The funding will be dispersed to eight companies whose projects are developing new ways to create electricity using the Earth's heat.
The largest portion of the funding was awarded to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California who will use the US$4.99 million to support its efforts to develop new ways to produce electricity from superheated and pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep geothermal formations.
Texas-based GeoTek Energy, LLC will receive US$2.85 million for its Gravity Head Energy System project which is researching a new generation gravity-driven downhole pump technology. The other awardees include Gtherm, Inc, the Louisiana State University, Physical Optics Corporation, Terralog Technologies USA, Inc., the University of Utah, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
This is the third DOE geothermal funding announcement in June. Earlier this month the Department awarded a US$350 million loan guarantee to support the construction of an Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA) geothermal facility in Nevada. That funding occurred just days after the Department injected US$70 million into the advancement of geothermal technology.
Energy Secretary Chu and the DOE will continue to bolster efforts to reduce the cost of not only geothermal energy but of all renewable energy to diversify the U.S. energy portfolio.
"Through these eight projects, the Department of Energy is investing in new technologies that will further develop the nation's geothermal resources and help diversify our energy portfolio," said Energy Secretary Chu.
He added, "By investing in geothermal research and development, we are investing in our nation's energy future and creating opportunities for energy innovation in the U.S."
Image Credit: lydurs via Flickr
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