Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Global:

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Mutual Sponsorship Opportunities

Your organization has the opportunity for high visibility at the Geothermal Resources Council’s 38th Annual Meeting & GEA Expo scheduled for September 28 – October 1, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

GRC/GEA Mutual Sponsorships including Application & Contract (PDF)



Global:

GRC Annual Meeting - Sponsorship Opportunities

Your organization has the opportunity for high visibility at the Geothermal Resources Council’s 38th Annual Meeting & GEA Expo scheduled for September 28 – October 1, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

GRC Sponsorship Opportunities including Application & Contract (PDF)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

USA, Washington:

Washington State Geothermal Roadmapping Meeting

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:00am - 4:00pm PST

WSU Energy Program Office, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 905 Plum St. SE Bldg. #3, Olympia, Washington

In April 2012, the Geothermal Technologies Office sponsored the development of the Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap (GRR). The GRR Team has been working with federal, state and local agencies to develop a working guide for agency, industry and policymakers use in an effort to understand regulatory processes and identify potential areas of concern. The project has since been expanded to include additional technologies and tools. RAPID was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Agenda.....

South Africa:

South Africa Gives EGS Consideration (Independent Online)

South Africa should give more serious thought to digging deep underground to tap the buried heat of the Earth to generate more electricity.

This is the suggestion from geology and climate change researchers who suggest significant volumes of renewable power can be generated from using the latent heat of rock to produce steam and electricity. In their paper the researchers studied the possibility of consider a 75-MW Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) plant in the Limpopo Province, sustainable over a 30-year period.

Writing in the latest issue of the SA Journal of Science, researchers Taufeeq Dhansay, Professor Maarten de Wit and Professor Tony Patt say most early measurements of heat flow in South Africa were taken in the Witwatersrand area, which contains some of the world’s oldest and thickest rock structures

Dhansay T, De Wit M, Patt A. An evaluation for harnessing lowenthalpy
geothermal energy in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. S Afr J Sci. 2014;110(3/4), Art. #2013-0282, 10 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/
sajs.2014/20130282

Indonesia:

Indonesian Govt to Pay More for Geothermal Power (Jakarta Globe)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry plans to offer higher prices for electricity produced by geothermal power plants, in a move to attract more investors and make geothermal projects more bankable.

According to a regulation issued by the ministry in 2012, state utility firm, Perusahaan Listrik Negara must sign long-term contracts to pay independent geothermal power producers between 10 cents and 18.5 cents per kilowatt hour — a pro-renewable energy policy mechanism known as Feed-In Tariff.

Ridha Mulyana, the director general for new and renewable energy at the ministry, said that the government will reintroduce auctions for geothermal energy station opportunities.

Read More.....

Monday, April 14, 2014

France:

L’Université de Strasbourg va Former des Spécialistes de la Géothermie Profonde - The University of Strasbourg to Train Specialists in Deep Geothermal (L'energie d'avancer)

C’est une première en France. L’Université de Strasbourg annonce la création de la première chaire universitaire dédiée à la géothermie profonde, en partenariat avec ES Energie. Elle doit permettre d’améliorer les connaissances autour de cette énergie et de former des spécialistes.

This is a first in France. The University of Strasbourg announced the creation of the first university chair dedicated to geothermal energy, in partnership with ES Energy. It should improve the knowledge of geothermal energy and to train specialists.

En savoir plus.....                         Read More.....

USA, Technology:

Geothermal Students Wins Clean Energy Trust Clean Energy Challenge (EERE)

Technology can boost power generation at geothermal plants by 8% 

Black Pine Engineering's pilot compressor in California.
(Courtesy Black Pine Engineering)
Last week the student team of Black Pine Engineering from Michigan State University took top honors at the Eastern Midwest regional competition of the Energy Department’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

Black Pine Engineering emerged victorious, taking the top student prize of $100,000 for its Woven Wheel System, an advanced turbomachinery system composed of carbon fiber, used for retrofitting geothermal power plants. 

Geothermal plants waste a portion of well steam due to steam compressors that remove harmful gases. The Black Pine Engineering system replaces current plant equipment with their advanced modular compressors, and eliminating steam loss. 

According to Black Pine, the technology can boost power generation at geothermal plants by 8% and increase revenue by more than $280,000 per year per well.

Canada:

Mayor McCracken’s Geothermal Dream (therockymountaingoat.com)

Valemount mayor
Andru McCracken
When Valemount’s mayor Andru McCracken returned from the CanGEA national conference, he seemed to be even more excited about the potential of geothermal than when he went.

“We need to have our own conference, and I’d like to start the Valemount hot springs company tonight!” said McCracken via email immediately after the conference and direct-use workshop in Calgary.

“Direct use has huge potential,” said McCracken at Pints and Politics on Sunday. He says it’s at too low a temperature to be converted into electricity, as in the project Borealis Geopower has proposed near Valemount, but can be used directly for industrial processes.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Lithium May Draw Tesla Motors Gigafactory to Salton Sea (The Desert Sun)

(Courtesy Tesla Motors)
It seems an ideal match — a game-changing lithium-extraction plant at the Salton Sea and Tesla Motors’ Gigafactory, the 10-million-square-foot facility the electric vehicle maker plans to have online by 2017 to turn out the lithium-ion batteries it needs to reach its goal of putting 500,000 electric cars on the road per year by 2020.

And speaking at the Coachella Valley Economic Forecast Conference in Indian Wells on Thursday, Carl Stills, energy manager at the Imperial Irrigation District, hinted that the Northern California company is giving Imperial County a serious look.

“Lithium’s going to be huge,” Stills said. “It’s so much lithium that can come out of this geothermal mining. We just got notified yesterday that Tesla is now back considering Imperial Valley because of the location close to the potential lithium. So they may not leave. They may leave, but it’s now up in the air again. So, they may stay here and they may move down next to the brine.”

Stills was referring to the lithium-extraction technology and pilot plant that Simbol Materials of Pleasanton has developed at the Salton Sea, recycling geothermal brine from EnergySource’s John Featherstone plant in Calpatria.

Read More.....

Philippines:

PSALM to Begin Bidding Process for Mt. Apo I & II this Quarter (BusinessWorld Online Edition)

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) plans to start the bidding process for Mt. Apo 1 and 2 geothermal plants in Mindanao this quarter, the state-run firm’s top official said over the weekend.

Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr., PSALM president and chief executive officer, said “We plan to schedule the actual submission of bids (and awarding of the contract) in the third quarter.”

PSALM last January secured its directors’ approval to prepare for the bidding process. Mr. Ledesma had said the winning bidder will be in charge of selling the capacity generated by the two power plants under two separate IPP contracts.

Each power plant has a capacity of 54.24 MWe.

Read More.....

Philippines:

Exploration Begins for More Mt. Apo Geothermal (Sun.Star)

Aboitiz Power Corporation, has begun exploration of geothermal sites in two areas around Mt. Apo.

The company said they have started with the "first phase" of the work program after it was awarded Geothermal Renewable Energy Service Contracts (GRESC) by the Department of Energy last year.

The two areas around Mt. Apo spans around North Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Davao City.

Read More.....

Friday, April 11, 2014

USA:

National Geothermal Academy - 10-day Geoscience Course

June 11-20, 2014
University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in Reno, Nevada
Student applications accepted through April 20


The National Geothermal Academy presents a 10-day intensive Geoscience Course focused on geothermal geology, geochemistry, and geophysics taught by experts in the field. The course is open to students and professionals from around the world. The course will occur at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in Reno, Nevada June 11-20, 2014.

The course is offered to students for 2 academic credits at either the undergraduate or graduate level. A non-credit option is offered to professionals. Classroom instruction will occur at UNR’s Redfield campus in south Reno. An afternoon at Steamboat Springs geothermal complex and a three-day field trip to Long Valley caldera are included with the course. This is an intensive course that runs from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM every day.

The NGA is intended for outstanding undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals. Strong academic preparation in quantitative fields is expected. This course is open to both domestic and international applicants.

2014 Application           2014 Information flyer

Program fee: $2500. Option room & board fee: $800
  • Student applications accepted through April 20
  • Professional applications accepted through June 4
Please contact Betsy Littlefield at (775) 784-6115 or elittlefield@unr.edu with any questions.

Global:

The Latest News from the Leading Geothermal Energy Magazine

A free article from the GRC Bulletin - Volume 43, No. 2 - March/April 2014


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has published the latest GRC Bulletin, the definitive voice of the global geothermal energy industry, continuously since 1972. 

The Bulletin is free with GRC Membership or subscribe (PDF) to six issues a year for $90 in the USA or $140 worldwide.

The GRC has generously published 3 pages from the latest issue for free. However, the full issue is 56 pages!

Join the GRC or subscribe to get the complete issue.

Solomon Islands:

Exploration Drillings to Start at Savo Island Geothermal Project (Industrial Info Resources)

(Courtesy Geodynamics Limited)
A joint venture between Geodynamics Limited of Brisbane, Australia, and Kentor Energy Pty Limited, also of Brisbane, a subsidiary of Kentor Gold Limited, plans to begin drilling exploratory wells for its planned 20- to 30 MWe geothermal power plant project on Savo island in the Solomon Islands, following the completion of an environmental and social impact assessment in February.

The joint venture is planning to commence an initial exploration drilling campaign of four slim hole wells in the dry season of 2014 and, with successful results, will undertake further production drilling to target first power generation in 2017.

Japan:

Cabinet OKs New Energy Policy, Kills No-Nuclear Goal (The Japan Times)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday officially abandoned the zero-nuclear goal of the previous administration by adopting a new basic energy policy that pledges to push for restarting the reactors idled in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns.

The new Basic Energy Plan, revised about every three years, is a clear departure from the zero-nuclear policy set by the Democratic Party of Japan-led government, which pledged to abolish all nuclear power plants by the 2030s.

The new plan, which sets policies for the next 20 years, described nuclear power as one of the key “base-load electricity sources,” a term the government uses to describe types that can stably generate power at a low cost 24 hours a day.

The new policy also says the government will “lower as much as possible” Japan’s dependency on nuclear power and push for the development of more renewable energies, including wind, geothermal heat and solar power, in particular over the next three years.

Read More......

Global:

GRC 2014 Annual Meeting ‐ Call for Papers Deadline is in 3 Weeks

The paper submission deadline is May 2, 2014.



The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) reminds authors of the deadline for submitting technical papers for the world’s largest annual geothermal conference taking place September 28-October 1, 2014, in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center. Themed “Geothermal: A Global Solution” the 38th Annual Meeting will reflect the world-wide growth of geothermal energy.

Anyone who wants to present at the GRC Annual Meeting must submit a paper. Authors may submit a poster and/or oral technical presentation. The paper submission deadline is May 2, 2014.

The GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo is the industry’s largest annual gathering of leading geothermal energy scientists, producers, renewable energy industry stakeholders, regulators, utilities, and key associated business leaders. The four-day event will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, and numerous networking opportunities. Registration to the GRC Annual Meeting also includes entry to the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Costa Rica:

Costa Rica Geothermal Loan Bill Advances (La Nación)

Diputados aprobaron en Comisión el financiamiento para proyectos geotérmicos en Guanacaste

La Comisión de Hacendarios dictaminó en forma unánime el proyecto de ley que pretende financiar la construcción del Proyecto Geotérmico Pailas II en Guanacaste.

The finance committee of Costa Rica’s legislative assembly has approved a geothermal loan bill to finance the construction of the 55 MWe Las Pailas II Geothermal Project in Guanacaste.

The initiative, under the record 19,040, includes a cooperation agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a sector loan for the development of geothermal energy in Guanacaste and contract funding for the Las Pailas II geothermal project with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Read More.....

Kenya:

Conservationists Urge Government to Stop Drilling in Hell's Gate Park (Standard Digital)

“Harmony with Nature” by Abraham Sam Samuel. 
Giraffe near a Geothermal Power Plant, 
Hells Gate National Park, Olkaria, Kenya, 2011
A major row has erupted over the world renowned Hell's Gate National Park in Naivasha and the move by the Kenyan Government to drill geothermal power in park.

Experts are warning that the park could lose its glory adding that various species of birds, mainly vultures, have either left the area or died. They now want a contract on geothermal exploration between Kengen and Hell's Gate reviewed.

Read More.....

United Kingdom:

More Funds Made Available for Manchester District Heating Project (Place North West)

GT Energy will use the funds to progress its geothermal scheme at Devonshire Street in Manchester.


Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) opened on 17 October 2013 and closed for bids on 9 December 2013. Today the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg announced that £300 million has been made available to 50 projects.

GT energy, a Dublin-based company, is one of the winning bidders and will use the funds to further develop a geothermal heat generating facility just off Devonshire Street in Ardwick, Manchester.

The project is one of the first of its type in the UK and will put Manchester at the forefront of low carbon community heating schemes. Two deep wells to an approximate depth of 3,000 m will be drilled, providing access to potentially one of the UK’s largest geothermal resources, the Cheshire Basin.

Climate Change:

UN Climate Change Panel to Discuss Global Transition to Renewable Energy (Renewable Energy World.com)

After concluding that global warming almost certainly is man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet on April 12 in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet.

It is also trying to give estimates on what it would cost.

In the third report of a landmark climate assessment, the IPCC is expected to say that to keep warming in check, the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels — the principal source of man-made carbon emissions — to renewable energy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Philippines:

Biliran Geothermal Project Could Generate 200 MW (Philippine Information Agency)

The developer of the geothermal project in Biliran province has seen a big rise in the potential generating capacity of the project based on the status report of the on-going exploration drilling.

Grimur Bjornsson, reservoir engineer of Orka Energy-Biliran Geothermal Incorporated, reported a “possible generating capacity of 200 MW” based on his report on the resource possible and proven potential.

He also reported that the current drilling campaign is expected to prove 50-100 MW generating potential within the next 12 months.

Orka-BGI is currently drilling the third exploration well as provided in the approved provincial  ordinance allowing the conduct of drilling of three exploration wells in Barangays Cabibihan and Villavicenta in Caibiran town.

Construction of the power plant should start by July this year and be completed in two years.

Read More......

USA, Texas:

Texas Town Looks to Geothermal Energy (Marlin Democrat)

Could Marlin’s historic past, which led John McGraw’s New York Giants here, somehow, someday become its economic future?

The answer is “possibly,” with enough drilling work and investment dollars.

Southern Methodist University’s Geothermal Lab is a leader in geothermal research in the U.S. And, last year, David Blackwell, W. B. Hamilton Professor of Geophysics at SMU, and Maria Richards, the SMU Geothermal Lab coordinator, released research showing that the United States potentially could generate more than 3 million megawatts of green power, or 10 times that of current coal-fired electric power plants.

And, some of that is in Texas. No, there’s no geysers bursting out of the ground, unlike Yellowstone National Park; there’s no bubbling mud pots, unlike there and places like Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.

But the city does have the water that gives it the slogan of “Mineral Water City of Texas,” that produces passive heat for Falls Community Hospital.

Read More.....

Germany:

German Renewable Electricity Consumption Hits Record High 25.4 Percent in 2013 (Triple Pundit)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
European economic and fiscal woes, push-back from utilities and the influx of cheap imports from China have created stiff headwinds for Germany’s homegrown renewable energy sector in recent years. Nonetheless, renewable energy reached a record 25.4 percent of Germany’s total electricity consumption in 2014, according to the latest annual statistics from the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics (AGEE-Stat), an increase of nearly 2 percent from 2012.

The German Geothermal Association reports that Germany continues to develop its geothermal resources. Currently, 26 power plants with an installed thermal capacity of 238.95 MW provide a combination of heat and power to German cities, 16 are under construction, and 43 more are planned. Seven of those planned power plants or those already under construction will rely on EGS technology to provide up to 31.31 MW of electricity.

Read More.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chile:

Chile Plans Carbon Tax (Business Spectator)

President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet
Chile's government wants to impose a tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from thermal power plants, the second major economy in Latin America to resort to environmental taxation to discourage the use of carbon-intensive fuels.

On Jan. 1, Mexico imposed a tax on several types of fossil fuels, including gasoline, averaging 3 dollars per tonne of CO2.

According to the proposal presented this week by Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, a center-left politician who returned to the helm of the country on March 11, Chile will charge thermal power generators with a generation capacity equal or higher than 50 megawatts, $5 per tonne of CO2 emitted.

"This measure has the objective to encourage the shift to clean technologies," said the government about the environmental tax in a message sent to Congress this week presenting the reform bill.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Which Electricity Source Will Best Weather the Drought in California? (Union of Concerned Scientists)

(Courtesy California Energy Commission)
The late-March storms in California gave the Sierra snowpack a belated boost, but the state is still bracing for dry times ahead. This was confirmed by the California Department of Water Resource’s April 1 snow survey, one of the closest watched of the year because it marks the expected end of the wet season.

But what does a snowpack only 32 percent of its normal size mean for electricity generation? Using water to generate electricity — hydropower — is an important component of California’s electricity mix. Between 2001 and 2012, hydropower from large dams averaged 14 percent of in-state generation, but annual generation varied greatly. This is not surprising: in a wet year, you get lots of hydro; in a dry year, you get little.

Since 2013 went down as the driest year on record for California, utilities have no choice but to look elsewhere for power sources this summer. There is no doubt that spending money on energy efficiency investments is cheaper than investing in new generation, but for the electricity we do need, utilities should consider drought-proof sources like solar, wind, and geothermal that won’t run out once harnessed, rather than lock us deeper into another finite and unpredictable source of fuel: natural gas.

Since we expect climate change to increase the frequency and severity of droughts in California, hedging our electricity supplies with predictable, renewable resources becomes not only an important step to combat climate change, but a smart insurance policy to keep the lights on.

Read More......

Global:

GRC on Facebook - You Really Like Us!


The Facebook page for the Geothermal Resources Council reached a major milestone today. The website has reached 800 likes, a measure of the popularity of the information service.

The page was created on September 20, 2011 to provide a community for those interested in geothermal energy around the world.

Join us in the global geothermal community.......

Monday, April 7, 2014

Norway:

Geothermal Wellhead Power Plant Developer Winds Global Clean Energy Award (News Release)

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, today announced 10 game-changing companies as winners in the field of clean energy technology and innovation in the 2014 New Energy Pioneer awards.

Included is a geothermal energy developer Green Energy Group, a Norwegian company headquartered in Oslo, providing turn-key modular geothermal wellhead plants, which reduce capital expenses and project risk and allow for quicker payback on investment.

Green Energy Group recently announced that it had successfully tested its second and third geothermal wellhead power plants at Olkaria Geothermal field, Kenya.

Read More.....

Malaysia:

Malaysia’s First Geothermal Plant set to Boost Green Energy (The Star Online)

Green energy in Malaysia will receive a boost when the country’s first geothermal plant in Sabah’s east coast starts producing electricity in two years.

The geothermal power plant in Tawau is being developed by Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd, and is projected to add 30 MWe to Sabah’s grid by the second quarter of 2016, a statement from the company yesterday reported.

Calculations estimated that the area had a potential to host a geothermal power plant with the capacity of 67 MW at a depth of 2.5km.

Read More.....

Indonesia:

Govt Set to Auction 375 MW Geothermal Plant Projects (Jakarta Post)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
In the middle of this year, the Indonesian government is set to auction a number of areas with geothermal energy potential that can be developed, in a bid to increase the capacity of the country’s geothermal power plants.

The areas to be auctioned are expected to generate at least 375 MWe of power.

The geothermal director at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Tisnaldi, said the working areas to be offered include Lake Ranau in Lampung and South Sumatra, with a potential production capacity of 110 MW, Mount Lawu in Central and East Java with 100 MW, Mataloko in East Nusa Tenggara with 30 MW, Simbolon Samosir in North Sumatra with 80 MW and Way Ratai in Lampung with 55 MW in power potential.

Read More.....

Global:

Report: Geothermal Energy Only Renewable to See an Increase in Investment in 2013 (Business Green)

The United Nations Environment Program has today unveiled a major report on global green energy investment for 2013.

Investment in renewable energy dropped $US35.1 billion, partly due to the falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems. The other main cause was policy uncertainty in many countries, an issue that also depressed investment in fossil fuel generation in 2013. However, investment in geothermal energy rose 38 per cent to $2.5bn, the only technology to see an increase.

Technology trends include:
  • Renewable energy in 2013, excluding hydro, accounted for 8.5 per cent of worldwide power generation, up from 7.8 per cent in 2012.
  • Renewable energy now accounts for 13.7 per cent of all generation capacity globally, up from 7.6 per cent in 2007.
  • Green energy accounted for 43.6 per cent of all new capacity in 2013.
  • Investment in geothermal energy rose 38 per cent to $2.5bn, the only technology to see an increase.

USA, California:

U.S. Geothermal to Buy Ram Power's Geysers Project (Businessweek)

U.S. Geothermal Inc. has agreed to buy Ram Power Corp's. proposed Geysers California geothermal project for $6.4 million in cash.

The acquisition includes Ram Power units that own geothermal leases for about 3,809 acres, as well as design plans and permits for the proposed 26 MWe project, Boise, Idaho-based U.S. Geothermal said in a statement today. The transaction is expected to close on or before April 30.

The Ram subsidiaries included in the transaction are Western Geopower, Skyline Geothermal Holdings, and Etoile Holdings, which, in turn, includes all membership interests in Mayacamas Energy and Skyline Geothermal.

Read More.....

USA, Nevada:

Ram Power's CEO Discusses Q4 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha)

Ram Power, Corp. has announced its operating results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.

"In the call today we will discuss the current status of our San Jacinto project, including the current performance of the plant and the recently concluded remediation effort, then discuss today's announcement regarding our Geysers project and finally get an overview of the strategic process by the Chair of our Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, Murray Sinclair."

Read More.....

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Global:

Flying to the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo? Cheap Flights Now Available!

Southwest Airlines is the major air carrier flying into Portland, Oregon. They are now having a sale - one-way flights as low as $69 are available!

The sale travel window includes dates at late as October 29, 2014. The GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo is from September 28 - October 1 so if you want to save a few bucks buy your flight tickets now.

These fares are only available for a limited time, so don't miss your opportunity to save big on your trip. Book by Midnight on Monday April 7 for travel August 26 through October 29, 2014.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Australia:

Glenelg Gets Back into Hot Water (Warrnambool Standard)

Glenelg Shire will resurrect Portland’s unique underground hot water network in a redevelopment expected to cost up to $3.5 million in this south-west Victoria town, 180 miles from Melbourne.

The council wants to revive a system of heating pipes running through civic buildings in the city center which are tapped into a geothermal aquifer.

The system installed in the 1980s was shut down by Wannon Water in 2006 as it neared the brink of collapse.

The network is able to heat a variety of public buildings and facilities including municipal offices, the Portland library and swimming pool.

Last week Councillors unanimously supported moves to drill a new bore.

Read More.....

Kenya:

Green Energy Group Brings Two More Geothermal Wellhead Plants Online (News Release)

The Managing Director of KenGen Albert Mugo, together with a members of his senior management team were shown around the wellhead site by Terje Laugerud, CEO of Green Energy Group. (Courtesy GEG)
Green Energy Group AS (GEG), a Norwegian company headquartered in Oslo, has announced that it has successfully tested its second and third geothermal wellhead power plants at Olkaria Geothermal field, Kenya. Both OLK02 & 03 plants became operational in February 2014 and having successfully completed the required testing program, will be handed over to KenGen later his month. With each plant providing nameplated capacity of 6.4 MWe, GEG has over the last few months added over 15 MWe of much needed power to the Kenyan national grid network.

Read More.....

USA:

Connecticut Start-Up Offers a Marketplace for Renewable Energy Certificates (Westfair Business Publications)

Stamford-based startup Skystream Markets is in the business of facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers of renewable energy certificates (RECs). As an electronic brokerage provider, Skystream has helped more than 120 national utility companies and trading firms save money and make a profit on this commodity in the past five years.

These renewable energy certificates quantify how much power energy companies place back on the electric grid. One renewable energy certificate is equivalent to one megawatt-hour of renewable energy that gets produced and delivered to the regional power grid.

“Let’s say you serve 100 megawatt-hours of power and you’re told 10 percent must come from renewable resources,” said Kapil Mohindra, co-founder of Skystream Markets. “You prove that you put that amount back into the grid by owning 10 RECs. You own the RECs by buying it from a local producer or creating your own renewable energy project.

Read More.....

USA:

Geothermal Energy Is a Superior Solution for Today’s Electrical Grids (Renewable Energy World)

Energy resource technology that provides stability for changing US power grids is available today from geothermal developers.


Geothermal resources provide about 3,440 MW of power to the United States electrical grid as of early 2014.

In a recent report, the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) and the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association explored geothermal power’s unique values that make it essential to the U.S. energy mix. These plants have the same important baseload qualities coal now provides for over two thirds of the electric power generation in the nation. Geothermal can be a high-value substitute for baseload fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, providing firm, clean power 24 hours a day regardless of extraneous conditions.

Republic of Ireland:

Hoping to Bring Geothermal Skills Home (Irish Times)

Irish native Gavin Blower (Courtesy Irish Times)
Gavin Blower had only the vaguest notion of what geothermal energy was four years ago. Since leaving Ireland for the US in 2010, though he has become something of an expert on the subject. He hopes one day to bring that expertise to bear closer to home.

The Cork native works as financial manager in Washington DC with GeoGlobal Energy, a company focused on the development and acquisition of geothermal resources to generate renewable, low-carbon electricity.

Blower (26) started off in a lowly role with the firm shortly after completing an MSc in business finance at University College Cork in 2010. He has now become one of its key staff members, with responsibility for raising capital for a number of concessions in Germany.

Read More.....

Solomon Islands:

Geodynamics Appoints Country Rep in Solomon Islands (Solomon Star)

Australian geothermal energy company Geodynamics on Thursday announced the appointment of Mal Kuper as its Country Representative resident in Honiara.

Mr Kuper will be responsible for liaison with local stakeholders, including government, community and suppliers, the coordination of activities necessary to support exploration drilling planned for later this year and representing Geodynamics locally as the company progress the Savo Island Geothermal Project and complete agreement with the SIEA and Government of Solomons Islands for a Power Purchase Agreement covering the Project.

Geoff Ward, Geodynamics CEO, said Geodynamics is now focused on completing land access arrangements with the affected land owners on Savo Island, and continuing its negotiations with Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) to secure a power purchase agreement to support and enable the commencement of the planned exploration campaign and allow the continued rapid progress of the project.

Read More.....

Philippines:

Philippines Company Takes Eight New Geothermal Drilling Cranes (Cranes Today)

Tadano Asia has delivered an order of eight new cranes to ThermaPrime, a geothermal drilling company in the Philippines.

The cranes, a mix of all-terrain and rough-terrain units, were delivered through local heavy equipment dealer Monark Equipment. ThermaPrime bought three 50t Tadano GR-500EX rough terrain cranes, four 70t ATF 70G-4 all terrain cranes and an 180t ATF 180G-5 all terrain.

ThermaPrime Well Services is a geothermal drilling company that operates land-based rotary drilling rigs in five geothermal fields across the Philippines and in Papua New Guinea. The firm said that the eight new cranes would improve the efficiency of its operations.

USA:

Student Run Geothermal Energy Company Wins DoE Prize (Crain's Detroit Business)

A Michigan-based student run clean energy company won a total of $100,000 at the Clean Energy Challenge of 2014 on Thursday in Chicago.

The challenge – sponsored by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust – awarded $500,000 to eight startup companies, researchers and students who developed innovative technology or services for energy efficiency and clean energy production.

Black Pine Engineering of Michigan State University won the $100,000 U.S. Department of Energy Student Challenge Prize for designing a mechanical pump to remove harmful gases from geothermal power plants. A full scale prototype is currently being tested at COSO Geothermal Power Plant in California.

Black Pine will have a chance to compete for an additional $100,000 at the 2014 National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C. this summer.

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USA, New Mexico:

First Geothermal Plant in New Mexico Begins Operations (KOB-TV)



Deep in the New Mexico Bootheel, an operation that's been ongoing since this past December has tapped into an energy source that's right underneath us.

"It's been known for 4 decades that there's geothermal product that's right here right under our feet, and it's a viable source from which we can tap and produce electrical power," said Chuck Smiley from Lightning Dock Geothermal.
Lightning Dock, along with PNM, are now extracting that "geothermal product," which is a renewable resource.

This plant is the first of its kind right in the state and it can produce up to 4 MWe, which is enough to power 4,000 homes.

Unlike wind and solar power, it runs 24/7 uninterrupted.

"That's the real difference between the geothermal product and other renewable resources," Smiley said.

By next year, the plant will be capable to provide electricity up to 10,000 homes in New Mexico.

USA, California:

Lawmakers Consider Ways to Boost Geothermal Energy (The Desert Sun)

Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella, led a joint committee hearing Thursday in Sacramento focusing on the state’s geothermal potential, particularly in areas near the Salton Sea.

Geothermal Energy and the Salton Sea
(Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)
Geothermal energy accounts for about 4 percent of California’s power supply, and some state lawmakers want to see that number grow by tapping more of the vast reservoir of hot water and steam around the Salton Sea.

Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella, led a joint committee hearing Thursday in Sacramento focusing on the state’s geothermal potential, particularly in areas near the Salton Sea.

GRC Executive Director, Steve Ponder said “The Imperial Valley has the largest confirmed geothermal reservoirs in the USA. These reserves are generally considered by geothermal experts to be between 1500 MW and 2500 MWs. These estimates are orders of magnitude larger that any other geothermal potential  reserves in known geothermal areas in the USA.”

Mr. Ponder also presented a resolution from the GRC Board of Directors endorsing the Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative.

“Only 50 percent of the total identified geothermal power in California is being utilized. Why is that number so low?” Hueso said, starting off the discussion.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

USA, California:

Sonoma Clean Power: A Geothermal Utility (Sonoma County Gazette)

New, locally controlled electricity provider offers 100% geothermal electricity

by Geof Syphers, CEO

Geof Syphers, CEO
Sonoma Clean Power
Sonoma Clean Power is starting service for a little over 20,000 customers in May, with two products that help advance Sonoma County.

The default service, called CleanStart, has 30 percent lower greenhouse emissions than PG&E’s service and costs 2 to 3 percent less. It’s a big win for the county because it advances our environmental goals while saving everyone money, making it an easy choice.

But the most exciting part of Sonoma Clean Power is a product that has never been offered anywhere in California before. EverGreen is an optional power product that will provide your electricity from 100 percent renewable sources inside Sonoma County for a premium of about 20 percent on your power bill.

We’re excited about EverGreen because it is the first time we’ve been able to source our power locally, from truly clean power. Geothermal is special because it operates all of the time. Most renewable power sources can’t do that. Solar power can’t run at night, and wind power can’t run when the wind isn’t blowing. As a result, this geothermal power is an ideal starting point for building Sonoma County’s clean power mix.

USA:

Senate Committee Approves Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension Package (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved a tax credit extension package today that includes geothermal energy provisions. During the markup process, the committee voted down an amendment that aimed to strip renewable energy credits from the bill.

Additional documentation published by the committee as part of the hearing makes additions to the package. A document that describes the chairman’s modifications to the EXPIRE Act includes a two year extension of the renewable electricity production credit, which lists wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal energy, solar energy, small irrigation power, municipal solid waste, qualified hydropower production, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy as qualified energy resources.

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Spain:

First Geothermal Power Station in Spain to be Built in Tenerife (News Release)

The Canarian municipality of Guimaras on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, plans to host the first high temperature geothermal power in Spain. A Slovak company Arllen Development, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the City of Guimaras have agreed on the geothermal energy project, which will also include a wastewater treatment plant for agriculture and the desalination of sea water for potable water.

The project is expected to start operating in late 2018, after the mandatory environmental impact studies, and will create 100 jobs.

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USA, California:

Global Geothermal Community Endorses Salton Sea Initiative

The Geothermal Resources Council backs the plan to restore the inland sea using revenue from new geothermal energy development


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) today joined with other influential groups in endorsing the Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative. Steve Ponder, GRC Executive Director, delivered a resolution backing the initiative, to the Senate Select Committee for California’s Energy Independence and Assembly Select Committee of the Renewable Energy Economy in Rural California at a joint informational hearing for legislators at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

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Nicaragua:

Casita Geothermal Project Might Start in June (Central America Data.com)

Through its subsidiary Cerro Colorado Power, the concessionaire of the project, Ram Power, expects to complete the paperwork to begin the operation by June.

After obtaining the grant for geothermal energy exploration in the Casita project in 2008, the company Ram Power is prepared to sign with the government of Nicaragua the contract for the operation of the project, estimated for midyear.

"During the second quarter of 2013, the company started feasibility studies for the environmental and local permits required for the energy exploitation in the project. The company also began the process required to obtain a license and negotiate a Power Purchase Agreement with the government of Nicaragua.

USA, California:

Geothermal Energy in the Hot Seat (Sacramento Bee)

The State Capitol in Sacramento
California's policymakers are constantly looking at energy innovations or renewable sources that will help the state meet state-required limits on greenhouse gases — just yesterday, Assembly members visited a low-carbon fuel summit — and a hearing today will examine the potential of geothermal, or heat energy trapped beneath the earth's surface. A U.S. Geothermal Energy Association report estimates that geothermal accounted for about 4 percent of California's energy mix in 2012 but could be tapped for far more.

Witnesses expected to testify include David Hochschild of the California Energy Commission, Edward Randolph of the California Public Utilities Commission and representatives of the California Independent System Operator and the Independent Energy Producers Association. Starting after session in room 3191.

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USA, California:

Geothermal Hearing to be Held at California Capitol This Morning (Imperial Valley News)

Listen to this hearing live.....               Agenda...... (PDF)

This morning at around 11 am (PST) in Room 3191 at the California Capitol, Senator Ben Hueso, Chair of the Senate Select Committee for California’s Energy Independence, and Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee of the Renewable Energy Economy in Rural California, will hold a joint informational hearing to discuss the policies and trends affecting geothermal energy production in California.

“Geothermal power is important to California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements. However, despite geothermal contributions to the grid, the use of this power source has been steadily decreasing over time. We need clear answers and a thorough understanding of how geothermal power can be used to advance renewable energy production in California,” said Senator Hueso.

Representatives of the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) will be in attendance and will present a resolution endorsing the Salton Sea Initiative to restore the inland sea using revenue from new geothermal energy development.

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