DOE Grants Another $11M to Geothermal

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"Advanced geothermal projects were selected as part of the department's efforts to reduce the cost of this energy source."

Renewable Energy World, Marc Favreau

A few weeks after doling out $70M for much the same purpose, the Department of Energy (DOE), through its Geothermal Technologies Program, has announced another $11.3M in grants will go to eight projects in five states in support of the research and development of advanced geothermal technologies. The awards will fund projects to be administered by companies in Texas, Connecticut and California (2), the Livermore and Berkeley National Labs in California and universities in Louisiana and Utah.

According to the DOE, the selected projects are part of the Department's efforts to reduce the cost of geothermal energy in order to make the technology competitive with conventional sources of electricity. The money will allow awardees to conduct feasibility studies during Phase I, including technical and economic modeling and component design. If selected for Phase II, awardees would then validate the designs in real-world environments.

The Energy Department under the current administration continues to foster innovation and technical advances in renewable and sustainable energy systems including geothermal, all in hopes of achieving President Barack Obama's goal of generating 80% of U.S. electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

In the grant announcement, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said "Through these eight projects, the Department of Energy is investing in new technologies that will further develop the nation's geothermal resources and help diversify our energy portfolio. By investing in geothermal research and development, we are investing in our nation's energy future and creating opportunities for energy innovation in the U.S."

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