Hot Rock Limited (HRL), a geothermal energy company, has lodged applications for grants totalling up to A$9m with the Victorian government to expedite the advancement of its Koroit geothermal project in southwest Victoria.

The applications will complement the Federal Government’s geothermal drilling programme grant of $7m awarded in August 2010.

The company has applied for funds offered by the Victorian government under two programmes directed at promoting environmentally friendly energy solutions for the state.

Under the government’s Energy Technology Innovation Strategy, the company has applied for a $4m grant for the Sustainable Energy Research and Development Program.

If awarded, the grant will fund the testing and evaluation component of the Koroit Proof of Concept drilling program, set to commence in early 2011.

In addition, HRL has lodged an expression of interest for a $5m grant under the Victorian government’s Sustainable Energy Pilot Demonstration Program to assist in the development of a pilot scale demonstration plant at the Koroit project.