Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama and USA:

Western Hemisphere Countries Plan to Double Renewable Energy by 2030 (EIN News - News Release)

At the Second Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial, hosted May 25-26, 2015 in Merida, Mexico, Energy Ministers of Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama and the United States announced the creation of a new Western Hemisphere Clean Energy Initiative. The participating countries intend to work toward a collective doubling of renewable sources such as solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, sustainable biomass, and geothermal, by 2030.

This initiative seeks to increase collaboration among participating countries to:
  • Facilitate each country’s roadmap to achieve its renewable energy goals in the context of its broader energy infrastructure
  • Increase availability of quality renewable resource data
  • Share modeling and simulation toolkits
  • Cooperate on effective energy policy development and planning
  • Enhance the flexibility and resilience of grid systems
  • Foster energy innovation and promote workforce capacity and training
  • Focus on the energy-water nexus
  • Promote energy access, including for remote communities
Participating countries in the Western Hemisphere Clean Energy Initiative intend to foster momentum for technology and policy solutions in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris and beyond. They will identify areas of cooperation with other global and regional efforts, governments, international organizations, private sector, and civil society groups. Participating countries will report on tangible results at the Third ECPA Ministerial to be hosted by Chile in 2017.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

USA, Alaska:

GRC Member Looks Underground for Alaska Energy (The Bellingham Herald)

Pete Stelling, assistant professor of geology at Western Washington
University (Courtesy ALEC SANDERG/The Bellingham Herald
The possible answer to the energy needs of a small town on a small island in Alaska lies just below their feet.

Akutan sits in Alaska’s remote Aleutian chain and is home to Mount Akutan, a 4,275-foot volcano that erupted as recently as 1992. With that fresh volcanic activity, there’s plenty of hot water below ground that could be used to generate electricity for the town’s 100 year-round residents and for Trident Seafood’s production plant, the largest such plant in North America, with up to 1,400 employees during peak season.

For power now, more than 4 million gallons of diesel fuel are shipped to the island every year, at a cost of $14 million. GRC Member and Western Washington University assistant professor of Geology Pete Stelling, is working to make Akutan much less dependent on the fuel by tapping the island’s renewable geothermal energy.

Read More........

New Mexico:

Public Meetings on New Mexico Geothermal Energy Development (Forest Service)

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has scheduled two public meetings to solicit input on the potential effects of geothermal energy development on land within Forest boundaries.

Interested individuals are invited to learn more about the geothermal leasing proposal by attending the public scoping meetings scheduled on the following dates:


The U.S. Geological Survey has identified approximately 195,000 acres within the boundaries of the SFNF with “significant geothermal potential,” and the Bureau of Land Management has received expressions of interest in leasing approximately 46,000 acres of SFNF land for geothermal exploration and development.

The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed geothermal leasing project as part of the decision-making process on whether to open SFNF lands to geothermal leasing.  The EIS will include issues raised at the public meetings and in public comments received through June 12, 2015.

Read More.......

USA, California:

Registration Opens for TOUGH Symposium 2015 (LBNL)

September 28–30, 2015, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, California



A symposium on applications and enhancements to the TOUGH codes for multiphase fluid, heat, and chemical transport will be held at LBNL. The TOUGH Symposium 2015 consists of oral and poster presentations, with proceedings published online, and includes a welcome reception and banquet dinner featuring an invited talk.  Short Courses on select TOUGH codes will be offered immediately preceding and following the Symposium. Selected papers will be submitted for inclusion in special issues of major scientific journals.

Registration is open!
The early-bird pre-registration deadline is August 27; on August 28, registration fees will increase. Please register at: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1718867. Berkeley Lab is a DOE National Laboratory with special processing for visitors. We strongly encourage you to register early so we can process your guest pass and paperwork in a timely manner.
More information........

USA:

U.S. National Geothermal Summit (GEA)


The U.S. National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers and is widely attended by the geothermal community, state regulators, federal legislators and utilities. The 2015 Summit theme is “Geothermal Policies as Stimulus for Economic Growth and Environmental Quality.” The event is supported by the Geothermal Resources Council.
  • GEA/GRC member rate: $395
  • General rate: $495
  • Government/Non-profit: $395
  • Past summit participant: $395
Read More.........

USA:

Geothermal Vision Study (EERE/GTO)
The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) at the United States Department of Energy has undertaken a vision study—called GeoVision—to conduct a credible analysis of potential geothermal growth scenarios for 2020, 2030 and 2050 across multiple market sectors. By engaging the geothermal industry in this dialogue, GTO anticipates a product that will benefit the entire industry:
  • Clearly articulated GTO investment strategies across different sectors, with a cohesive plan to attain near-term and stretch goals:
  • Relevant geothermal growth scenarios for 2020, 2030 and 2050, backed by robust data, modeling, and analysis
  • Comprehensive approach, inclusive of all market segments: existing and potential hydrothermal, electrical and non-electrical uses, burgeoning EGS advances, and other value streams
  • Accessible objectives and peer-reviewed industry data, supportive of and available to geothermal decision-makers in policy, permitting, and development capacities
  • Aspirational and inspirational goals

Peru:

Geothermal Project Manager - Peru (Fircroft)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
A big geothermal company is seeking a Geothermal Project Manager, who would report to their MD of Latin America. This is a project hire role, based in Lima, for an expected duration of 2 to 3 years.

The ideal candidate would have at least 10 years post graduate experience (ideally in renewable energy), including project engineering/management skills and knowledge in civil works at the early stages of a Geothermal project.

Job Scope:

  • Lead the planning, execution and monitoring of his assigned Project/s – scope shall include activities related to construction / civil works, transmission line development, power plant development, etc. 
  • Direct, control and manage all technical / execution aspects of the project including procurement and all external work undertaken by contractors and consultants 
  • Formulate comprehensive project risk assessment and corresponding risk mitigation strategies and measures 
  • Manage the project budget and project reporting activities

Read More.......

Climate Change:

Carbon Pricing Is Expanding: Initiatives Now Valued at Nearly $50 Billion (World Bank)


The new Carbon Pricing Watch compiles the latest data on formal carbon pricing initiatives around the world. Several carbon taxes and one of the world's largest emissions trading systems started in the past year and a half, and more are planned in the coming years.

The new and existing systems are also evolving. California and Quebec linked their markets. China has been learning from its seven local carbon markets as it plans for a national emissions trading system.

Read More........

USA, California:

Surge in Renewables Remakes California’s Energy Landscape (Yale Environment 360)

Thanks to favorable geography, innovative government policies, and businesses that see the benefits of clean energy investments, California is closing in on its goal of generating a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

Solar farms are blooming across California’s deserts, wind turbines are climbing the Sierra, photovoltaic roofs are shimmering over suburbs, and Teslas are the Silicon Valley elite’s new ride. A clean energy rush is transforming the Golden State so quickly that nearly a quarter of its electricity now comes from renewable sources, and new facilities, especially solar, are coming online at a rapid rate. Last year, California became the first state to get more than 5 percent of its electricity from the sun.

On top of that, the state has ample geothermal energy production, with expansion on the way.

Read More.......

Canada:

Damning Report for Site C Dam (Business in Vancouver)

BC Hydro and the joint review panel ignored new data on geothermal energy potential in B.C.


The report was authored by Robert McCullough, an energy analyst best known for his work in the Enron scandal. He recommends generating power using a mix of renewables and natural gas. His report also concludes that BC Hydro and the joint review panel ignored new data on geothermal energy potential in B.C.

Geothermal power has been developed with some success in other countries. The benefit of thermal power is that, once developed, it provides consistent power generation around the clock, with minimal environmental impacts.

Developers in B.C. have not had a lot of success with geothermal power, however. Although B.C. has an abundance of geothermal potential, past attempts to develop geothermal power here have found it to be simply too expensive.

Last year, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) issued a report that said BC Hydro and the joint review panel relied on out of date information when they ruled out geothermal power as too expensive. New “unconventional” geothermal sources have been identified in Northeastern B.C. by the oil and gas sector, the report found.

Since the cost of finding geothermal heat sources is one of the things that makes it so costly, CanGEA said the oil and gas sector had already done some of the heavy lifting.

Read More.......

USA, Hawaii:

Ormat's 25 MW Hawaii Geothermal Contract Should be Approved, Consultant Says (Pacific Business News)

Boston Pacific Co., the firm monitoring the bid process for the development of a 25 MW geothermal energy project on Hawaii’s Big Island, which was awarded to Nevada’s Ormat Technologies Inc., is recommending Hawaii regulators approve the selection.

Ormat already operates the 38 MW Puna Geothermal Venture plant on the Big Island.

Boston Pacific said in a letter this month to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission that the state agency should approve Ormat’s Moana Geothermal project because its bid was able to meet the threshold price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

Read More.......

Australia:

Anything but Coal: Solar the Most Popular Energy Source in Australia, Geothermal Lags Behind (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Solar energy is the most popular source of electricity in Australia with more than three times the backing of coal-fired or nuclear power, a survey by Ipsos has found.

The poll of almost 1200 people around the country found that solar panels on roof tops were supported by 87 per cent of respondents, with large-scale solar farms "strongly" or "somewhat" backed by 78 per cent.

Geothermal energy is supported by 45% of respondents, listed above nuclear and coal.

Read More.......

Australia:

The Heat is On, as Australia Plumbs the Depths (The Sydney Morning Herald)

The second of a two-part series on geothermal energy investigates whether Australia is making the most of its vast underground potential.


On the face of it, Australia's future is rosy: renewable energy, a World Wildlife Fund report claims, could meet all our electricity needs by the middle of the century – and at a cost little more than 0.1 to 0.2 per cent of gross domestic product.

Sad to say, none of this deterred the government and opposition from reaching a so-called "compromise deal" last week that slashes the nation's original target of 41,000 gigawatt-hours of annual renewable energy production by 2020 to 33,000 gigawatt-hours.

More is the pity given Australia's enviable range of renewable energy options, including hot rocks. This almost inexhaustible supply of heat beneath our largely arid island continent is ready and waiting to be harnessed, with Victoria and South Australia, in particular, veritable hot spots of geothermal potential.

Read More.......

New Zealand:

Body of Geothermal Pioneer Missing for Decades Found in Ngaio Bush (The Dominion Post)

John Holmes Smith died in 1986
Police announced on Monday that they had now identified remains as being those of John Holmes Smith, a pioneering geothermal engineer, who was 76 when he went missing from his home in Ngaio, northern Wellington, in March 1986.

In May 1986, a memorial service was held for the retired former chief geothermal engineer for what was then the Ministry of Works and Development.

By August, with still no clue as to his whereabouts, the case was referred to the coroner, who found he must have died on or about the day he went missing.

Colleagues told The Evening Post at the time of his disappearance that Smith was a pioneer, who conducted one of the world's first investigations into how geothermal steam could be used as a natural energy source.

His legacy lives on in the Wairakei geothermal field near Taupo, now known as Te Mihi, which was the first wet-steam station in the world when it was commissioned in 1958.   Today it has enough capacity to power about 160,000 homes.

Read More.......

Japan:

42 MW Yuzawa Geothermal Power Plant Begins Construction (Nikkei)

Some 22 years after an on-site survey began, construction on a large-scale geothermal power plant in Akita Prefecture kicked off Monday.

The project will generate 42 MW, or enough electricity for 80,000 households a year, and is expected to cost the consortium of J-Power, Mitsubishi Materials and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical around 30 billion yen ($244 million).

Slated to go online in 2019, the plant in the city of Yuzawa will be Japan's first geothermal station with output of more than 10 MW in 23 years.

More than five other big geothermal projects in Japan are also on the drawing board. Idemitsu Kosan and Japan Oil Development are among those conducting drilling surveys.

The government projects geothermal energy to rise from 0.3% of the country's overall power generation mix to around 1% by 2030.

Read More........

Canada:

Geothermal Research Could Come to Grande Prairie (Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune)

Town in Alberta could be site of a 2 MW demonstration geothermal power plant


The City of Grande Prairie in north-west Alberta is moving to participate in another renewable energy project after a delegation at last week’s council meeting piqued interest.

Jonathan Banks, a University of Alberta (U of A) research associate with a background in geothermal energy, pitched the green dream and explained he was looking for financial assistance to build geothermal reservoir models within the next year.

“We are looking to put together a portfolio of the top-10 best potential geothermal electricity producing projects in Alberta, three of which are located right here in Grande Prairie,” he said.

The council voted unanimously to direct administration to identify potential funding sources for a portion of the project budget.

Eventually, Banks wants to see a 2 MW geothermal demonstration plant at one of the 10 sites, potentially Grande Prairie. There are currently no geothermal plants in Canada.

Read More.......

New Zealand:

Contact Energy Ditches $1 Billion International Geothermal Plans (Otago Daily Times)

Contact Energy has ditched an unpopular option to invest in Pacific Rim geothermal power, instead opting to deliver shareholders a $367 million special dividend.

In mid-February, Contact took its shareholders and the market by surprise, announcing it was looking to invest $1 billion, generated over five to eight years, in Pacific Rim geothermal markets, a sector where its major shareholder, Australian company Origin Energy, has Indonesian geothermal interests.

Analysts at the time correctly predicted a shareholder backlash.

Contact chief executive Dennis Barnes said yesterday that after considering offshore investment, there were ''no material investment opportunities available'' which could reward shareholders but Contact could support increased distributions to shareholders.

Read More.......

Japan:

Goldman Sachs Targets $1 Bln in Japan Renewable Energy Bonds (News Release)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to establish a bond facility to target $1 billion in investment within the next few years in renewable energy projects in Japan, people familiar with the plan said.

The latest initiative is part of Goldman's 2012 plan to channel investments totaling $40 billion into renewable energy projects over the next decade.

The Japan Renewable Project Bond Trust product will provide a structure to give institutional investors the chance to invest in investment grade-rated securitized renewable energy bonds. It will initially focus on solar energy, and will be expanded to other types of renewable energy assets as projects arise.

Read More.......

Kenya:

Railway Line to Extend to Naivasha Geothermal Industrial Zone (Capital FM Kenya)

The Kenyan government has started negotiations with the company building the Standard Gauge Railway for the extension of the line from Nairobi to Naivasha after they complete construction from Mombasa to the capital city.

This was revealed Tuesday at a meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and Cabinet Ministers held with officials of China Road and Bridge Corporation in Voi.

The extension of 120 kilometers will link special industrial zones that would be established at Naivasha, which is home to the Olkaria geothermal power plants to Nairobi and Mombasa.

To attract investors to set up industrial complexes at the specially designated zones near Olkaria, the government will offer them subsidized power tariffs.

Firms will also have their power connected directly from Olkaria to ensure uninterrupted supplies, and in some cases, companies -such as those dealing in apparel manufacturing – will be allowed access to steam.

Read More........

Mexico:

Mexico Can More Than Quadruple Share of Renewable Energy by 2030 (Zawya)

Mexico can achieve a 21 per cent share of renewable energy in the energy mix and save billions by 2030 - geothermal energy can provide 4.5 GW



Mexico can increase the use of renewable energy in its energy mix from 4.4 per cent in 2010 to 21 per cent by 2030, according to a report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable Energy Prospects: Mexico, prepared in collaboration with the Mexican Energy Secretariat (SENER), also finds that Mexico could generate up to 46 per cent of its electricity by 2030 from renewable sources including wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biomass - a six fold increase from today's levels.

Mexico already has the world’s fifth largest geothermal power installed capacity after the US, the Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand, and could utilize its high-temperature reservoir potential to reach 4.5 GW in 2030.

Read More.......

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mexico:

Grupo Dragon wants to Partner with CFE on Geothermal Power (SeeNews Renewables)


Mexican energy services firm Grupo Dragon is interested in associations with state-run power utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) on geothermal projects in operation, local daily El Economista reported on Friday.

The company is also willing to compete on its own for exploration permits and 30-year concessions, CEO Jose Pablo Fernandez told the daily.

The government is reviewing a list of geothermal assets which CFE has asked to retain. Some of the fields will be reserved for the utility, while others will be offered to private investors. Reportedly, CFE is expected to retain one half, or about 450 MW, of the operating geothermal capacity.

In January, Grupo Dragon put on stream a 5 MW geothermal plant in San Pedro Lagunillas, Nayarit state, whose installed capacity will be doubled in the next days and then increased to 25 MW in 2016 and 50 MW in two years.

Read More........

Global:

Climate Investment Funding Could Leverage 2.9 GW of Geothermal Power (Fierce Energy)

Geothermal power harnesses the earth's heat to generate electricity, offering a reliable energy source that is universally available, as it does not depend on a steady supply of sun or wind. Geothermal energy is one of the lowest-cost sources of renewable electricity, and can provide both "baseload" and backup power for other renewable energy sources. Though a recent study showed that private investors are increasingly taking the geothermal plunge, most investors are still reluctant to invest in the technology because of the perceived high risk of early-stage exploration, which includes drilling and development.

"This is one of several areas in which Climate Investment Funds (CIF) investments can be game changing," said CIF Manager Mafalda Duarte. "We estimate that the CIF's concessional $746 million of financing, which leverages much more from other sources, in geothermal energy could add 2.9 gigawatts (GW) of geothermal power, equivalent to 25 percent of current global installed capacity, simply by reducing the risk to investors associated with geothermal exploration."

CIF funding is supporting some of the first large-scale geothermal development projects in Armenia, Chile, Dominica, Ethiopia, and Tanzania.

Read More......

St. Kitts and Nevis:

St. Kitts and Nevis Still Keen on Geothermal (WINN FM)

St Kitts and Nevis Energy Minister Alexis Jeffers is appealing to the public to be patient as the Nevis Island Administration works on making geothermal energy a reality. Mr. Jeffers says some progress is being made in developing geothermal.

Both the previous Nevis Reformation Party administration and the current administration have worked on realizing the production and distribution of geothermal energy in Nevis. But skeptics have doubted whether this will ever become a reality citing that lack of proven track record around the region in geothermal energy and the availability of financing.

Read More.......

Science & Technology:

Radio Interview On Geothermal Power

Professor Michael Mehta from Thompson Rivers University discusses geothermal power with Justin Crewson (Policy Advisor, Canadian Geothermal Energy Association). Topics include Geothermal Power 101, power production potential across Canada and in particular in British Columbia, economics, environmental benefits and concerns, and required policy approaches to support geothermal.

New Zealand:

Executive Success: It took a While to Get up Steam (NZ Herald)

Interview with Dr Juliet Newson, President of the IGA


Dr Juliet Newson's ability to back herself has taken her to the top.

Her day job as a geothermal reservoir modelling engineer at Contact Energy has her harnessing computer power to visualise the underground steam resources of the Wairakei area.

Fronting up for opportunities - even those that may have made her feel slightly out of her depth - has also resulted in her being elected to the presidency of the International Geothermal Association, an organisation representing 5000 members across 65 countries.

Newson, who splits her time between her Auckland home and Wairakei, where she helps to manage underground geothermal systems for power production, says New Zealanders are seen globally as the experts in that field.

She was supported into the presidency by the outgoing president and fellow Kiwi, the Stanford University-based Professor Roland Horne.

Read More.........

USA, California:

Geothermal is Key to Clean Energy Future (Sacramento Bee)

by Steve Ponder, Executive Director of the Geothermal Resources Council


Water boils at the surface of a pool at The Geysers,
billed as the world’s largest geothermal resource for
generating electricity. (The Press Democrat)
Gov. Jerry Brown is pursuing a goal for California to get at least 50 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by the year 2030. While the focus has been on solar and wind, geothermal is our oldest and most proven source of renewable energy, and the only source that can ensure a balanced and stable portfolio.

California’s unique geology has created underground pockets of steam and hot water that can be tapped to generate energy. The Legislature declared Thursday as Geothermal Awareness Day – a reminder that as early as the 1960s, long before attention turned to solar and wind, utilities were harvesting this form of energy to power homes and businesses throughout the state.

Ever the pioneer in alternative energy, California built the second geothermal power facility ever used in the world. Although we now value geothermal as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in those early years it was valued for its reliability.

Read More.......

GRC Workshop/Field-trip to Yellowstone National Park:

GRC Yellowstone National Park Workshop/Field-trip - June 22-26, 2015


Must Register by Midnight Tonight!


The GRC reminds interested individuals to sign-up for the GRC Workshop/Field-trip to Yellowstone National Park as places are filling fast. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology.

Limited number of spaces are available. Sign-up by midnight tonight.

Workshop Leaders: Duncan Foley and Joe Moore.

The Cost of the workshop:
  • Double-Occupancy Room: $1,500 for GRC Members, $1,700 for Non-GRC Members.
  • Single-Occupancy Room: $2,050 for GRC Members, $2,250 for Non-GRC Members ($550 upgrade fee for those who have already paid for a double-occupancy room).
  • GRC Student Rate (Double-Occupancy Only): $700 (Must provide a copy of your current student ID with a valid date or a copy of your class schedule when registering).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

USA, California:

Geothermal 101 - A Presentation for Geothermal Awareness Day

Presentation to the California Energy Commission Renewable Energy Division
by Geothermal Resources Council and the Geothermal Energy Association

May 21, 2015, 2:00-4:00pm, California Energy Commission, 1516 9th Street, Hearing Room B, Sacramento, CA 95814

  • 2:00pm-2:05pm - Welcome and Introduction, Steve Ponder, Executive Director GRC
  • 2:05pm-2:15pm - Opening Remarks, Bill Blackburn, Office Manager, Renewable Energy Office, Renewable Energy Division, California Energy Commission
  • 2:15pm-2:30pm - Geothermal Energy Legislation, Terry Page, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Enel Green Power, North America
  • 2:30pm-2:40pm - Economics of Geothermal, Randy Keller, Director of Development, California Energy Company
  • 2:40pm-3:10pm - Geothermal 101, Gene Suemnicht, Partner and Geologist, Earth Geological Sciences
  • 3:10pm-3:20pm - Geothermal Drilling, Louis Capuano, III, Drilling Engineer, Capuano Engineering
  • 3:20pm-3:35pm - Geothermal Power Plant Operations, Jim Kluesener, Calpine, Vice President Geothermal Operations
  • 3:35pm-3:40pm - Closing Remarks, Commissioner Hochschild, California Energy Commissioner
  • 3:40pm-4:00pm - Final Questions and Answers, Steve Ponder
Join WebEx meeting

USA:

10 Must-have Yellowstone Experiences (Billings Gazette)

There are four types of geothermal features to search out in Yellowstone: erupting, gushing geysers; colorful, bubbling hot springs; steaming, hissing fumaroles (or steam vents); and last but not least, my favorite ... gurgling, stinky mud pots.

When walking around Fountain Paint Pots, Artist Paint Pots or Mud Volcano, you will inevitably hear the question, “What smells like rotten eggs?”

That is hydrogen sulfide, a gas that alerts our noses to the presence of mud pots in the area, often times in a not-so-pleasant way. However, in my mind, hydrogen sulfide is the smell I think of when I reminisce about Yellowstone, and I love the smell for that reason. That’s why you need to seek out one of these burping, belching beauties with your family so you can share a smelly experience that you won’t soon forget.

The GRC is hosting a Workshop/Fieldtrip to Yellowstone National Park, June 22-26. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the Park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology.

Read More...........

USA:

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)

The latest GEO Industry News is now available from the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO).

GEO Industry News is an electronic publication of GEO, the Geothermal Exchange Organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association based in Springfield, Illinois, USA that advocates the environmental, energy efficiency and economic benefits of geothermal heat pump systems for heating and cooling applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings in the USA.

USA, California:

Proposal For Restoration of The Salton Sea

A New Methodology for Harnessing Geothermal energy and Restoration of the Salton Sea by using the “Scientific Geothermal Technology” by Nikola N. Lakic, Architect, Founder & CEO of Geothermal Worldwide, Inc.


Included is an exemplary method for restoration of the Salton Sea, which implements the "Scientific Geothermal Technology" for exchanging water from a salty terminal lake with oceanic water and treating farmland runoff waters. 

The “Self Contained In-Ground Heat Exchanger” (SCI-GHE) system uses heat from the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (SSGF) for generation of electricity and production of fresh water. 

This method is self sustained, environmentally friendly and has great commercial potential.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

USA, California:

Carlsbad Gas Plant Aces Out Renewable Option (U-T San Diego)

Imperial Irrigation District officials offered geothermal, say it was turned away


Last month, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker overruled a decision from one of his agency’s judges and said a new gas-fired power plant should be constructed on the beach in Carlsbad.

Picker’s decision was announced three weeks after one of his aides met privately with NRG Energy, the New Jersey firm behind the $2.6 billion project.

In announcing his decision, Picker said the plant is needed to replace the Encina Power Station that is scheduled to be removed from service as soon as 2018 and to make up for the loss of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which closed prematurely in 2012 after a radiation leak.

While the greenhouse gas-emitting Carlsbad Energy Center is scheduled to be reconsidered at a commission hearing on Thursday, years-long efforts to promote development of geothermal power in Imperial County have not received as much support from state policymakers.

The Imperial Irrigation District board last week voted unanimously to hire lawyers to pursue civil action against the utilities commission and the California Independent System Operator, the nonprofit manager of most power transmission.

“If they had a level playing field, we could build out 1,400 megawatts and then some of the untapped, known geothermal resources in and around the Salton Sea,” district General Manager Kevin Kelley said.

Read More.......

USA, California:

Salton Sea Geology - Geothermal Mud Pots  (Palomar TV)

Short video about the geothermal properties of the Salton Sea region.


USA:

FORGE: The Next Frontier of Renewable Energy (EERE)

The Energy Department recently announced the teams selected for negotiation for Phase 1 of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE).

FORGE is a dedicated site where the scientific community can develop and test enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technologies in a permitted and drilled test field, with the end goal of creating market-ready, renewable energy. EGS, unlike natural geothermal systems, are engineered geothermal reservoirs beneath the surface of the Earth, where there is hot rock but limited pathways through which fluid can flow. During EGS development, underground fluid pathways are created and their size and connectivity increased. Through these enhanced pathways, fluid can flow throughout the hot rock, heat up to hundreds of degrees, and channel the abundant heat source to the surface to generate electricity.

USA, Nevada:

AltaRock Yieldco Acquires the Blue Mountain Geothermal Power Plant (News Release)

Baseload Clean Energy Partners (BCEP), a yieldco owned and operated by AltaRock Energy, is announcing the acquisition of Blue Mountain Power LLC. Located in northern Nevada, Blue Mountain Power owns the 49.5 MW Faulkner 1 geothermal power plant supplying electricity to Nevada’s public utility, NV Energy. BCEP is purchasing 100% of the equity, plus the assumption of remaining debt, for an undisclosed sum from EIG Global Energy Partners. The company is planning an improvement program to increase the plant
output.

Baseload Clean Energy Partners was established for the purpose of building the leading portfolio of clean, baseload power assets by leveraging the unique advantages of next generation enhanced geothermal energy (EGS). Faulkner 1 is Nevada’s second largest geothermal plant and contributes to BCEP’s overall goal of acquiring projects that benefit substantially from improvements using more advanced technology.

Read More.......

GRC Workshop/Field-trip to Yellowstone National Park:

GRC Yellowstone National Park Workshop/Field-trip - June 22-26, 2015


Must Register by Friday, May 22nd


The GRC reminds interested individuals to sign-up for the GRC Workshop/Field-trip to Yellowstone National Park as places are filling fast. The workshop will include a tour of the major geologic features of the park, the site of the greatest concentration of geothermal features in the world, and discussions of its volcanic history, geochemistry, and hydrology.

Limited number of spaces are available. Sign-up by Friday.

Workshop Leaders: Duncan Foley and Joe Moore.

The Cost of the workshop:
  • Double-Occupancy Room: $1,500 for GRC Members, $1,700 for Non-GRC Members.
  • Single-Occupancy Room: $2,050 for GRC Members, $2,250 for Non-GRC Members ($550 upgrade fee for those who have already paid for a double-occupancy room).
  • GRC Student Rate (Double-Occupancy Only): $700 (Must provide a copy of your current student ID with a valid date or a copy of your class schedule when registering).

USA, California:

Los Angeles DWP Commissioners Vote to Sell Holdings in Coal-fired Navajo Generating Plant (KPCC)

Will be replaced by an even larger amount of more solar and geothermal energy - official says


Navajo Generating Station in Arizona
(Courtesy SQUEAKS2569/FLICKR)
Water and Power Commissioners in Los Angeles have approved a sale of the city’s interests in the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station in Arizona. The vote will cut LA’s coal interests by a quarter, and represents a significant step towards a goal of total divestment from coal set by former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2013.

Selling out of the Navajo plant has become less costly to ratepayers than keeping LA’s interests in it, says DWP’s Mike Webster. “The coal costs are going up. The operations and maintenance are also going up,” he says. “By us divesting now, it actually reduces the impact on ratepayers.”

Webster says 477 megawatts of coal energy that come down transmission lines to light up LA soon will be replaced by an even larger amount of more solar and geothermal energy.

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USA, Hawaii:

Puna Geothermal Venture Finishes Drilling New Well (Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

Geothermal plant reaches heated rock at depth of 5,700 feet


Puna Geothermal Venture finished drilling a new well earlier this month intended to offset a drop in production at the 38-megawatt power plant outside Pahoa. PGV reached rock heated by geothermal activity along Kilauea’s East Rift Zone at a depth of 5,700 feet May 3 after about three months of drilling, said Mike Kaleikini, senior director of Hawaiian Affairs for Ormat Technologies, PGV’s parent company.

The exact temperature of the rock isn’t yet known, but most active wells average about 600 degrees, he said. PGV next will work to connect the well to the power plant. Kaleikini said that should be done by about mid-August. Until then, it won’t be known how productive the well will be, he said. “We’re hopeful in August we will be able to gauge what the new well is capable of.

The power plant is producing 26 MW of electricity. It has a contract with Hawaii Electric Light Co. to produce 38 MW.

USA, Nevada:

A Troubled Geothermal Plant Finds a Savior in a Startup and Vinod Khosla (Fortune Magazine)

AltaRock has bought the Blue Mountain Faulkner geothermal power plant and are implementing a plan to bring the capacity back up to 50 megawatts


“Blue Mountain”  by Ryan Nelson, Winnemucca, Nevada
As of last Thursday, the Blue Mountain Faulkner geothermal power plant finally has a new owner with a new plan to get it back up and running at full capacity. Tech startup AltaRock Energy has officially acquired the plant using its new project arm Baseload Clean Energy Partners, which has an anchor investor in venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, AltaRock Energy CEO Aaron Mandell told Fortune in an exclusive interview. Khosla’s involvement in Baseload is from his personal funds and not from Khosla Ventures.

AltaRock’s tech facelift of the Blue Mountain plant represents a bridge between the geothermal industry’s past and its potential future. In 2014, EIG, who took ownership of Blue Montain from Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP), hired AltaRock to improve the site with its technology and potentially bring it back up to capacity. Mandell told Fortune that the company has already been able to halt the temperature decline, and boost the energy capacity back up to 40 megawatts.

But now AltaRock bought the site and are implementing a plan to bring the capacity back up to 50 megawatts using hydroshearing in the first stage, and potentially drilling in the second stage.

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Kenya:

UNEP Considering Establishing Geothermal Center of Excellence in Kenya (Capital FM)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is considering establishing an African regional geothermal hub in Kenya to be used as a center of excellence for the rest of the world.

Speaking during a panel on renewable energy during the German Week, UNEP Program Manager ARGeo Dr Meseret Zemedkun said Kenya was successfully embracing renewable energy sources making it an exemplary country in the use of geothermal power in Africa and the West.


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Mexico:

Mexico to Launch Geothermal Licence Auction in August (SeeNews Renewables)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Mexico expects to launch its first auction of geothermal power concessions in August after reserving some fields for national utility ComisiĆ³n Federal de Electricidad (CFE), deputy electricity minister Cesar Hernandez said Tuesday.

In July, the government will take a decision on CFE's request to retain several geothermal sites. In the same month, the state will publish rules for the electricity market in line with the energy reform, providing legal security to investors in the power sector.

Apart from the auctions, the government will be ready to consider private requests for other geothermal fields, depending on the investor's financial capacity, Hernandez added.

As part of incentives, Mexico will develop a risk mitigation program involving guarantee and insurance schemes to reduce uncertainty linked to geothermal exploration and encourage private investments. The program is expected to generate 300 MW in a six-year period.

CFE already has some 900 MW geothermal power in operation.

USA, Arizona:

Arizona Public Service Will Join California Energy Imbalance Market (Utility Dive)

Arizona Public Service (APS), Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, has reached a deal to join the growing Energy Imbalance Market in the west, a move which could save customers $7 million to $18 million a year, according to an assessment by Energy and Environmental Economics. Current EIM participants will benefit by $3 million to $6.5 million annually, in addition the benefits they already realize, the analysis also found.

Based in Phoenix, APS serves more than 1 million customers in Arizona and asked the consulting firm to run analysis on what joining the market would mean. The firm has done similar studies for NV Energy, which will join the market later this year, and Puget Sound, which is also considering the move.

The new market allows for rebalancing supply and demand in 15-minute blocks with dispatching every five minutes before  energy is needed.

APS contracts for 10 megawatts of geothermal energy from the CalEnergy CE Energy Turbo plant in Calipatria, California.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Japan:

Kyushu Electric, Mitsubishi to Build 15 MW Geothermal Plant (Nikkei)

Kyushu Electric Power and Mitsubishi Corp. are partnering to build a geothermal power plant in the village of Minamiaso in Kumamoto Prefecture within the Aso Caldera, one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world.

The plant will supply the prefecture with about 15 MW of electricity, once built by fiscal 2029.

USA, Alaska:

Senate Energy Committee Highlights Alaska's Use of Geothermal Energy and Other Renewable Technologies (Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Republicans)

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski questioned Mr. Brent Sheets, Deputy Director, Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, on Alaska's continued advancement and use of renewable energy technologies, especially geothermal energy.

Indonesia:

Govt to Boost Spending on Renewable Energy Development (Jakarta Post)

However a better disbursement system of the funding to geothermal energy developers needs to be established.


(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Abadi Poernomo, the chairman of the Indonesian Geothermal Association said “There is currently a geothermal fund managed by the Government Investment Center [PIP] which then lends the allocated money to developers. However, no developers use the fund because they don’t want to pay the interest the PIP charges,” he said.

The government is currently working to merge the PIP with the state infrastructure financing company Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI) after it discovered that the PIP was unable to function optimally in various investment financing scenarios.

PIP has Rp 3.2 trillion in allocation for geothermal funding, according to SMI president director Emma Sri Martini. Should the merger plan be executed, SMI will manage the geothermal funding allocation. However, Emma argued that rather than disbursing the funds itself, SMI should involve the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

“We have to think of new mechanisms for this funding because the realization of disbursement of the funding is zero. The ministry has a geology unit that can use the funds for exploration work and when it has data on the geothermal potential, developers can have the access,” Emma said.

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Australia:

Renewable Energy Target is Set at 33,000 Gigawatts (Government News)

The Abbott government initially wanted to reduce the target to 26,000 gigawatt hours


The Australian Federal government and Labor have finally struck a deal on the Renewable Energy Target (RET) following 15 months of heated negotiations.

The bipartisan deal has set the RET at 33,000 gigawatts, lower than the 41,000 gigawatts Labor wanted, exempted trade-exposed industries such as aluminium smelting from the target and called for annual reports from the Clean Energy Regulator on the impact of the scheme on electricity prices and progress towards the target.

The deal had been consistently stymied by the federal government’s insistence that the target be reviewed every two years, a move staunchly opposed by Labor with Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler calling it “a reckless idea” that would smash investor confidence in the renewable energy sector.

Despite the RET being lowered, Environment Minister Greg Hunt maintains that the original aim of ensuring that 20 per cent of Australia’s energy came from renewables by 2020 will be met and possibly exceeded.  He said the target was effectively 23.5 per cent under the new agreement.

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Global:

Pew: Clean Energy Investment Shifting to Developing Nations (PR Newswire - News Release)

Kenya accounted for nearly all of the additional geothermal plants and investment.


Investment in and deployment of electricity infrastructure is shifting from the industrialized economies of the Northern Hemisphere to the developing economies collectively known as the "global south" and from fossil fuels toward clean energy, according to research released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report, Power Shifts—Emerging Clean Energy Markets, examines clean energy investment and deployment trends in developing countries. The report finds that 100 nations outside of the Group of 20 and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development attracted a total of $62 billion in clean energy investment from 2009 to 2013, much of it in a relatively small number of countries. In fact, almost half (45 percent) of the total five-year investment, $27.9 billion, occurred in 10 markets, where clean energy capacity grew by 91 percent, three times faster than any other supply option, over the five years.

"Developing countries are prioritizing solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources in order to reduce energy poverty, power economic progress, enhance national security by reducing imports, and protect the environment," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's clean energy initiative.

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Philippines:

Four Companies Vie for Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Contract (PSALM - News Release)

The state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) successfully held pre-bid conferences on May 5 for its selection and appointment of the Independent Power Producer Administrators (IPPAs) for the Bulk Energy of the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants (ULGPP Bulk).

The investor groups eyeing the ULGPP Bulk IPPA are SPC Power Corp., Therma Central Visayas Inc., Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. and Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc.

The ULGPP is composed of the 125-MW Upper Mahiao, 232.5-MW Malitbog and 180-MW Mahanagdong power plants, and the 51-MW optimization plants.

The ULGPP is covered by Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) between the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and the Energy Development Corp. (EDC).

The bidding and bid evaluation for the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power is on August 12.

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Global:

EIA Launches Redesigned International Energy Portal (EIA)


On May 18, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) launched a beta version of a redesigned International Energy Portal designed to help users access international energy data and to provide new and expanded tools and capabilities to examine trends in global energy markets.

  • Increased access to data. 
  • New user-driven customization. 
  • New data visualization features. 
  • Improved access to international analysis. 
  • Enhanced data downloads. 

USA, California:

What a 50% Renewables Mandate Means for California (Utility Dive)

A new report says billions of dollars in clean energy development could be unlocked


In moving to a 50% by 2030 renewables mandate, California leaders want more of what they got from their 33% by 2020 standard.

Numbers on the existing 33% target are still coming in, but getting to just over 15% renewables from 2002 to 2012 added 196,000 jobs, a 20% increase, according to analysis from clean energy think tank Next 10. At the same time, the state’s overall economy was adding jobs at a 2% rate.

By the middle of 2014, according to the group, the state was at 23% renewables, its average residential electricity bill had dropped 4% from 1990, and its average industrial electricity bill had dropped 57%.

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