Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Djibouti, Turkey:

Djibouti, Turkey to Co-operate on Geothermal Energy (Sobahi)

Djiboutian Minister of Energy Ali Yacoub Mohamoud and a delegation from the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources on April 29th agreed to co-operatively pursue research and development in geothermal energy, the Djiboutian Information Agency reported.

Mohamoud said renewable energy development is a key priority for Djibouti's development agenda.

USA, California:

Workshop to Promote a Collaborative Initiative to Develop Higher Enthalpy Geothermal Systems in the USA

UCLA Conference Center
Lake Arrowhead, CA
October 13-16th, 2013

A workshop to discuss the formation of a U.S. consortium to systematically explore, assess and eventually develop higher-enthalpy geothermal resources will be held at the UCLA Conference Center at Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino mountains of southern California on October 13-16th, 2013.

For further information contact Wilfred A. EldersDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0423, U.S.A (wilfred.elders@ucr.edu).

USA, Hawai'i:

Native Hawaiian Association Invests In Geothermal: A Smart Act Of Stewardship (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Opinion by Patricia K. Brand, the company CEO and a Director with Innovations Development Group. She has previously served as Chief of Staff to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ (OHA) chairman of the board. 

Six to one. It didn’t make banner headlines but looking back, it will surely be seen as a game-changing vote.  Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) trustees recently voted to invest in Hu`ena Power, the Hawaii-based geothermal development arm of the Innovations Development Group. In doing so, it endorsed the company’s efforts to bring to Hawaii the community-based model for geothermal development that IDG pioneered in New Zealand.

It is no secret that there are factions within the Hawaiian community. The OHA vote is significant because it attests to the fact that we, as a community, have been able to rise above what divides us to join together in common purpose: to tap the gift of one of our kupuna, Pele, to bring cheaper power to the people. Every household on Hawaii island that has felt the pain of paying the highest electricity bills in the nation, should rejoice.

Yes, this was a historic vote in favor of smart stewardship. It is a vote that says OHA will discharge its kuleana to help empower Native Hawaiians to lead where they were once excluded: in the arena of geothermal development. It is a vote that is important not just for Native Hawaiians but for all of Hawaii. The public generally does not know that geothermal energy is a mineral asset and in Hawaii, by law, that asset is owned by Native Hawaiians and the public at large. It is not something that should only profit private companies.

Read More......

Guatemala:

U.S. Geothermal Inc. Updates El Ceibillo Project - Drilling Commences (PDF - News Release)

U.S. Geothermal Guatemala, S.A., started
drilling well EC-1 at the El Ceibillo Project on April 29.
U.S. Geothermal Inc., announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, U.S. Geothermal Guatemala, S.A., started drilling well EC-1 at the El Ceibillo Project on April 29.

Well EC-1 is planned for a depth of up to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) and is located approximately 114 meters (374 feet) from well B-7, a well drilled in 1999 that had a bottom hole temperature of 202°C (396°F) at 200 meters (656 feet) deep.

In advance of finalizing the location for well EC-1, two geophysical surveys were completed during January and February that provided more detailed targeting information. A 262 station gravity survey, covering 2.2 square kilometers (.85 square miles), was conducted by MWH Geophysics of Reno, Nevada and a 12 station VES (Vertical Electrical Survey) was conducted by Sinergia of Guatemala City, Guatemala. Site work started on the project in January, with construction of an on-site office, property fencing, drill pad and test ponds.

Read More......

Monday, April 29, 2013

USA, New York:

New York to Study Geothermal Feasibility (Renewable Energy World)

New York City Mayor Bloomberg has signed legislation that will require his Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability to study geothermal energy resources and the feasibility of developing them in New York City.

"The study will include a summary of building characteristics that would be suitable for a retrofit installation of a geothermal system, a summary of federal, State, and City regulations for the installation and operation of a geothermal system, and a map that identifies areas of the City that would be appropriate for geothermal energy systems. The study will also make recommendations to promote the installation and use of geothermal systems in new construction, alterations, and retrofit of buildings.

Read More.....

USA, Hawai'i:

House Kills Geothermal Bill Favored By Hawaii Senate (Honolulu Civil Beat)

In a case of Hawaii House-Senate brinksmanship that went right down to the wire Friday evening, a controversial bill easing geothermal permitting was killed.

House Bill 252 was pushed by Sen. Malama Solomon, who argues that geothermal energy is the future of Hawaii in terms of bringing down energy costs.

The problem was that the bill was a so-called Frankenstein measure, containing the language of two separate measures. The bill originally dealt only with the Native Hawaiian roll commission.

Angry with the Senate's insertion of the geothermal language into HB 252, House conferees led by Rep. Chris Lee deferred the measure indefinitely, meaning the measure is almost certainly not coming back this session.

Read More.....

Kenya:

Compensate Us, Farmers Tell Kengen (The Star)

More than 400 farmers from Eburru village in Naivasha yesterday held a demonstration demanding compensation from Kengen for their damaged crops.

The farmers said steam from the 2.5 MWe Eburru geothermal power plant has destroyed farm produce worth millions of shillings. Area leader David Gathuru said Kengen had promised to compensate them for the damaged crops and roofing material but it has not fulfilled its pledge.

“Kengen promised to compensate us for the losses months ago but it hasn't,” he said. Kengen’s geothermal development manager Godfrey Muchemi said they have received an assessment report from the Agriculture ministry and they will study it before addressing the issue of compensation.

 “The farmers complained that their crops were damaged by the steam. We asked the Ministry of Agriculture to investigate,” he said. Gilgil DC Kamau Karung’o asked the farmers to be patient as the issue is being addressed. He said security around the power plant had been intensified.

USA, Nevada:

Ormat Signs 20-Year PPA for its Wild Rose Geothermal Project (PR Newswire - Press Release)

This will be the first time renewable energy
will be delivered from Nevada to California
using NV Energy's One Nevada Transmission Line
(Courtesy NV Energy)

Ormat Technologies, Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiary entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) to deliver electricity from its 16 MWe Wild Rose geothermal power plant in Mineral County, Nevada. When Wild Rose comes online at the end of 2013, it will mark the first time renewable energy will be delivered from Nevada to California using NV Energy's One Nevada Transmission Line.

Ormat will sell the power to SCPPA at $99 per megawatt hour with no annual escalation. SCPPA will resell the power to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Burbank Water and Power (BWP).  Electricity from Wild Rose geothermal power plant will be transmitted to LADWP and BWP through NV Energy's transmission system. NV Energy's system includes the new 500 kV One Nevada Transmission Line that will connect service areas in both northern and southern Nevada. The line is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

Read More.....

Philippines:

EDC Shuts Down BacMan Unit Again (Inquirer.net)

Energy Development Corp., is again stopping operations of the 55 MWe Unit 1 of the Bacon-Manito geothermal plants, a month after it resumed operations.

“We will shut down Unit 1 on May 2 for an inspection. We will make further decisions concerning the unit once the inspection has been carried out,” the Lopez affiliate said Monday.

Shutting down Unit 1 was part of the original plan of EDC subsidiary Bacman Geothermal Inc. to assess the power facility’s condition, on whether it will be suitable enough to run commercially.

“Based on the findings of such inspection, Bacman Geothermal will decide whether or not any restrictions to the future operation of Unit 1 are necessary or appropriate, and the recommended time intervals between future inspections of Unit 1,” EDC had said.

Read More......

Friday, April 26, 2013

Global:

2013 GRC Annual Meeting Call For Papers

Deadline Next Friday: May 3, 2013

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) invites you to present your latest technical work in geothermal research, exploration, development and utilization at the GRC's 37th Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 3, 2013 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our theme this year is "A Global Resource, From Larderello To Las Vegas."
Don't forget to book your room at the MGM Grand. Discounted room rates start at $89 a night. Offer Expires May 31, 2013!

USA, Nevada:

GRC Annual Meeting Hotel Scores Major Green Points (KTVN 2 Reno)


The location of GRC Annual Meetings in the past and host for the upcoming 2015 meeting, the Peppermill Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada has recently been getting more accolades for its green energy policies. Prominent is the hotels geothermal heating plant. (VIDEO - 2:09 Minutes)

Global:

New Movie Explores Energy Debate from a Texas Perspective



A movie is doing the rounds in North America supposedly showing a balanced view of the energy debate. "Switch"  made by the Bureau of Economic Geology, a Texas organization, whose mission is to provide research and advice related to energy and environmental issues and to perform State Geological Survey functions as requested by the Texas State Legislature.

From the movie website, "producer and narrator Dr. Tinker explores the world’s leading energy sites, from coal to solar, oil to biofuels and geothermal, many highly restricted and never before seen on film. He gets straight answers from the people driving energy today, international leaders of government, industry and academia. In the end, he cuts through the confusion to discover a path to our future that is surprising and remarkably pragmatic."

"Switch is the first truly balanced energy film, embraced and supported by people all along the energy spectrum – fossil and renewable, academic and environmental."

Decide for yourself by viewing clips from the movie focusing on geothermal energy.

USA:

Geothermal Energy’s Environmental and Health Benefits in California and Nevada Worth $117 Million Annually (News Release)

Benefits of geothermal energy touted in air emissions analysis
The U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has released an Air Emissions Comparison and Externality Analysis (PDF) showing geothermal energy provides significant benefits to public health and the environment as one of the least-polluting and most environmentally friendly forms of energy. The analysis found binary geothermal plants produce virtually no greenhouse gases (GHG) and dry steam and flash geothermal plants put out only trace amounts of emissions. It estimates the public benefits from clean energy produced in California and Nevada are worth more than $117 million annually.

Read More......

Thursday, April 25, 2013

USA:

Expanding Renewable Energy Options for Companies Through Utility-Offered “Renewable Energy Tariffs” (PDF)(Google White Paper)

Google has been looking for ways to expand the use of renewable energy. To date, they have committed over $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed agreements to procure over 260 MWe of wind power near data centers, and installed 1.7 MW of solar at their corporate headquarters.

This white paper (PDF) outlines a new, more scalable approach that will allow a broad range of companies like Google to buy large amounts of renewable power directly from electric utilities.

Read More......

Technology:

Earth’s Core is Much Hotter Than Scientists Thought (Discover Magazine)

(Courtesy of ESRF)
Scientists have a new window into the Earth’s core and how it behaves with research that shows the iron at the inner heart of the planet is heated to about 6,000 degrees Celsius—1,000 degrees hotter than previously estimated.

For two decades, scientists have debated the details of the core’s temperature. Knowing its temperature is key to understanding the Earth’s internal processes, particularly its magnetic field and its geothermal activity.

Now a research team, led by Simone Anzellini of the French national technological research organization CEA, has built an experiment that moved this elusive subject into the lab, re-creating the conditions at the center of the Earth.

Read More......

USA, Nevada:

GRC Annual Meeting Hotel Awarded for Being Environmentally-Friendly (NBCNews.com)

Hotel has been location for GRC Annual Meeting and will be the host again in 2015

The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino has been named a gold level partner in the new TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, helping travelers plan greener trips by identifying environmentally-friendly accommodations across the U.S.
Travelers can now search for accommodations that have a GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site , and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location.

The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino lists amongst its green initiatives a $9.7 million geothermal system which heats 100% of the Resort’s domestic water and mechanical heat throughout the 2.1 Million square foot facility, 24/7, effectively replacing the natural gas boilers that once heated the facility. This renewable energy allows the Peppermill to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and save the company millions of dollars in natural gas use.

Read More......

USA:

Annual Renewable Energy Investment Set To Sky-rocket By 2030 (CleanTechnica)


The next 15 years and more are going to be interesting ones for the renewable energy industry, as the cost of manufacturing and installation drop and the public face of fossil fuels continues to be tarnished. Specifically, the rising popularity and efficiency of wind and solar energy will push the renewable energy industry as a whole into a new era of prominence.

According to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the future of the renewable energy sector is a jump of 230% in annual investment to $630 billion per year by 2030.

Read More.....

Turkey:

Turkey Rediscovers Potential in Geothermal Energy (Turkish Press)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Rich in geothermal resources, Turkey increased its drilling activities from 2,000 meters to 28,000 meters; and its utilizable heat capacity to 4,813 MWt by the end of 2012 with an increase by 46 percent in the last seven years.

According to Turkey's Mineral Research and Exploration agency (MTA) data, with its theoretical geothermal potential (31,500 MWt), Turkey ranks 7th in the world and 1st in the Europe.

The number of geothermal areas, which was 173 in 2005, reached 225 and 145,000 meters of drilling was conducted at those regions by the end of 2012. Turkey's visible heat capacity went up by 130 percent and recorded 7,000 MWt in 2012.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

USA, Washington:

Changes To Washington’s Geothermal Law Head To Governor Inslee’s Desk For Signature (PDF - News Release)

Today, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill modifying the state’s geothermal law. The bill (SSB 5369) was sponsored by Senator Adam Kline of Seattle, and passed the legislature with the support of the two state agencies principally charged with overseeing geothermal development, as well private sector stakeholders including AltaRock Energy and Weyerhaeuser.

Kathleen Callison, a natural resources attorney and chief drafter of the bill said, “The Legislature’s passage of this bill is a major step forward in supporting
development of Washington’s abundant, renewable geothermal resources.”

Highlights of the Law:
  • The law as passed by the Legislature updates the definition of geothermal resources and makes it consistent with federal law and the laws of other states. 
  • The law provides for enhanced coordination between agencies relating to use of water. 
  • The law allows for flexibility in ownership. 

Montserrat:

USA:

Master Limited Partnership Bill Reintroduced (North American Windpower)

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., has reintroduced the Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) Parity Act (PDF) with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran; R-Kan., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

The bill allows renewable energy companies to organize themselves as MLPs, which are taxed as partnerships but establish ownership shares that can be traded like traditional stock.

According to Coons, the MLP Parity Act is a straightforward modification of the federal tax code that could unleash significant private capital by helping additional energy-generation and renewable fuels companies form master limited partnerships, which combine the funding advantages of corporations and the tax advantages of partnerships.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Resource Assessment & Optimization Workshop and Tour to The Geysers Geothermal Field

Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront - Sacramento, California
June 10-12, 2013

ROOM BLOCK EXPIRES MAY 19th!

This GRC workshop will describe how to assess the suitability of geothermal
resources for development and expansion once initial exploration has been done. Presentations will focus on insights to be gleaned from well testing, reservoir simulation, geochemistry, and ongoing resource monitoring.

Experienced practitioners in these areas will discuss the techniques, and several geothermal operators will present case studies illustrating how the techniques have been applied to their projects. This workshop will provide practical information to anyone interested in geothermal energy, including developers, financiers, utilities, regulators, public-interest organizations, and members of the academic community. The workshop will comprise two days of presentations in Sacramento, California, followed by an optional, one-day field trip to The Geysers.

Price per person:
  • GRC Member: $375
  • Non-member: $425
  • Students (academic identification required): $50
  • Optional Field Trip to The Geysers: $75 (Limited seating available for field trip)
Register Now Online....                       Registration Form (PDF)
Sponsor the Workshop (PDF)                Workshop Flyer (PDF)

GRC has secured a discounted room rate of $139 (plus room tax and fees) for workshop attendees at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront. Hotel stay includes full breakfast buffet from 6:30 - 9:30am and "Manager's Reception" from 5:30 - 7:30pm everyday. Reserve your hotel room  using the group code: GRC or call (800) 498-5237 and ask for the GRC/Geothermal Resources Council discount rate. Don't delay, discounted room rate expires May 19, 2013.

Hotel Room Reservation

Latin America:

Clean Energy Investments in Latin America Total $9.7 billion in 2012 (Yahoo! Finance)

Investment in geothermal energy in region increases

Total new financial investments in clean energy in non-Brazil Latin America rose 127% in 2012 compared to 2011 figures, reaching $4.6 billion. This growth reverses the first global decline in new clean energy investments last year, as the region became more active in renewable energy.

Globally, new investments in clean energy fell 11% from $302.32 billion in 2011 to $268.69 billion in 2012, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This is the first time BNEF has observed a decrease in renewable energy financing. However, Latin America was a bright spot, with four countries seeing triple-digit investment growth.

By sector, biofuels ($539.47 million), biomass and waste ($822.34 million) and geothermal ($76.69 million) received the most new financial investments.

Read More.....

Costa Rica:

Costa Rica Utility Chief Promises Compromise on Geothermal Energy in National Parks (Tico Times)


Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE) Executive President President Teofilo de la Torre said ICE will resubmit a proposal to segregate 1,000 hectares of Rincón de la Vieja National Park, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, to reduce the area of exploration and to implement an “eco-design” to minimize impact.

The promise aims to accommodate conservationists who have protested the segregation proposal in recent weeks.

ICE and Environment Ministry officials laid out a case for producing geothermal energy in Costa Rica’s national parks at a forum last week.

Environment Minister René Castro showed less flexibility, said Álvaro Ugalde, co-founder of the national park system and leader of the fight to prevent the segregation.

Read More.....

Taiwan:

Taiwan, Idaho Sign MOU on Geothermal Collaboration (eTaiwan News)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)

Officials from Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the U.S. state of Idaho signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Taipei Wednesday to cooperate in developing the green energy industry. Shen Jong-chin, director-general of the Industrial Development Bureau under the MOEA signed the deal with Jeff Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, witnessed by Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch and Idaho Governor Butch Otter.
Chang said the MOU will serve as the basis for technological exchanges between the two sides, which will further deepen bilateral industrial cooperation.

In the initial states of the cooperation, the two countries will focus on exploring the geothermal industry, the bureau said.

Read More.....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

USA:

New Demo Video for the National Geothermal Data System

Arizona Geological Survey showed a new demonstration video of the National Geothermal Data System at the Dept. of Energy's Peer Review in Denver this week. (VIDEO 2:25 Minutes)

Uganda:

CleanSource Energy Partners to Explore for Geothermal in Uganda (News Release)

CleanSource Energy Partners (CSEP) based in San Diego, California, has announced that it has secured a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the Ugandan Minister of Energy for electricity to be produced on all three concession areas held by the company, which total approximately 400 square kilometers.

CSEP-Uganda has secured concessions in Rwagimba (western Uganda), Obongi and Amuru Attiti.  The company has retained the services of  Bowman Geothermal, a division of leading U.S. engineering firm Bowman Consulting to conduct all of the field analysis and oversee all drilling activity throughout the feasibility phase of development.

Read More.....

USA, Nevada:

Gold Mine Commissions ElectraTherm Green Machine (Reno Gazette)

ElectraTherm of Reno, Nevada, has announced that the Florida Canyon Mine has commissioned one of its Green Machines to provide electricity for the gold mine in Imlay just two hours northeast of Reno.

The Green Machine uses sources such as geothermal and co-produced fluids to generate electricity from waste heat. In addition to generating electricity at the gold mine, the Green Machine also will expedite the cooling process for the facility’s geothermal brine. The Department of Energy awarded Phases II and III (PDF) of a $1 million grant in the Fall of 2012 to manufacture and commission a Green Machine optimized for geothermal resources.

USA:

EERE Webinar: Renewable Energy FY2014 Budget Request (EERE)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) will host a free webinar describing the FY2014 budget request. This webinar will focus on budget requests in the Renewable Electricity Generation sector, and will be led by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power Steve Chalk.

Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) Director Doug Hollett will present the GTO budget. The webinar will also include presentations from the Solar and Wind and Water offices.

Register ....... Now Interested in more information on GTO's budget? View these related documents:

Geothermal Technologies FY14 Budget At-A-Glance (PDF)
FY 2014 Congressional Budget Request - Geothermal Technologies (PDF)

Monday, April 22, 2013

USA, Nevada:

Report Details Net Economic Benefits to Nevada by Cleaning Up Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (News Release)

Three alternative scenarios would see geothermal energy capacity expanded to 300, 325 and 600 MWe respectively.

Clean Energy Project (CEP) today released a new report produced by Applied Analysis that details the net economic benefits to Nevada under four alternatives, ranging from the maintaining the status quo to those that expand Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the way it is calculated. The study concludes that by increasing and cleaning up Nevada’s current renewable energy mandate, Nevada could reap billions of dollars in wages, salaries and economic output over roughly the next 30 years.

Read More.....

Peru:

Peru Clears Enel Green Power to Study Geothermal Resources in Carumas (Utility Products)


Peru's energy and mines ministry on Friday authorized the local unit of Italy's Enel Green Power SpA to carry out geothermal exploration in Carumas district, in the southern Moquegua region.

The project, located in the Chilata area, does not require negotiations with indigenous communities, as there is no such organisation in this place, the ministry said.

The permit is for three years. The exploration works will start after Enel Green Power Peru concludes an environmental study and obtains approval from the respective authority.

USA:

Cool NREL Maps Show the Huge Geothermal Power Potential of the U.S. (Treehugger)

(Courtesy NREL)
Geothermal is a stable & plentiful source of clean energy available all around the world, including in the United States (especially in the West). But that industry is still in its infancy and very little of that resource's potential is being tapped (a bit over 10 gigawatts worldwide, with about 3 of those in the U.S. and 2 in the Philippines). Hopefully this will change over time, as we phase out dirty power sources and as the cost of getting heat deep underground falls.

To give you an idea of the potential of geothermal power and of how far along we are, I'd like to share with you some great maps from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

USA, California:

11 Companies Submit Bids for Sonoma County Power Project (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Sonoma County has received bids from 11 firms vying to be the electricity supplier for the proposed county power agency. It has refused to publicly reveal the bids, but said it has identified a “core group” of five or six.

Included is Calpine Corp., the Houston-based operator of The Geysers geothermal field.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Power Brokers: Sonoma County Plan Imminent (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Five months from now, Sonoma County intends to launch its program to become the power supplier to 220,000 local homes and businesses, displacing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) from its position of energy dominance.

At stake in the short term is up to $170 million in annual revenue.

County supervisors this week begin a series of rapid decisions to implement a program that assumes customers — who can opt out — prefer a program designed to rely more heavily on renewable energy and shrink the county's carbon footprint.

On its face, the public power immediately would be 65 percent greener than PG&E's. It would be drawn from a portfolio with a third of its sources in renewable power — wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric projects — versus the roughly 20 percent renewable share that would come next year from PG&E.

Read More......

USA, Nevada:

Reno Hotel Gambles On Geothermal and Saves $2 Million Per Year (Forbes)

The Peppermill in Reno will be the location for the 2015 GRC Annual Meeting 

Dean Parker, Peppermill Executive Director of
Facilities shows off the geothermal heated swimming
 pool to GRC Annual Meeting attendees in October 2012.

One hotel in Reno, Nevada is not like the others, but not for the reasons you’d expect. Sure, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino’s two 19-story towers are unique, as are the 2.1 million square foot (195,000 sqm) interior, 1,635 guest rooms, 43,000 square-foot (3,995 sqm) spa, Tuscan-themed decor and larger-than-life casinos, restaurants and nightclubs.

This difference is one you can’t see: how it’s heated. Water from a geothermal aquifer 4,400 feet (1.34 kilometers) underground powers the Peppermill’s massive heating and hot water systems, saving a cool $2 million annually versus its former, conventional power source, natural gas.

Since the Peppermill switched from natural gas for water and heating in 2010, its four behemoth natural gas boilers have sat idle. “They haven’t been turned on in the last three years,” says Dean Parker, Executive Director of Facilities and GRC member. Geothermal is so reliable that he plans to sell two of the boilers.

Parker’s team had also considered other alternative energy sources, but, he says, “Solar and wind power just didn’t pencil out.” Unlike those, geothermal is not dependent on above-ground conditions. “It’s just constant,” he says. “If the water is 174 degrees, it does not heat up to 175 degrees, and in the last three years it has not dropped even one degree either.”

Eventually, Parker hopes to drill deeper and hit a subterranean steam vent. Enough steam at 220° Fahrenheit (104.5° Celsius) could power an electric plant for all the Peppermill’s needs, enabling it to go off the power grid completely.

Read More.....

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal CEO Daniel Kunz to Retire; Dennis Gilles Named As Successor (PDF - News Release)

Dennis Gilles, CEO U.S. Geothermal
U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced today that founder, director and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Kunz will retire as chief executive and a member of the board of directors. GRC Board member Dennis Gilles was named by the board as his successor as Chief Executive Officer. Under a succession plan, Mr. Kunz will serve as a consultant providing Executive Advisory Services for one year to ensure a smooth transition as Dennis Gilles assumes his new responsibilities.

Read More.....

Friday, April 19, 2013

Technology:

37th GRC Annual Meeting 
& GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

September 29-October 2, 2013
MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

"A Global Resource, from Larderello to Las Vegas."


(Courtesy enel.tv)

Italy was the first country in the World to deploy geothermal energy, with the first generation plant constructed 1913 in Larderello.

USA, Hawai'i:

Native Hawaiians Vote to Invest in Geothermal Power (Hawai'i Tribune-Herald)

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is going all in on geothermal. OHA’s Board of Trustees voted Thursday to invest $1.25 million into the Huena Power Consortium, with an upfront contribution of $600,000.

The Innovations Development Group (IDG), a geothermal company based in Honolulu, formed HPC to seek a contract with Hawaii Electric Light Co. on providing up to 50 MWe of geothermal electricity. Eastland, a New Zealand company, has also joined the consortium, according to IDG.

OHA already receives 20 percent of the state’s geothermal royalties.

Having OHA, which represents the interests of Native Hawaiians, on board is critical for IDG to fulfill its goal of using geothermal development to benefit indigenous populations, Madina Talbert said. “(Geothermal is) going to get done, it’s going to happen,” she said.

Companies have until April 30 to submit a proposal for the HELCO contract. A decision may take 120 days.

IDG is considering building a plant on Kealoha Estate land in Pohoiki if it wins the contract.

Costa Rica:

Foro Geotermia en Costa Rica - Geothermal Forum in Costa Rica (Piensa en Geotermia)


(VIDEO - 2 Hours 58 minutes)

Participaron como panelistas el ministro de Ambiente René Castro, el presidente ejecutivo del ICE, Teófilo de la Torre, así como el presidente de la Federación Ecologista - FECON, Mauricio Álvarez, el diputado José María Villalta y el director del Área de Conservación Guanacaste del SINAC/MINAE, Alejandro Masís.Grabación de Stella Chinchilla para el Laboratorio Audiovisual de Documentalismo Investigativo (LAUDI) de la Universidad de Costa Rica, UCR. 17 de abril, 2013.

Video from the debate "Geothermal Energy in Costa Rica" hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute.

USA, Idaho:

For Sale: Ranch House with Potential for Geothermal Power

A property for sale in Idaho comes complete with its own hot-springs that could be developed to produce geothermal power. White Arrow Ranch and Mineral Hot Springs are to be sold by auction on May 16.

According to the auction company all of the buildings are served by White Arrow Spring, located in a gully on the northwest corner of the property. The spring – one of the largest, privately-owned geothermal hot springs in the country – offers 2 cubic feet per second (1,300,000 gallons per day) of 160 degree water. The water heats the buildings on the property and fills the swimming pool, and the Jacuzzi spa next to the pool, for year ‘round enjoyment.

The Idaho National laboratory conducted a test on the geothermal water: "The data tells us some important things about the history of the water.  I can say that we saw nothing harmful in the water, even the uranium concentrations are extremely low. Clearly this water has never moved through anything but the clean volcanic rocks of the Snake River Plain. If you could prove that the water was much hotter at depth, your thermal system would be ideal for a power plant, as the very low TDS would make water handling in the plant a dream".

Australia:

Greenpower Energy Spuds Geothermal Test Hole in Western Australia (Proactive Investors Australia)


Greenpower Energy of Freemantle, has spudded a geothermal hole to test a radiogenic granite target in the Esperance Region of Western Australia for hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal energy generation potential.

The Mt Ridley-1 hole is expected to take about 20 days to drill to a planned total depth of 400 metres and complete.

Core will be cut below surface sediments and a suite of down hole geophysical logs run at the completion of the drill hole.

Mt Ridley-1 is the first of two drill holes to be drilled on GEP 38 and GEP 39, which extend from the coast at Esperance northward to Salmon Gums.

Preliminary qualitative analysis of the tenements suggests at least one granite body with strong thermal potential. Interpretation of available imagery indicates a granite body in the Mt Ridley area with a north east to south west strike and a north westerly dip.

Read More......

Uganda:

PPA Signed for 150 MWe Geothermal Power Plant (AllAfrica.com)

The Ugandan Government has signed a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with AAE Systems, an American infrastructure firm based in Sunnyvale, California, to construct a 150 MWe geothermal power plant at Katwe in Kasese in Western Uganda.

The power will be contributed to the national power grid in about two years when the construction of the US1.2bn dollar project is expected to be completed. AAE is partnering with Katwe Geothermal, who are the local partners.

The agreement was signed Thursday by the Minister of Energy, Irene Muloni and the Director of the California based AAE Systems, Bryan Jones, at the Minister's Board Room.

Read More......

Thursday, April 18, 2013

USA, California:

Los Angeles Utility Agrees PPA for 14 MWe From Wild Rose Geothermal Project (News Release)

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will enter a Power Purchase Agreement to buy 14 MWe of reliable geothermal renewable energy – enough clean energy to serve 19,000 Los Angeles homes and avoid 64,100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is roughly equivalent to removing 12,300 cars off the road each year.

On April 3, the Los Angeles City Council approved LADWP’s 20-year power sales agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for geothermal energy from the Wild Rose Geothermal Power Plant, which is under construction in Mineral County, Nevada.

LADWP will receive 85 percent of the plant’s total 16 MWe output, representing 114 gigawatt-hours annually; the City of Burbank Water and Power will receive the remaining output. The Wild Rose project is being developed by an affiliate of Ormat Technologies, Inc., and is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of 2013.

Read More.....

Technology:

New Process Turns Common Waste Sulfur Into Material Useful For EV Batteries (CleanTechnica)

Large quantities of waste sulfur are created during the refinement of fossil fuels and production of some geothermal energy. This sulfur has previously been considered of little value. But now, thanks to a newly designed process, the waste can be easily converted into a valuable lightweight plastic, one that could likely find great utility in the next generation of lithium-sulfur batteries. Such batteries show great potential for use in electric cars, thanks to their higher efficiency, lighter weight, and lower cost, when compared to lithium-ion batteries. And this new form of sulfur actually works better in lithium-sulfur batteries than elemental sulfur does.

Read More..... 

Ecuador & Colombia:

Ecuador Y Colombia Impulsarán El Proyecto Tufiño-Chiles-Cerro Negro - Ecuador and Colombia Sign Agreement on Tufino Project (ThinkGeoEnergy and Piensa en Geotermia)

Las autoridades de Ecuador y Colombia han firmado un convenio de cooperación en el que impulsarán el proyecto geotérmico Tufiño-Chiles-Cerro Negro y que cuenta con un potencial de 138 MWe. El proyecto se espera poner en marcha en 2018.

The authorities in Ecuador and Colombia have signed a cooperation agreement that will drive the Tufiño-Chiles-Cerro Black geothermal project with a potential of more than 100 MWe.

Leer Más.....                          Read More.....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

USA, Oregon:

Ormat Plans Geothermal Test Wells Near Glass Buttes, Oregon (KTVZ.com)

The Prineville District, BLM is requesting public input (PDF) on a proposed project that would authorize the drilling, testing and monitoring geothermal exploratory wells on private and BLM-managed lands in Harney and Lake counties near Glass Buttes.

The area is south of Highway 20; 70 miles southeast of Bend and 50 miles northwest of Burns. If approved, the project would evaluate the potential of geothermal resources in the area.

The applicant, Ormat Nevada, Inc., proposes to drill up to 16 exploratory wells, each within a well pad ranging in size from 2-4 acres.

Each well pad would accommodate a drill rig and other structures related to the operation. Access to each pad would be through existing or new aggregate access roads off of Highway 20. If approved, the applicant would begin work late this summer.

The public is invited to review alternatives and provide input. The Midnight Point and Mahogany Geothermal Exploration Projects, Glass Buttes, Oregon Environmental Assessment is available online or by requesting a paper copy from the Prineville District Office at (541) 416-6700 or the Burns District Office at (541) 573-4400.

Read More.....

USA:


President Barack Obama requested a $28.4 billion Fiscal Year 2014 budget for the Energy Department, including $2.78 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Assistant Energy Secretary Dr. David Danielson explained in an April 10 presentation (PDF), the $2.78 billion EERE portion of the request includes $615 million in funding for research and development into sources of renewable electricity generation such as wind, solar, water power, and geothermal energy. 

The request includes $60 Million for the Geothermal Technologies program whose priorities for the 2014 fiscal year are the following:
  • EGS Field Laboratory, $30M: Launch effort to enable cutting‐edge research, drilling, and testing that paves the way to rigorous and reproducible approaches to EGS that will reduce industry development risk. The EGS Field Lab will stimulate collaborative partnerships and data sharing among industry, lab, and university users.
  • EGS R&D, $42M: R&D on advanced drilling, sub‐surface characterization, and reservoir creation technologies with the goal of making EGS broadly cost competitive without subsidies by 2030.
  • Innovative Exploration Technologies R&D, $12M: R&D in innovative exploration technologies to identify undiscovered new hydrothermal U.S. geothermal resources.
  • Minerals Extraction: Develop and assess cost‐effective methods to extract valuable and strategically important materials from U.S. geothermal brines, thus creating an additional revenue stream from geothermal power production in the near‐term.
EERE gives more information on the budget request in a Geothermal Technologies At-a-Glance (PDF) document.

Global:

Renewables Are "Bright Spot" in Bleak Low-carbon Outlook (Renewable Energy World)

In New Delhi the International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed the latest figures from its annual report on global progress towards a low-carbon future. The agency addressed its report to a meeting of the Clean Energy Ministerial, a group of ministers representing nations that collectively emit four-fifths of global greenhouse gases.

Geothermal generation grew by over 19 TWh from 2000 to 2011 (+2.9%
annually), to over 70 TWh. Generation costs from high-temperature geothermal resources are competitive with fossil fuels, and medium-term projections see generation rising to 90 TWh in 2017, but development is trailing the 2DS objective of 150 TWh, because of risks associated with well exploration. Geothermal represents a significant portion of electricity production in Iceland (27%), El Salvador (26%), Kenya (19%) and the Philippines (15%). The United States, Indonesia and the Philippines have the largest installed capacity and most medium-term development is expected in these areas. In Japan, the government has approved development in parts of national parks, bringing total exploitable potential to 12 GW.

Read More.....

Solomon Islands:

Geothermal Energy May Power Solomon Islands (Audio - Radio Australia)

Geodynamics CEO Geoff Ward explains geothermal energy to Radio Australia (AUDIO 10:38 Minutes).

According to research done by company Geodynamics, geothermal resources at Savo Island could be sufficient to power Honiara and surrounding areas. It is considered to be both sustainable and environmentally friendly and has support from local land owners.

It is hoped that the project will be operating by 2017.

United Kingdom:

Eden Project Geothermal Plant Takes a Step Forward (Cornish Guardian)

The Eden Project's Biomes
The Eden Project's geothermal 'hot rocks' scheme has taken a step forward, setting up a liaison group with the local community.

Talks are currently under way about providing capital support for Eden's deep geothermal energy plant as a result of a collaboration with the Penzance firm EGS Energy.

An Eden spokesman said EGS Energy is currently working with multinational infrastructure group Balfour Beatty to finalize the site preparation and design for the Eden plant.

As part of this work, ground investigations are planned in the next few weeks.

With a capacity of 4 MWe and the ability to generate around 95% of the time, it should produce enough electricity to supply Eden and the equivalent of around five thousand households, as well as heating for the biomes and potentially some district heating (depending on economics and logistics).

Read More.....

Global:

Pew Report Finds Global Clean Energy Investment Declined, Capacity Grew in 2012 (Pew Charitable Trusts)


The global clean energy sector is undergoing geographic and technological shifts as new markets emerge and renewable capacity grows, according to research released by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The sector demonstrated resilience in 2012, registering a record 88 gigawatts, or GW, of additional generating capacity, even though investment levels declined 11 percent, to $269 billion, from 2011. Among the Group of 20 nations, China reclaimed the top spot from the United States, attracting $65.1 billion, a 20 percent increase over 2011 and 30 percent of the total for the G-20.

The 11 percent decline in clean energy investments compared to 2011 levels was due in part to curtailed incentive programs in a number of countries, among them Spain, Italy, and Germany. Elsewhere, continuing support for clean energy led to record levels of investment in a number of nations, including China and South Africa. Renewable energy installations grew by more than 11 percent to 88 GW, which reflected price reductions in wind, solar, and other technologies.

Read More......

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Commonwealth of Dominica:

French Company, EDF, Reported to have Withdrawn from Dominica’s Geothermal Project (Dominica News Online)

Dominica’s geothermal energy project could be facing a major set back in light of French media reports of a supposed withdrawal by Electricite de France (EDF) from the project.

According to France Antilles, the main daily newspaper in Martinique, reports surrounding that move by the Paris-based, largest utility company in the world, have left other project partners startled about the reasons for the withdrawal and fearful about the effects of that decision.

Read More.....

Global:



Deadline: May 3, 2013


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) invites you to present your latest technical work in geothermal research, exploration, development and utilization at the GRC's 37th Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 3, 2013 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our theme this year is "A Global Resource, From Larderello To Las Vegas." 

Anyone who wants to present at the GRC Annual Meeting must submit a completed draft paper. Successful selection to present at the GRC 2013 Annual Meeting is prestigious and recognizes the presenter as a top industry expert. International participation is key to the success of the GRC Annual Meeting technical programs and we encourage geothermal researchers and experts from around the world to submit their work for consideration.

Draft Paper submission deadline is May 3, 2013.

Please direct all content related questions to:
Mike Lazaro, Technical Chair, at michael.lazaro@navy.mil

Please direct all format and general submission questions to:
Anh Lay, GRC staff, at alay@geothermal.org or (530) 758-2360 ext. 100


Don't forget to book your room at the MGM Grand. Discounted room rates start at $89 a night. Offer Expires May 31, 2013!

USA:

Webinar - The Renewable Energy PTC in 2013: Defining "Under Construction" (Renewable Energy World - Free Webcast)

May 1: 11:00 pm EDT / 12:00 pm CDT / 10:00 pm PDT / 5:00 pm GMT

Presenters: David K. Burton, Partner, Akin Gump and John Marciano, III, Partner, Chadbourne and Parke LLP

Defining "under construction" for the United States Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). During the final hour of 2012, the all-important Production Tax Credit was extended for one-year. But the language in the law was also changed. Whereas it used to be necessary that projects be "placed in service" before the tax credit expired, now they must only be "under construction." The IRS has just released clarifying language on what "under construction" means for the industry. This webcast will feature experts who will discuss how to interpret the new statute and what developers will need to consider when planning renewable energy projects in the U.S. that can take the production tax credit.

Read More.....                  Register......

USA:

U.S. Agency Reports Unnecessary Duplication and Overlapping Renewable Energy Programs (Canada Free Press)

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued its third annual report exposing unnecessary duplication and overlapping programs throughout the federal government.

In the energy area, the report identified 679 renewable energy initiatives at 23 federal agencies and their 130 sub-agencies where federal support is fragmented, costing taxpayers $15 billion in fiscal year 2010, the latest year for which GAO developed the data.

Number of Initiatives Supporting Each Renewable Energy Source
According to Senator Tom Coburn, “While millions of Americans have been doing more with less, the federal government continues to do less with more. The $95 billion in overlap identified in this report, combined with the $200 billion in overlap identified in GAO’s previous two reports, could easily cover the costs of sequestration".

Read More......

USA:

Tax Writers Warm to Giving Renewables Parity with Fossil Fuels (midwestenergynews.com)

Rep. Kevin Brady
A proposal to allow renewable energy developers to take advantage of a tax structure that has long been popular among fossil fuel companies is gaining traction among lawmakers tasked with overhauling the tax code.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who is leading a working group examining energy tax provisions, praised the idea of opening Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) (PDF) to renewable energy companies. The structures have been popular among oil and gas, pipeline and coal companies as a way to attract investors, but current law does not allow renewable companies to use them.

Legislation allowing renewable energy companies to establish MLPs will be reintroduced in the House and Senate later this month, and the idea has emerged as a key focus of the renewable energy industry and policy watchers as Congress pursues its overhaul of the tax code.

Read More......

USA:

IRS Clarifies PTC Ruling for Geothermal (Greentech Media)

A newly issued definition from the IRS has removed the last element of uncertainty attached to the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC is crucial to the wind and geothermal industries.

The IRS definition of "under construction" was necessary because an extension of the credit passed on January 1, 2013 replaced language in the previous tax credit provision that required projects to be in production by the deadline to earn the credit. The new language allows the tax credit to apply to projects that are under construction by its expiration.

According to IRS Notice 2013-29, released on April 15, wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydroelectric and ocean energy projects that meet one of two under-construction standards by December 31 of this year will qualify to either get: 1) a tax credit of $0.023 for every kilowatt-hour produced for the first ten years of the project’s life, or 2) an investment tax credit equal to 30 percent of the project’s cost when construction is completed.

To meet the "under construction" qualification, developers must either: 1) show “physical work of a significant nature” has begun on their project, either a) at the site, or b) in a factory to which the developer has given a binding order for specially designed equipment, or 2) show that at least 5 percent of the total project cost has been incurred.

There is no completion deadline for projects that meet the "under construction" standards by December 31.

Geothermal developers had wanted a special ruling allowing their spending and/or efforts at permitting, interconnection contracts, and financing and off-take contracts to apply. Such a provision was not included.

The PTC was already in place for geothermal developers until the end of 2013. They now have until December 31 to get past the costly and time-consuming exploration and pre-development required for a project and to meet the physical work or 5 percent tests.

Read More......

Monday, April 15, 2013

Djibouti:

Djibouti, World Bank Move Forward on Geothermal Energy Project (Sabahi Online)

Djiboutian Minister of Energy Ali Yacoub Mahamoud met with World Bank officials on Sunday (April 14th) to discuss support for planned geothermal energy exploration in the Assal Rift Valley.

Principal energy economist and project leader for the Djiboutian geothermal project Ilhem Bagdadii-Salamon, World Bank representative in Djibouti Homa-Zahra Fotouhi, director of Djibouti Electricity Djama Ali Guelleh and various other officials also attended the meeting to finalize negotiations over the loan funded by the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program and the Global Environment Facility.

Read More.....