NREL Challenge


Geothermal Collegiate Competition - Class of 2022

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

Challenge Overview

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.


Challenge Guidelines

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

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Challenge Updates

Reminder - Join us TODAY for "Geothermal 101"

Oct. 27, 2021, 8:20 a.m. PDT by Kelly MacGregor

Join us TODAY, Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. EST, to hear from Gene Suemnicht, CEO of EGS Consulting Inc., on "Geothermal 101: What is Geothermal Energy, and Why Should I Care?" 

Register at:

Join Us for “Geothermal 101” to Jumpstart Your Competition Deliverable Due on Nov. 18!

Oct. 22, 2021, 2:07 p.m. PDT by Kelly MacGregor

Do you want to get involved in the Geothermal Collegiate Competition, but aren't sure what Geothermal energy entails? Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. EST to hear from Gene Suemnicht, CEO of EGS Consulting Inc., on "Geothermal 101: What is Geothermal Energy, and Why Should I Care?" 

Register at:


First Core Progress Submission Deadline Change + New Nation of Makers Webinars!

Oct. 14, 2021, 9:37 a.m. PDT by Caitlin Dorsey

The first Core Progress Submission deadline for the Spring 2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition has been moved from November 4 to Thursday, November 18. We hope this change gives students additional time to form teams and begin work on the competition deliverables.

Feedback on the first Core Progress Submission will now be returned to students on Dec. 2, 2021. An updated rules document reflecting these changes can be found in the Competition Resources

The Geothermal Collegiate Competition is also pleased to announce a partnership with Nation of Makers to offer a series of webinars encouraging engagement with geothermal concepts and the competition organizers. The first webinar, "What Is Direct Use, and How Can I Create a Direct Use System," will be held at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, October 20. To register, visit

The full webinar schedule is available below; all current and prospective teams are encouraged to attend! Registration links will be available for all sessions soon.

GCC + Nation of Makers - Webinar Wednesdays 

Oct. 20 – What Is Direct Use, and How Can I Create a Direct Use System?

Oct. 27 – What is Geothermal Energy, and Why Should I Care?

Nov. 3 – Ethical and Responsible Stakeholder Engagement

Nov. 10 – Tips for a Successful Application

Nov. 17 – Ask Me Anything!

Watch the Webinar: Kickstart Your U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Collegiate Competition

Sept. 16, 2021, 10:40 a.m. PDT by Caitlin Dorsey

If you missed this week's live kickoff webinar, you can now watch the recording on demand. Learn more about the history of the competition, key deliverables and deadlines, important resources, and what's next for participants. 

It's time to Kickstart Your Geothermal Collegiate Competition: Class of 2022!

Register Now for the Geothermal Collegiate Competition Informational Webinar!

Sept. 10, 2021, 8:38 a.m. PDT by Caitlin Dorsey

Join us next week for an informational webinar for participants in the Geothermal Collegiate Competition - Class of 2022! Contest organizers will provide an overview of the competition structure, schedule, and what's new for this round. 

Kickstart your 2022 Geothermal Collegiate Competition on Tuesday, September 14, 11 a.m. MT. Register today!

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