Feb. 8 (UPI) — Seven geothermal pilot projects will get as much as $73 million to develop geothermal electricity generation, the Department of Energy said Wednesday.
Much of the funding will be for innovative technology and comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for research and development.
“Advances in enhanced geothermal systems will help introduce geothermal energy in regions where, until recently, the use of this renewable power source was thought to be impossible,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a statement. “These pilot demonstrations will help us realize the enormous potential of the heat beneath our feet to deliver clean, renewable energy to millions of Americans.”
According to the Department of Energy, geothermal generates about 3.7 gigawatts of electricity in the United States now but could grow to provide 90 gigawatts by 2050.
So-called Enhanced Geothermal Systems use underground reservoirs to enable the fluid flow necessary to draw geothermal heat from the Earth to the surface.
The Enhanced Geothermal Shot is a Department of Energy project to dramatically cut the cost of EGS by 90% to $45 per megawatt hour by 2035.
Applications for the EGS Pilot Demonstrations will be taken in multiple rounds, according to the Department of Energy. First-round applications are due by July 7 with letters of intent due by March 8.
The Department of Energy said achieving these geothermal energy goals would make the energy a clean, cost-effective option to help achieve the Biden administration goal of producing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.