DOE offers grants to accelerate the speed of geothermal drilling

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has revealed up to $20 million in funding to reduce the cost of geothermal power development by demonstrating faster drilling technologies to help shorten project timelines. The DOE seeks to significantly reduce the cost of geothermal drilling, which can exceed 50% of total project costs.

The projects selected for the drilling demonstrations will stimulate new investments in geothermal projects, which could be an essential source of carbon-free energy. The initiative advances U.S. President Biden’s goals of supporting fossil fuel communities that build on their existing energy infrastructure to drive innovation and economic growth in emerging zero-carbon industries.

“There is incredible, untapped potential to use the heat beneath our feet to meet our energy needs with a renewable source that can be found in every pocket of this country,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Mr Granholm. “Not only is the use of geothermal energy an important asset in achieving a carbon-free grid by 2035, but it can also support the creation of well-paying jobs in energy communities as the country moves to cleaner and more reliable sources of energy.”

The Drilling Demos initiative, led by the DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), builds on DOE advances in geothermal drilling technologies that streamline drilling time and improve laboratory penetration rates. Demonstrations under this latest initiative will accelerate the transfer of geothermal drilling advances from the lab to the market.

GTO seeks applications from drilling service providers, well service companies, research institutes, geothermal operators and developers, and other entities that can provide immediate and actionable solutions to achieve the objective increase average daily drilling penetration rates for geothermal wells. Entities that control well access and operations, whether commercial or government-funded, are encouraged to apply.

The GTO also compiles a list of team partners to facilitate the formation of new project teams for drilling demonstrations. The list allows organizations that wish to participate in an application, but do not wish to apply as a lead applicant, to express their interest in potential applicants and explore potential partners.

Letters of Intent are due April 4 and full applications are due June 3.

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