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Energy Department Announces $29 Million Investment in Enhanced Geothermal Systems Efforts

01 Sep 2016

Fallon LogoAs part of the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department today announced $29 million in funding for two projects at Sandia National Laboratories in Fallon, Nevada and the University of Utah in Milford, Utah for the pioneering a Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), which will create an underground laboratory to conduct cutting-edge research on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).

“Tapping the incredible potential of Enhanced Geothermal Systems to harness our vast clean energy resources is essential to cut carbon pollution, accelerate renewable energy deployment and continue our leadership in clean energy innovation around the world,” said Franklin Orr, Under Secretary for Science and Energy. “Adding a major new energy source to our national energy mix positions us to meet our sustainability goals.”

Utah LogoInvesting in EGS technologies today could eventually lead to more than 100 gigawatts (GW) of economically viable electric generating capacity in the continental United States, representing a two-orders-of-magnitude increase over present geothermal capacity, which currently stands at 3.5 GW. The Energy Department with the support of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, awarded funding to these two teams after a competitive first phase of research to evaluate potential sites. The candidate sites announced today in Nevada and Utah will utilize this new funding to prepare their sites for the third phase of the FORGE effort to designate one of the sites as the headquarters for the future underground field lab. Subject to the availability of appropriations, the new lab is expected to create enough clean energy to power up to 100 million American homes.

U.S. Department of Energy |