On Friday, the US Department of Energy ("DOE") announved a $15 million funding opportunity for geothermal energy research and development projects that:

  • Address the environmental risk factors associated with heat recovery from the earth's subsurface (earthquakes, water consumption and pollution);
  • Add innovative methods for extracting heat from geotlogic formations, particularly permeable sedimentary formations; and
  • Reduce financial risks.

Successful applications will address all three of the listed issues. Applicants should note that if the application does not address the first two elements listed above, it will be tossed out. Applicants must submit a pre-application concept paper by October 1, 2010, and will be informed by DOE if they are eligible to submit a full application (whihc will be due November 30, 2010).

The funds will divided between feasibility studies (Phase 1) and validation and proof (Phase 2) with the bulk of the funds being awarded for Phase 2 activities. The funds will be paid out over 3 years and there is a 20% cost share.

Eligible applicants include most domestic entities who are encouraged to form consortia to apply. Foreign entities or persons may participate as a subrecipient of the funds.