US DOE announces funding for community geothermal heating and cooling

US DOE announces funding for community geothermal heating and cooling Illustration of a possible configuration of geothermal district heating and cooling (GDHC) system (source: US Department of Energy)
Carlo Cariaga 13 Jul 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced funding for design and deployment of community-scale geothermal heating and cooling systems. Applications will be accepted until October 11, 2022.

The U.S Department of Energy has announced the Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). This FOA will award USD 300,000 to 13 million for projects that help communities design and deploy geothermal district heating and cooling systems, create related workforce training, and identify and address environmental justice concerns.

Applications for funding are due on October 11, 2022. Interested parties may apply via the EERE Exchange. There will also be an informational webinar for the FOA on July 26, 2022, 12pm ET (Register here). The full FOA document can be downloaded via this link.

The FOA will support the formation of U.S.-based community coalitions that will develop, design, and install community geothermal heating and cooling systems that supply at least 25% of the heating and cooling load in communities. Eligible applications must demonstrate that switching to geothermal district heating and cooling system would result in greenhouse gas emission reductions for the community where the system is installed.

GTO anticipates making approximately 1–10 awards under the initial phase of this FOA, with individual awards varying between $300,000 and $750,000. In the second phase, following a downselect, GTO anticipates making 1–4 awards, with individual awards between $2.5 million and $10 million.

GTO seeks diverse teams to form U.S. community coalitions including representatives for four key roles:

  • Community voice team member(s) who understand and can communicate the energy, environmental, economic, social, and/or other relevant needs that the proposed system would address, as well as local development and regulatory requirements.
  • Workforce team member(s) who know the community labor market and can help the coalition with apprenticeship opportunities, job placement, and developing training or lesson plans for the applicable trades.
  • Analysis/Design team member(s) who have experience designing geothermal systems as well as analyzing the economic and technical aspects of such systems.
  • Deployment team member(s) who have experience building new or retrofitting existing energy systems.

Coalitions can be from urban, suburban, rural, remote, island, or islanded communities where geothermal can reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as natural gas or heating oil.

To assist coalition formation, GTO is providing a Teaming Partner List where interested parties can provide contact information and their expertise, which can be used by potential applicants or entities interested in partnering with other applicants for this FOA. The list will be updated at least biweekly until the close of the full application period, to reflect new teaming partners who have provided their information.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy