DOE releases first grants giving the highest amount of US$ 9.2 million to Foro Energy Inc. for the development of new geothermal drilling technology that aims to open access to the geothermal?energy in deep, hard basement rock.
According to a recent article, “The U.S. Energy Department on Monday announced $151 million in grants for high-risk projects in the hopes of creating technological breakthroughs, the first awarded under a new program modeled on one run by the Defense Department.
The biggest grant–almost $9.2 million–was awarded to Foro Energy Inc. for the development of new geothermal drilling technology that aims to open access to the geothermal?energy in deep, hard basement rock. The next-biggest, at $9 million, went to DuPont (DD) for the production of a biofuel derived from seaweed.
For every hundred organizations that applied for the grants, 99 were rejected. The Energy Department said it received 3,600 initial applications. A total of 37 grants were awarded.
The Energy Department said that the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.”
In another news article the company is described to developing “hybrid thermal/mechanical drilling technology” that could make it much easier to tap the geothermal heat coursing through the layers of deep, hard, crystalline rock that geologists call “basement” rock, according to a Department of Energy summary. To help perfect the drilling technique, which the department said “could open up cost effective access to…a potentially huge new source of domestically available, carbon-free baseload power,”
It further said that this “was the only grant awarded to a geothermal energy company under the ARPA-E program, which stands for Advanced Research Projects-Energy. Foro was in deep stealth mode prior to the Energy Department’s announcement—not a word about the company’s drilling technology has leaked into the media. But Xconomy has learned that Foro was incubated in Cambridge, MA, and has raised roughly $12.5 million in venture funding from Waltham, MA-based North Bridge Venture Partners and of San Francisco.”
“Foro Energy is evidently working on technology that uses thermal energy to soften crystalline rock so that drill bits can penetrate it with less wear. Exactly what methods Foro is using to deliver this thermal energy is unclear, but based on thermal drilling techniques tried by others, its system could include technologies such as electrical heaters; pressurized liquid, gas, or steam; or even lasers.
Cambridge-based Greatpoint Ventures is also one of Foro’s funders, although the extent of its involvement is not clear.”
For further details read the well written article on Xconomy, link provided below.