WorldWide Drilling Resource

30 MAY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Geothermal Competition is Heating Up Adapted from Information by the U.S. Department of Energy The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office launched its Spring 2021 Geothermal Collegiate Competition™. The theme for this year’s compe- tition is Community Direct Use. This competition gives college teams from around the country an opportunity to explore the potential for local geothermal energy use. Geothermal power has the poten- tial to heat and cool buildings, campuses, districts, or entire communities via direct use technologies. Students will gain real-world renewable energy industry experience by designing a real-life use case, performing a resource assessment, and evaluating usage and loads. “Student competitions like the Geothermal Collegiate Competition provide informa- tion that supports DOE’s long-term vision to increase U.S. geothermal electricity gener- ation,” said Dr. Susan Hamm, director of the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office. “This competition leverages the tremendous and varied talents within our Nation’s academic institutions to boost public education and outreach about geothermal energy.” Direct use geothermal projects use the heat in water to warm or cool buildings and power industrial processes and applications including greenhouses, aquaculture, micro- breweries, fruit and vegetable drying, pulp and paper processing, and lumber drying. Fluids with temperatures adequate for direct use are available throughout much of the United States. Through direct use of geothermal ener- gy, homes and commercial operations can be heated and cooled for a fraction of the cost of traditional fuels - as much as 80% cheaper. Currently, the U.S. installed capacity of direct use systems totals 482 mega-watts, or enough energy to heat nearly 70,000 average homes. According to the DOE’s GeoVision report, it is economically feasi- ble for direct use to supply as many as 45 million homes by 2050. For this competition, students will be working with real-world parameters includ- ing actual energy load, utility rates, and subsurface data while developing a distrib- uted energy concept. Theories and ideas formed through the competition will give community leaders more insight into the potential development of direct use geo- thermal energy resources. A first, second, and third prize will be awarded in addition to special recognition categories for technical approach and stake- holder engagement strategies. Students will build valuable project development, design, and communications skills while increasing public understanding of geothermal power as a renewable source of energy. The Masson Farms greenhouse located in Radium Springs, New Mexico, is the second largest geothermal-heated greenhouses in the United States. GEO