The U.S. Department of Energy has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) with an amount of USD 10 million to form a consortium that will develop a roadmap for addressing technology and knowledge gaps in geothermal energy by leveraging technology and best practices from the oil and gas industry.
This FOA is part of the Geothermal Energy from Oil and Gas Demonstrated Engineering (GEODE) initiative which we had recently reported on. The roadmap produced from this FOA will then be used to fund up to an additional USD 155 million to address the identified gaps.
The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) anticipates making one (1) award of $10 million under this FOA. Then, over an additional 4-year period and pending Congressional budget appropriations, the GEODE consortium will issue competitive solicitations for up to $155 million in research activities.
The GEODE Administrator
The GEODE FOA solicits an administrator to establish and lead a consortium that will facilitate collaborative research, development, and demonstration (RD&D). Goals for the consortium are to transfer and adapt technology from oil and gas, generate heat and power from existing oil and gas assets, evaluate and recommend ways to address regulatory and permitting barriers, and develop opportunities in the geothermal sector for the skilled oil and gas workforce. The ultimate objective is to significantly expand domestic geothermal deployment.
U.S. individuals or entities can apply as the GEODE consortium administrator. The administrator will need to be capable of executing numerous activities, including:
- Establishing a clear structure and methodology for initiating and executing a research agenda, as defined by the consortium members and DOE
- Managing RD&D efforts in support of consortium priorities
- Attracting and securing consortium membership of and collaboration among key industry partners in both the geothermal and oil and gas industries
- Providing strong organizational leadership across technical disciplines and establishing a robust model to leverage RD&D expertise and non-DOE funding (if feasible) to enhance commercialization opportunities.
More details about applicant eligibility and required skills are in the FOA.
The GEODE Facets
DOE expects that GEODE will be a 5-year effort, with the consortium issuing competitive solicitations for research activities beginning in year two. These competitive solicitations will advance the goals of the initiative by conducting research simultaneously in four interrelated focus areas, called “Facets.”
Facet 1: Technology Transfer and R&D. In this facet, the consortium will examine the technology and workflow needs of the geothermal industry and catalogue the gaps between geothermal and oil and gas in these areas. This facet will identify pathways that incorporate existing oil and gas technologies and methodologies into geothermal, and establish priorities for the most consequential gaps.
Facet 2: Demonstrations and Deployment. This facet seeks to overcome barriers to evaluating and using geothermal resources currently accessed by oil and gas infrastructure. The consortium should achieve this through numerous pathways, including better data availability, resource and engineering assessments, and demonstration projects that show the utility and commercial viability of producing geothermal heat and electricity from existing subsurface infrastructure.
Facet 3: Analysis and Regulatory Barriers. In this facet, the consortium will identify and evaluate non-technical barriers to expanding the oil and gas industry into the geothermal space.
Facet 4: Workforce and Communications. Consortium activities in this facet will include assessing future geothermal workforce needs and potential gaps, and determining the education and professional experiences needed to fill those gaps. The consortium will also identify better ways to communicate about geothermal energy.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy