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U.S. DOE/ GTO – Request for information: lowering cost and risk of geothermal drilling

Drilling rig on site of 30 MW Bald Mountain geothermal project (source: Oski Energy)
Alexander Richter 13 Dec 2017

The Geothermal Technologies Office of U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking feedback from the public regarding challenges and opportunities associated with drilling geothermal wells.

The Geothermal Technologies Office, within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking feedback from the public regarding challenges and opportunities associated with drilling geothermal wells.

With the overall goal of better understanding barriers to lower the costs and risks of geothermal drilling for the purpose of electricity production, we are seeking input in three areas: defining the major challenges, research and development opportunities, and process improvement opportunities. The information requested is intended to ascertain where there are opportunities to reduce the costs of drilling, facilitating increased geothermal energy production in the United States.

Geothermal energy has the potential to provide a significant amount of renewable electric power for the United States.

Because drilling costs can account for 50% or more of the total capital cost for a geothermal power project, reducing those costs becomes one of the most important factors to realizing this potential.

A preliminary report from the GeoVision study categorizes two approaches to reduce drilling costs:

  1. reduce the time it takes to drill a well, and
  2. reduce the material costs to drill a well.

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to lowering the costs and risks associated with drilling wells for geothermal development for electricity production. EERE is specifically interested in information on defining major challenges in geothermal drilling and identifying opportunities in research and development and process improvement. This is solely a request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). EERE is not accepting applications.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to geothermal.comments@ee.doe.gov no later than 5:00pm (ET) on January 22, 2018. All submissions received must include “Geothermal Drilling RFI” in the subject of the message.

For further detail see the official release for RFI (pdf)

Source: EERE Exchange