NREL Prize Administrator


Geothermal Collegiate Competition - Class of 2022

Foster understanding of geothermal, communicate benefits of geothermal technologies, and overcome non-technical barriers to development.

This challenge is closed

In-Person Stakeholder Engagement Events - Summer 2022

This challenge is closed



Welcome to the Academic Year 2021-2022 Geothermal Collegiate Challenge. Please follow the challenge to stay up to date on announcements and more details.

Through the Geothermal Collegiate Competition, the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) encourages students to develop innovative solutions for geothermal energy application challenges and build career skills for the clean energy workforce. By engaging students not traditionally involved with geothermal research, GTO aims to raise awareness of geothermal resources among communities and the public, thereby broadening the geothermal stakeholder base.

The Geothermal Collegiate Competition invites participation by teams of at least three students enrolled in accredited U.S.-based collegiate institutions or U.S. citizens enrolled at non-U.S. based collegiate institutions. In this case, “collegiate institution” refers to any school of post-secondary or higher education, including but not limited to community colleges, technical colleges, and traditional four-year and graduate-level universities. See “Who Can Enter” for more information on eligibility. There is no cost to register or participate.


Please review the official rules  for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at


Challenge Updates

2023 GCC Office Hours TOMORROW, July 26

July 25, 2023, 10:34 a.m. PDT by GCC Prize Moderator

Join competition organizers TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 26 for the final Fall 2023 Geothermal Collegiate Competition Office Hours before competition registration opens on August 1!

Register here for the optional July 26, 1 pm EDT Office Hours to learn more about this year's challenge.

The next opportunity to talk with competition organizers will be at the August 15 Informational Webinar.

2023 Geothermal Collegiate Competition Office Hours - June 27, 2 p.m. EDT

June 23, 2023, 12:39 p.m. PDT by GCC Prize Moderator

Considering competing in the Fall 2023 Geothermal Collegiate Competition for a chance at $10k? Join organizers Tuesday, June 27 at 2 p.m. EDT for optional, virtual Office Hours.

Register here and come with questions! A brief overview of the competition will also be provided.

Can't make it in June? Join the July Office Hours on July 26.

Gather Your Team for the Fall 2023 Geothermal Collegiate Competition!

May 24, 2023, 8:18 a.m. PDT by GCC Prize Moderator

The Geothermal Collegiate Competition (GCC) has announced the launch of the Fall 2023 cycle! Read the rules and start gathering your team for the competition that invites students to develop real-world geothermal solutions while competing for cash prizes and gaining resume experience in the renewable energy industry.

With two tracks this year—technical and policy—there is something for nearly any undergraduate or graduate student. First-place teams in each track will receive $10,000 and second-place teams can earn $6,000. 

Registration will open on August 1, 2023! Check out the rules to learn more and follow the competition on HeroX for updates.


  • Register for one of the GCC office hours: 
  • Or email  with questions.

DOE Seeks Public Comment on New $1 Billion Program for Rural or Remote Communities

Nov. 2, 2022, 8:56 a.m. PDT by GCC Prize Moderator

The Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) is seeking public input via a Request for Information (RFI) on a new $1 billion program to improve energy generation in rural or remote communities across the country. 

  • Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program aims to strengthen the resilience, reliability, and availability of energy systems, helping communities unlock the public health and cost-saving benefits that cleaner, more efficient energy provides.
  • This RFI will inform the funding opportunity for the ERA program and is an opportunity for DOE to hear from rural or remote communities, utilities, private sector project developers, and others about what they need to improve their energy systems.

Feedback to this RFI can be submitted to until Nov 28, 2022, at noon EST. More information is available on the Geothermal Technologies Office website

2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition Winning Teams

May 17, 2022, 11 a.m. PDT by Caity Smith

The winners of the 2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition were announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today! Congratulations to the University of Oklahoma (first place), the University of North Dakota/Reykjavik University (second place), and the University of Colorado Boulder (third place) on their innovative geothermal designs. 

The Sooners Geothermal Team from the University of Oklahoma earned first place and $10,000 for designing a system repurposing six abandoned oil and gas wells in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to provide clean, renewable geothermal energy for more than 730,449 square feet of educational and municipal buildings, including sites within the Absentee Shawnee Tribe and Potawatomi Nation jurisdiction. By using previously drilled wells that were no longer producing, the team was able to reduce drilling costs to feasibly power local schools, religious centers, and government buildings.  

Hear from DOE about the importance of geothermal and learn more about the designs from the University of North Dakota and the University of Colorado Boulder in today’s announcement

Congratulations to all competition participants this year! We hope you will consider participating again in spring 2023. For our graduates, we wish you the best of luck and encourage you to join the clean energy workforce!