The Department of Energy will fund 17 geothermal projects with $46 million; under its Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) Initiative, at the University of Utah, the Department announced today.
Firstly, the University selected the projects for the funding, as they are cutting-edge domestic and carbon-free projects with potential to supply power to homes and business in the U.S.
Secondly, the projects are not conventional; but Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), these new technologies consists in manmade reservoirs that can be engineered in most parts of the country. Also, the have the potential to expand geothermal energy production throughout the country.
The FORGE initiative is not new, in fact, it began back in 2015; then, FORGE selected five projects and the full team was fully composed in 2018. “Utah FORGE is a laboratory where scientists and researchers learn how to engineer these manmade EGS systems, and is the first dedicated field site of its kind,” DOE underlines.
Apart from the funding, awardees will “gain a fundamental understanding of the key mechanisms controlling EGS success; develop, test and improve new techniques in an ideal EGS environment; and rapidly disseminate technical data and communicate lessons learned and best practices to the public.”
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In addition, Kathleen Hogan, Acting Undersecretary for Science and Energy, said. “There is enormous untapped potential for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to provide clean and also reliable electricity to power tens of millions of homes across the country.”
“These investments in EGS research support President Biden’s mission to take on the climate crisis by also pushing the frontiers of science and engineering and creating jobs in cutting-edge clean energy fields.”
Moreover, Senator Mitt Romney, said. “Energy-rich Beaver County continues to be a flagship area for renewable energy production; it is also home to the commercial scale of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal production.”
“Finally, this funding will support the continued partnership between the University of Utah and the Department of Energy; to expand geothermal energy and also make progress toward commercializing new innovative sources for our state and the country.”