The Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico and Colorado, according to Wikipedia, is a rift valley representing the easternmost mainfestation of widespread extension in the western U.S. during the past 35 million years. It also could be a great potential for geothermal energy production, which is what the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are tasking college students across the country with figuring out.
The National Geothermal Student Competition, as it is being called, is a first time event looking for up to 10 intercollegiate student teams to work with professors to “conduct a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary assessment of the commercial geothermal energy potential of the Rio Grande Rift.” Students are being challenged to “advance their understanding of all the major aspects inherent in the process of exploring resources and preparing a geothermal development plan.”
Proposals for how to tackle this challenge reportedly are due November 12, 2010 (though the actual RFP says October 20th, an amendment extends this), with final winners being chosen in December. Those teams which are chosen, according to the DOE, “will be awarded up to $10,000 each as seed money to use during the competition and each team’s comprehensive development plans will be judged by a panel of experts in mid-2011. Winning teams will have unique opportunities to continue their work through internships in the national laboratories and industry.”
Like what you are reading? Follow us on RSS, Twitter and Facebook to learn more and join the green technology discussion. Have a story idea or correction for this story you are reading? Drop us a line through our contact form.