Two “hot rock” geothermal projects are to receive Australian Government funding.

Geodynamics Ltd was awarded $90 million to be staged over the development period of its geothermal energy project in South Australia’s Cooper Basin. The final payment will be made upon commissioning of a 25 megawatt power plant, expected to be achieved in 2013.

Geodynamics believes that its hot fractured rock project has the potential to produce almost twice the energy of all of the oil reserves of the United States and that it could produce enough energy to supply all of Australia’s power needs for 70 years with no greenhouse gas emissions and at about the same price as coal-fired power.

Petratherm Ltd has been awarded $62.76 million for use at its Paralana geothermal project in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. The project, which is a joint venture with Beach Petroleum and TRUenergy, is aiming to develop Australia’s first “base load” geotheraml power plant with a capacity of more than 260 megawatts.