(Washington, DC) House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas praised $8.4million awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish new geothermal energy and heat production from abandoned oil and gas wells.

“Oklahoma, and the United States as a whole, has tremendous potential to utilize its geothermal energy resources – resources that have the capability to provide efficient and reliable energy for many of our communities. Funding advanced research and development for geothermal technologies was a high priority in the Science Committee’s bipartisan Energy Act of 2020, and I’m glad to see DOE supporting the expansion of such transformational technologies,” said Lucas. “Oklahoma has a long history of harnessing energy resources and today’s award will ensure we are able to effectively leverage our untapped resources, further positioning the state for the opportunities of tomorrow. The University of Oklahoma continues to be a pioneer in geothermal systems, and I’m excited to see their technologies strengthen our country’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and provide reliable energy to Oklahoma’s communities.”

DOE’s announcement comes on the heels of a renewed emphasis on advanced geothermal energy research and development as part of the Energy Act, enacted in December of 2020 and the first major update of America’s energy policy in 13 years. This legislation includes more than a dozen bills from the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, including Ranking Member Lucas’ Advanced Geothermal Research and Development Act, and focuses on competitive and innovative clean energy solutions.

Included in the initiative’s awardees is the University of Oklahoma, which will fund projects to produce heat from a nearby oilfield to power Tuttle Elementary and Middle Schools in Tuttle, Oklahoma. This will allow the schools to access reliable energy at significantly lower costs.

Learn more about the initiative here.