Up to $4 million in funding will be allocated for six geothermal Deep Direct-Use (DDU) research projects in the U.S., the Department of Energy (DOE) announced Friday.
According to the statement, the projects include conduct feasibility studies of large scale, low-temperature deep-well geothermal systems and cascaded surface technologies.
"These projects will extend the reach of geothermal energy into previously untapped regions of the country: the Appalachian Basin, the Illinois Basin, the Wassuk Range, the Columbia River Basalt Group, the Walker Lake Valley, and the Gulf Coast region of Texas," the department explained.
Using relatively low-temperature, direct geothermal energy has the potential to diversify the nation's energy supply and help meet environmental goals.
In addition, U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 46,000 Megawatt thermal (MWth) of total beneficial heat is available from geothermal resources below 90°Celsius in the U.S.
"DDU promotes large scale, commercially viable systems that optimize the value stream of lower temperature resources through a cascade of uses," according to the statement.
The organizations receiving the awards include Cornell University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Portland State University: Portland, Oregon, Sandia National Laboratories: Albuquerque, New Mexico, University of Illinois: Champagne, Illinois, and the West Virginia University Energy Institute: Morgantown, West Virginia.
By Gulsen Cagatay