NICTA to lead $5m geothermal energy project

The initiative is a two-year program designed to improve ways of locating 'hot rocks'

National ICT Australia (NICTA) has established an ICT-enabled geothermal energy initiative; the first project to be funded under the Federal Government’s $126 million Emerging Renewables Program.

The Data Fusion and Machine Learning for Geothermal Target Exploration initiative will look at improving ways of automating the process of locating ‘hot rocks’, which according to the organisation, is currently a manual and expensive exercise.

NICTA will lead a team of researchers to develop software to improve the process of exploration, discovery and characterisation of geothermal targets using machine learning techniques and advanced data analytics instead of drills.

The initiative is a two-year program and will cost $5 million, with the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy to fund $1.9 million of the total amount.

NICTA will collaborate with the University of Sydney’s School of Information Technologies to develop machine learning algorithms, as well as the Schools of Earth Science at the Australian National University, University of Adelaide, and University of Melbourne to use these methods practically.

The teams will also be working with geothermal exploration and development companies GeoDynamics and Petratherm, in addition to GeoScience Australia and the South Australian Department of Manufacturing, Innovation Trade Resources and Energy.

The Emerging Renewables Program is designed to provide support for the development of renewable energy and enabling technologies across the innovation chain.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

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