The CEO will award a total of USD 5 million for the first funding round, with at least one additional funding round opening next fiscal year. A total of USD 12 million has been made available for the entire grant program.
The first round of Request for Application (RFA) officially opened on 14 November 2023 and will run until 19 January 2024. More information on eligibility and the application process is available on the Geothermal Energy Grant Program website.
Both public and private entities are eligible to apply for GEGP funding. Eligible projects include:
Single-structure geothermal: Installing a geothermal system as the primary source of heating and cooling for a group of residential buildings or a single multifamily or nonresidential building
Community district heating (thermal energy network): Constructing ground-source, water-source, or multi-source thermal systems that serve more than one building.
Geothermal electricity generation: Developing geothermal electricity generation technology and/or using geothermal energy to produce hydrogen or power direct air capture technology.
To ensure this program benefits the Coloradans who are most impacted by air pollution, high energy costs, and the transition away from fossil fuels, CEO will prioritize projects in disproportionately impacted, low-income, and just transition communities. CEO has also reserved 25% of the single-structure geothermal grants for projects in these communities.
Informational webinars for each sub-grant will be hosted by the COE on 28 November 2023. Registration links for the webinars are as follows:
Single Structure RFA Webinar (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM MT)
Community District Heating/Thermal Energy Network RFA Webinar (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM MT)
Geothermal Electricity Generation RFA Webinar (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM MT)
“The heat beneath our feet — geothermal energy — provides Colorado with the opportunity to lower energy costs by harnessing zero-emission energy to generate electricity and heat and cool homes, businesses, and communities. Colorado continues to be the national leader for geothermal energy and we look forward to seeing how these grants will continue that streak,” said Governor Polis
This program aligns with Governor Polis’ Heat Beneath Our Feet initiative, which focuses on exploring geothermal energy applications and addressing land use planning and market barriers across the West for this key technology. The geothermal energy grant program is one of the largest investments in geothermal energy in the country, establishing Colorado as a leader in this expanding industry. The program accelerates the growth and development of geothermal technology, which will play a critical role in achieving net-zero emissions in Colorado by 2050.
“Colorado’s unique geography offers some of the most robust geothermal energy potential in the country,” said CEO Executive Director Will Toor. “Our geothermal program is an exciting opportunity to tap into this expansive resource to heat and cool our homes and increase access to reliable clean electricity. Geothermal technology will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving Coloradans money on energy costs and creating good-paying jobs in Colorado communities.”
The State of Colorado under Governor Polis has been very active in pursuing legislation to support geothermal development. During the 2022 legislative session, two bipartisan bills were signed on geothermal research, education, and implementation. Earlier this year, SB23-285 or the “Energy and Carbon Management Regulation in Colorado” was signed into law, creating the framework for new state regulatory approvals that enable expanded power generation from geothermal resources.