The FORGE initiative field site in Milford, Utah

Pilot projects will advance geothermal energy delivery

February 15, 2024

The Department of Energy (DOE) will spend up to $60 million on three projects that could deliver enough renewable geothermal energy to power 65 million homes.

The pilot projects will demonstrate technology and a variety of development techniques to capture the earth’s heat resources and convert it to affordable, reliable electricity, the DOE said.

Geothermal resources currently generate about 4 gigawatts of electricity in the United States, but advancing enhanced geothermal energy systems (EGS) could provide 90 gigawatts of firm, flexible power to the U.S. grid by 2050, the DOE said.

Using geothermal resources for electricity production involves fluid flowing on hot rocks in the subsurface and being drawn to the surface as steam or hot water.

While underground heat exists everywhere, many locations lack adequate water or conditions that facilitate fluid flow necessary to recover that heat energy. However, EGS can be used to create a humanmade underground reservoir to tap that heat for energy, the DOE said.

“These projects will help us advance geothermal power, including into regions of the country where this renewable resource has never before been used,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said.

The three pilot projects — all of which are in the western United States — are the first round of selections under the EGS Pilot Demonstrations funding opportunity announcement. The second-round funding opportunity will cover EGS demonstrations in the eastern United States, the DOE said. The funds are available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The projects include:

  • Chevron New Energies, which will use drilling and stimulation techniques to access geothermal energy near an existing geothermal field in Sonoma County in northern California.
  • Fervo Energy, which aims to produce at least 8 megawatts of power from each of three wells at a site in Utah that have no existing commercial geothermal power production. The pilot is in the Milford Renewable Energy Corridor in Utah and next to the DOE’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory.
  • Mazama Energy, which will demonstrate a first-of-its-kind super-hot EGS (temperatures above 375°C) on the western flank of Newberry Volcano in Oregon. The demonstration will help advance the science needed to operate in extreme heat conditions, the DOE said.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact

Photo by FORGE, courtesy of the Department of Energy

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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