced seismicity. Cooperation and partnerships among geothermal, mining, carbon sequestration, oil and gas industries, small businesses, national laboratories, and academic institutions are encouraged.

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 a numerical analysis of the proposed reservoir, economic modeling, and unproven component technology engineering and validation plans. Phase II will be the validation and proof of concept of unproven component technology.

Prospective applicants for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) are encouraged to begin developing partnerships, formulating ideas, and gathering data for potential applications. An initial, pre-application concept paper is required to be eligible for submission of a full application. Pre-application concept papers will receive feedback from the DOE regarding the responsiveness of the concept to the objectives of the FOA. The pre-application concept papers are due Oct. 1, and eligible full applications will be due Nov. 30.

The complete FOA can be viewed on the FedConnect Website.