Thursday, September 17, 2015

USA: Help for Small Geothermal Energy Businesses

Expert Technical Assistance for Small Geothermal Businesses (DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy)

A new initiative will make it easier for small geothermal businesses to receive specialized technical assistance from the Department of Energy (DOE) National Labs.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has set aside a total of $20 million to launch a Small Business Voucher (SBV) Pilot. This pilot will provide competitively selected small clean energy businesses with vouchers valued at $50K to $300K. Participating businesses must each provide 20% matching funds or in-kind services.

Businesses can in turn exchange the vouchers for expertise, facilities use, and capabilities from the national labs to help overcome technical challenges that may be preventing innovations from entering the marketplace.

The SBV Pilot is unique in offering small businesses customized access to the national labs. With over decades of addressing some of the nation’s most difficult technical problems, the national labs have built up tremendous resources and expertise that may have previously seemed out of reach for small businesses.

Recognizing that small business are key to advancing geothermal development in the United States, the SSBV Pilot has available nearly $1.5 million in vouchers for small businesses working in geothermal. DOE National Laboratories—including the SBV geothermal lead labs, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—are poised to provide demonstration, testing, evaluation, economic modeling, environmental impact analysis, and more in these areas:
  • Enhanced Geothermal Systems (Approximately $500,000 in vouchers available): The SBV Pilot can help small businesses pursue technical solutions through collaborative research, supported by demonstration and testing programs already underway. A major DOE initiative in EGS is the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), which may offer opportunities for collaboration with SBV in the future.
  • Low Temperature Geothermal (Approximately $500,000 in vouchers available): Small businesses can jump-start opportunities by accessing national lab expertise concentrated on improving the efficiency of lower temperature geothermal systems and analyzing the value of geothermal as a replacement for other energy sources.
  • Systems Analysis (Approximately $500,000 in vouchers available): National lab expertise in evaluating trends, systems analysis, and performing techno-economic modeling and validation of geothermal technologies can yield resources, information, and tools to help companies reduce costs and risk and address barriers.
For more information about the SBV Pilot, stop by the Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office booth (#328) at the Geothermal Resources Council 39th Annual Meeting next Tuesday during lunch. To learn more and apply to be included in the SBV Pilot, businesses are encouraged to visit or to email David Kistin.