Four projects will receive up to $8.4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish new geothermal energy and heat production from abandoned oil and gas wells. The transformation of idle or unproductive wells into geothermal energy extraction systems contributes to the national goal of achieving a carbon-free grid by 2035 and creates employment opportunities.

Geothermix LLC of Austin, Texas, will conduct a field demonstration of a novel method to generate electrical power from fluids produced at existing oil and gas facilities. The project will demonstrate the use of thermoelectric generators to exploit low quality heat to produce commercial quantities of electrical A DOE geothermal test site in Nevada. Source: Dick BenoitA DOE geothermal test site in Nevada. Source: Dick Benoit power to be used locally or transmitted to the grid with a near-zero carbon footprint.

Houston-based ICE Thermal Harvesting plans to characterize 11 wells to evaluate thermal energy available for harvesting from produced fluids from the Elk Hills field near Bakersfield, California. Researchers will engineer, integrate, install and commission the company’s heat-to-power electrical generation technology and advance opportunities to scale the technology across basins.

At the Blackburn oil field in Nevada, Colorado-based Transitional Energy will generate at least 1 MW in a pilot project to supply geothermal electricity to new rural electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

University of Oklahoma researchers will evaluate and demonstrate the viability of producing 1 MW of geothermal power from an Oklahoma hydrocarbon field. The project will provide energy for school facilities by deploying innovative injection/production well patterns and data-driven smart well completion technologies to optimize energy production.

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