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7/14/2017 by mdc
DOE announced up to $4 million in funding for six geothermal Deep Direct-Use (DDU) research projects to 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.

DDU is an emerging technology that has been underutilized in the U.S., and if feasible, could deliver direct geothermal energy from lower temperature resources across the U.S. It is expected to use low-temperature, thermal resources in subsurface reservoirs in U.S. regions lacking conventional hydrothermal resources. DDU wells used to directly power buildings would be deeper than ground source heat pump boreholes and shallower than wells used for enhanced geothermal systems used for electricity generation.

At a large scale, DDU applications can potentially be used to replace conventional district heating and cooling systems in military installations, hospital complexes, office buildings, hotels, and other large energy end-uses. For the purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), large-scale is defined as a space conditioning area greater than 10,000 square feet or having an annual thermal energy demand equal to or greater than 125 million British Thermal Units (MMBTU). The goal is to significantly expand the reach of geothermal energy into geologically distinct parts of the country. Using relatively low-temperature, direct geothermal energy has the potential to diversify the U.S. energy supply and help meet environmental goals.

Research funded under this FOA will evaluate the feasibility of harvesting heat from geothermal brines and using it directly to heat (or cool) buildings, as well as for other beneficial thermal processes.

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