DOE Announces Notice of Intent for EGS Observatory
February 21, 2014
The Energy Department announced today its intent to issue a funding opportunity to establish a dedicated subsurface laboratory called the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE). This first-of-its-kind effort will promote transformative and high-risk/high-reward science and engineering focused on addressing critical barriers to Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). FORGE will enable testing of new technologies and techniques, with a central focus on EGS optimization and validation. In addition, the new initiative will include a robust instrumentation, data collection, and data dissemination effort to capture and share in real-time a higher-fidelity picture of EGS creation and evolution processes than any prior geothermal demonstration in the world. It will also provide a collaborative and inclusive platform for advancement of EGS via participation from geothermal and other subsurface stakeholders. Finally, FORGE will allow for the highly-integrated comparison of technologies and tools in a controlled and well-characterized environment. Critical knowledge obtained at FORGE will inform the development of a methodology for reproducing large-scale, economically-sustainable heat exchange systems.
The full text of this Notice of Intent is available on EERE Exchange.
DOE intends to issue this multi-phase FOA in the near term. EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements to conduct planning, site preparation and characterization. Subject to appropriations, a competitive down-select process is envisioned to identify the ultimate FORGE site for technology testing and evaluation.
EERE plans to issue the FOA via the EERE Exchange website.