Udall, Bennet Applaud $18 Million in Recovery Act Funds To Accelerate Geothermal Energy And Exploration In Colorado

Colorado School of Mines to Get $2,298,287

October 29, 2009

Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet today applauded the announcement of over $18 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of new geothermal fields and research into advanced geothermal technologies in Colorado. These grants will support more than 10 projects in Colorado.

"This funding is terrific news for Colorado and the race to develop geothermal energy technology," Senator Udall said. "Tapping the heat of the earth for power holds enormous potential as we work to build a strong, clean energy economy. Coloradans are doing extraordinary research and development in this area, and this funding will help us continue to lead the way in renewable energy development."

"This funding will help us tap into our geothermal energy resources in Colorado while boosting the local economy," Bennet said. "By combining our innovative spirit with the natural resources of our great state, we can build a new, clean energy economy in Colorado that creates jobs and frees us from our dependence on foreign oil."

These projects represent a dramatic expansion of the U.S. geothermal industry. The grants are directed toward the development of new geothermal fields and reducing the risks associated with geothermal development through innovation.

The following projects have received funding in Colorado:

Innovative Exploration and Drilling Projects

  • $4,778,234-Flint Geothermal LLC in five sites across the state will utilize a combination of geological mapping tools to identify resources in Colorado.

Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Components Research & Development/Analysis

  • $557,150 -- Composite Technology Development, Inc. in Lafayette, Colo., will develop and demonstrate a new class of circuit boards that can withstand high temperatures and operate reliably in EGS wells
  • $708,000-William Lettis & Associates, Inc. in Blacksburg, Va., And Denver, Colo., will use seismic data to image the physical properties of geothermal reservoirs.
  • $1,191,893-Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., will create large scale simulation model that can tie together all the various physical properties of an EGS system. The resulting model will be more robust and accurate than those of a smaller scale.
  • $860,597-Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., will create and validate an EGS simulation model that can tie together the fluid flow properties of an EGS system. The resulting model will be more robust and accurate than current, smaller scale models.
  • $1,840,000-Power Environmental and Energy Research Institute in Nathrop, Colo., will develop a model to compare tracer fluids used to help visualize EGS reservoirs.
  • $954,546-Composite Technology Development, Inc. in Lafayette, Colo., will shape memory polymer composites and foams to be used to isolate particular sections of a drilled well, as part of an EGS simulation technique.

Geothermal Data Development, Collection and Maintenance

  • $17,799,947-Arizona State Geological Survey in collaboration with 40 other State Geological surveys, including Colorado, will participate in populating the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) with relevant state specific geothermal data.

Ground Source Heat Pump Demonstration Projects

  • $245,797-Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., will create a "Geothermal Academy," a data and analysis clearinghouse for GHP projects.
  • $4,600,000-Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration in Denver, Colo., and its partners will collect and analyze data to access the performance of GHP systems.
  • $430,000-Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, Colo., will retrofit a number of campus buildings to provide heating and cooling capacity as well as strong educational opportunity.
  • $2,611,832-Denver Museum of nature & Science in Denver, Colo., will demonstrate the use of municipal waste water as the heat exchange medium for a heating/cooling
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