Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Climate Change:

Studies Find Methane Emissions in California and U.S. 1.5 Times Greater Than Expected (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Berkeley Lab research suggests a method for more accurate methane estimates.


Berkeley Lab researcher
Marc Fischer
Current official inventories of methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas released from landfills, livestock ranches and oil and gas facilities, may be underestimated both nationally and in California by a factor of about 1.5, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and others.

A pair of new studies by Berkeley Lab scientist Marc Fischer and colleagues strongly suggest that methane emissions from oil and gas production may account for a significant portion of the underestimated emissions both in California and nationwide, and may be as much as five times greater than the current inventory estimates of EDGAR (Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research), the most comprehensive global methane database.

Read More.....

USA, California:

A Geysers Album - History Of The Geysers Geothermal Field (1992) 

Written and directed by Susan Hodgson


A short documentary produced by the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources


Monday, November 25, 2013

Kenya:

Ormat Completes Final Drawdown of Olkaria III Funding (NASDAQ)

Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today that OrPower 4 Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, drew down the remaining $45 million available under its project finance facility with Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). This drawdown will be used to complete the final phase of construction at the Olkaria III complex in Naivasha, Kenya, bringing the geothermal power plant capacity to over 100 MW.

The $45 million drawdown comprises Tranche III of the previously announced $310 million project finance facility with OPIC. The drawdown of Tranche III has a fixed interest rate of 6.12%. This, together with the earlier conversion of Tranches I and II to a fixed interest rate, as reported July 15, 2013, eliminates any exposure under the facility to movements in market interest rates.

Read More......

Kenya:

Firm Bets on Geothermal to Power LAPSSET Project (nation.co.ke)

The Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project will consume over 1,000 megawatts of geothermal energy that is expected to be generated in the North Rift region.

According to the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) chief executive, Dr Silas Simiyu, Baringo County has the potential of 3,000 megawatts, with nearly over half of it going to the project.

“Baringo County is one of the LAPSSET corridor areas and it is along this that we expect to transmit both goods and oil, including that from the Turkana oil fields. We, therefore, need a lot of power to pump the oil to the Lamu port,” said Dr Simiyu.

The first one of its kind in Africa, the Sh1.87 trillion project will open up northern and eastern parts of Kenya and is also aimed at fostering regional trade.

Read More.....

New Zealand:

Grant to Explore Ownership of Geothermal Minerals (Scoop.co.nz - press release)

Professor Barry Barton
University of Waikato law professor Barry Barton has received a $69,000 grant to carry out a study of the ownership of rights to minerals found in geothermal fluids.

Geothermal water and steam produced for electricity generation and heating contain dissolved minerals and gas which may have commercial value. One question in unlocking that value is ownership.

The law on the matter is not clear, and various claims can be made to the minerals under different legislation and different rules of law. Professor Barton will examine the different possibilities under the current law, and will consider desirable law reform in order to provide clarification.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment grant is part of a two-year $400,000 GNS Science project, From Waste to Wealth: Commercial Recovery of Products from Geothermal Fluids (PDF). Professor Barton says it is a pleasure to be working on an interdisciplinary project with GNS Science geothermal specialists that could find new value in geothermal resources.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Firefighters Batting Down Remote Sonoma Blaze (San Francisco Chronicle)

The Calpine McCabe geothermal plant
A fire in remote Sonoma County was 75 percent contained Monday morning and firefighters were making significant progress throughout the day, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said.

The McCabe Fire, in the steep, dry terrain east of Cloverdale, had burned 3,300 acres since it started early Friday, destroying a geothermal power cooling structure [at the McCabe plant] but not threatening any homes. The fire has burned almost entirely on private property owned by the power company Calpine.

Read More.....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

USA, California:

Firefighters Make Progress Against Geysers Fire (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

The fire destroyed a cooling tower on Calpine's McCabe power plant, forcing it to shut down, and damaged other energy infrastructure in the area.


California Fire Map showing limits of the McCabe Fire
Click for the latest details (CAL FIRE)
A large wildfire burning in the remote Geysers geothermal area in northeastern Sonoma County continued to expand Saturday, rolling through dry brush and woodland to burn a total of 3,000 acres since early Friday.

At times when the wind was strongest, at 25 to 30 mph, flames threatened about a dozen homes and up to four geothermal power plants tucked deep within the Mayacmas range northeast of Geyserville. 

But firefighters made progress against the McCabe fire, attacking it with five times the personnel from Friday and more resources, including 120 engines, 27 bulldozers, 14 helicopters and two air tankers. 

Map of Geothermal Power Plants in
The Geysers (Courtesy Calpine)
Calpine Corp., the principal operator of the Geysers geothermal field spanning the Sonoma-Lake county border, began moving employees back into the area after evacuating all non-essential personnel Friday.

The fire scorched cooling towers on the company's McCabe power plant, forcing it to shut down, and damaged other energy infrastructure in the area. The Houston-based company operates 15 geothermal plants in the area. A total of two are offline because of the fire, a Calpine spokeswoman said Friday.

Read More.....

Friday, November 22, 2013

Philippines:

Leyte Geothermal Field (CNN Money)

Kenya:

Kenya's Energy Revolution: Full Steam Ahead for Geothermal Power (The Guardian)

Electricity may be at a premium in Kenya, but the country hopes to be the world's leading exponent of geothermal power by 2023


(Courtesy CIA.gov)
You can understand why the Masai gave Kenya's Hell's Gate national park its name, says Isaac Kirimi, drilling superintendent at the site's Olkaria geothermal plant. Here in the active east African rift, fractures in the ground seep sulphur, while rocks are too hot to touch. The Earth's crust is communicating with the magma chamber , Kirimi says.

The region is considered one of the most exciting geothermal prospects in the world. Where Kirimi and his team have drilled wells, water heated by molten lava roars like a jet engine as it bursts out of the ground.

Read More.....

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda:

Font of Natural Energy in the Philippines, Crippled by Nature (New York Times)

(Courtesy New York Times)
When Typhoon Haiyan barreled across Leyte Island almost two weeks ago with a tsunami-like storm surge and nearly tornado-strength winds, killing thousands of people and effortlessly tearing the roofs off homes, it also damaged the crucial geothermal operations here.

The typhoon destroyed all four cooling towers, located near ridgelines on the hills east of Tacloban, splintering the wood and casting aside the steel. The Energy Development Corporation is now studying whether to replace the cooling towers with identical construction or build new ones that may be more durable, said Leonita Sabando, the environmental management chief at the site.

The fifth power plant does the expansion from water to steam, the cooling of the steam and the condensation of the steam in a single complex that is also high on the valley wall. Yet it does not protrude so high above the surrounding terrain, and so suffered much less damage. The company is now testing all of the components of that power plant in the hope of bringing it back into full service and repowering Leyte Island by Dec. 24, the national target for restoring electricity after the typhoon, Ms. de Jesus said.

Read More.....

Japan:

Kyushu Electric to Build 5MW Geothermal Plant in Southwest Japan (Bloomberg)

Kyushu Electric Power Co. will build a 5 MWe geothermal power station in Japan’s southwestern prefecture of Oita.

A wholly owned unit of the Fukuoka-based utility will begin construction of the plant in March, the companies and the town of Kokonoe, where the station will be built, said in a statement today. The plant will start in March 2015.

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis:

West Indies Power Ltd. Questions Nevis Geothermal Decision (SKNVibes.com)

Kerry McDonald, CEO of West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd. (WIPN) stated that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has illegally awarded ¨Nevis Renewable Energy International¨ the rights to develop geothermal resources in Nevis.

McDonald noted that the NIA has no rights to award a development contract for the geothermal resources on Nevis to any other company since these rights are currently held by WIPN.

He further indicated that ¨the License held by WIPN to develop the geothermal resources on Nevis has not been cancelled by the NIA. The NIA has claimed that WIPN has defaulted on the terms of its License and WIPN has responded that these accusations by the NIA are untrue¨.

¨The question if WIPN defaulted on the contract with the NIA is now in the Courts. No decision has been made in this case¨, he stressed.

Opinion:

Recognizing the Barriers to Entry for Geothermal Energy (OilPrice.com)

I mention alternative energy infrequently. Mostly because I'm not convinced much of the sector is investable. One possible exception being geothermal.

Speakers at the GeoPower Latin America Conference this week in Santiago, Chile revealed some insights about the sector. Showing that it could be a viable source of baseload power. Almost.

Several industry presenters noted that geothermal plants work well once up and running. Power is available most of the time, at competitive operating costs.

The problem pointed to by all of these experts is development costs.

Read More.....

USA, California:

Sonoma Clean Power OKs Geysers Deal (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Local Utility Agrees 10 Year PPA with Calpine


Officials with Sonoma County's startup public power agency kicked off the next phase in its rollout Thursday, approving a secondary energy supply deal for local geothermal power and discussing the upcoming rate-setting process and enrollment of customers.

The 10-year contract for electricity from The Geysers on the Sonoma-Lake county border secures a long-term supply from a clean, renewable source at a competitive fixed rate, officials said.

“And it's right here in our backyard, and that is a very rare thing to find,” said Geof Syphers, interim CEO of Sonoma Clean Power.

The deal with a subsidiary of Houston-based Calpine Corp., the main Geysers operator, earned unanimous support from the agency's board.

Read More.....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda - Update

Help for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

The number of people in the Philippines confirmed dead from Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda now stands at 4,011, officials say. The final figure is likely to rise still higher. Two weeks after the storm, food and supplies are now beginning to reach survivors, but aid agencies say the logistics of distribution are enormous.

The GRC has made a donation to the Philippine Red Cross which can use the aid to help people in the affected areas immediately. We ask our colleagues in the global geothermal community to join the effort.

Donate to The Philippine Red Cross

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis:

Winning Bid Announced for Nevis Geothermal Project (Press Release)

Winning consortium includes U.S. companies AltaRock Energy and Tetra Tech


(Courtesy NIA)
After completing a tender process based on international best practice in competitive procurement and conducting a transparent evaluation process, the Nevis Electricity Company Limited (NEVLEC) and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) decided on Friday, November 15, to enter into contract negotiations with the winning bidder - Nevis Renewable Energy International (NREI) - for geothermal energy development and geothermal power plant design, construction and operation on the island of Nevis.

The NREI team currently includes 2 major geothermal energy partners. Tetra Tech, based in Pasadena, California and AltaRock Energy, headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Read More......

Technology:

10 Reasons Why We Should Use Geothermal Energy (Greener Ideal)

Raditya Mahendra Yasa, Central Java, Indonesia.
Kompas/P Raditya Mahendra Yasa (WEN)
Awareness of the environmental drawbacks of fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—is on the rise. So is interest in eco-friendly alternatives for meeting society’s energy needs. Although fossil fuels generally remain abundant and cheap, rival energies have gained traction in recent years amid an unprecedented wave of green energy investments.

Among the most promising of the rising green stars is geothermal energy. The advantages linked to this abundant subterranean resource are many. Check out our list of the top ten reasons we should consider a future in which geothermal energy figures prominently:
  1. 100% Renewable
  2. Clean-Burning and Low-Emission
  3. High Energy Potential
  4. Scalable Production
  5. Base Load Stability
  6. Light on Carbon
  7. Low-Maintenance Versatility
  8. Smart Land Use
  9. Green Economy
  10. Promising Technologies
Read More......

Indonesia:

New President Director of Pertamina Geothermal Energy (ANTARA)

The management of the Indonesian oil and gas company, PT Pertamina, has appointed a new head of its geothermal energy unit.

Rony Gunawan has been appointed president director of PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy to replace Adriansyah who has been appointed president director of PT Pertamina EP.

Read More.....

Philippines:

EDC Skips Leyte Power Deal (BusinessWorld Online Edition)

Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has decided not to pursue its bid to supply power from its Unified Leyte geothermal power plant, which was damaged by typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) when it hit Visayas in Nov. 8.

In a disclosure yesterday, EDC said its wholly owned subsidiary Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc. (ULGEI) has informed the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) that it would not accept the award that would make it an independent power producer administrator (IPPA).

Read More......

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

United Kingdom:

Eden Project Seeks to Re-Start Geothermal Energy Plan (Cornish Guardian)

(Courtesy Eden Project)
A stalled scheme at the Eden Project to set up the first geothermal plant in the UK producing heat and electricity is seeking a kick-start through public and private funding.

Plans for a multimillion-pound plant – a collaboration between the tourist attraction and geothermal experts EGS Energy – were approved by Cornwall Council in 2010.

The design envisaged boring holes three miles into the underlying granite through which water would be pumped. The earth's heat would raise its temperature to 240C, producing steam which would power a turbine generating all the Eden Project's electricity needs.

However, without funding it has not been possible to complete drilling the wells, and the scheme has stalled. As a result EGS Energy is now asking Cornwall Council to give it more time and revise the timescale which was imposed by the previous conditional approval.

Read More.....

Chile:

Report on Geothermal Conference in Chile (NRDC)

The GeoPower Latin America Conference was held November 13th-14th in Santiago Chile. The Geothermal Resources Council was a partner of the event.

Denée Reaves of the US Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attended the conference and wrote the following report:

"The first point that almost all speakers touched on was the prohibitive barriers facing geothermal development in Chile. Currently, Chile has great potential for geothermal power, but due to certain restrictions only seven of about 79 concessions granted by the government are moving forward, and there is not one megawatt of geothermal energy currently being produced or used in Chile’s energy matrix."

Read More.....

USA, Nevada:

Four New Geothermal Leases Sold in Nevada (KTVN)

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says $13,888 was generated in a competitive geothermal lease sale held Tuesday in Reno.

Four parcels, three in Churchill County and one in Pershing County, were offered for lease. The high bid on each of the four parcels was $2 per acre.

Three were sold to Ormat Nevada and one was sold to Colorado-based Presco Energy.

Geothermal leases are issued for a 10-year primary term. Annual rental for a competitive lease is $2 per acre for the first year, and $3 per acre each year after that through 10 years.

The BLM says additional environmental analysis is required before permits are issued to drill or build a facility to develop the energy from the geothermal source.

Indonesia:

Pertamina, Chevron, Star Energy to Jointly Develop Geothermal Projects (ANTARA)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) has signed principles of agreement (PoA) with Chevron Geothermal Indonesia Ltd and Star Energy Geothermal Pte Ltd to develop six geothermal power plants in Indonesia.

PGE spokesman Hendi Suhendi said on Wednesday that the agreement was signed in Jakarta on Tuesday. "With the PoA, all sides have agreed to cooperate to develop a financial model and work schedule for the geothermal projects," he added.

He said four of the six projects -- Hululai, Tambang Sawah, Sungai Penuh and Semurup -- will be developed in cooperation with Chevron.

Star Energy will develop units 1, 2 and 3 of the Karaha Bodas geothermal power plant, he added.

Read More.....

Costa Rica:

Japan Loans $560 Million to Costa Rica for Geothermal Energy Plants (The Costa Rica News)

The government of Costa Rica today signed a loan of $560 million awarded by Japan to develop geothermal energy projects that will generate more than 55 megawatts of electricity.

This credit has state guarantee by the Government of Costa Rica, is a 40-year term and has a fixed interest rate of 0.60%.

The projects to be financed are Pailas II, I and Borinquen Borinquen II, which are located in the foothills of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano in the northwestern province of Guanacaste run by the state-owned Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

Read More......

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Global:

New Board of the International Geothermal Association (IGA) Meets (ThinkGeoEnergy)

The old and new Board for the International Geothermal Association (IGA) met recently in Germany at the International Geothermal Center in Bochum. The board elected Juliet Newson of New Zealand as President of the IGA, the first woman in this role.

Read More.....

Philippines:

EDC Sends Typhoon Relief to Ormoc (ABS CBN News)

All EDC employees in Leyte are alive and accounted for.


Bacman Geothermal Production Field (Courtesy EDC)
More than 130 tons of relief goods and generator sets were sent by geothermal energy company Energy Development Corp. to Ormoc, as part of efforts to help survivors of typhoon "Yolanda."

A marine landing craft hired by EDC, which contained the relief goods, arrived in Ormoc on Thursday evening.

The craft contains 500 sacks of rice, 30,000 liters of water, 3 units of 250 KVA generator sets, 800 units of solar flashlights cum phone chargers, medicines, and 40 solar street lamps.

Meanwhile, EDC employees from the Bacman Geothermal Production Field (BGPF) continue to be part of the “search and extraction” team to locate and relocate our affected employees and their relatives as well as other residents who need help.

Those rescued were transported to Bicol via land travel. All EDC employees in Leyte are alive and accounted for.

Read More.....

Philippines:

Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant Sustains Damage from 'Yolanda' (InterAksyon)

Energy Development Corp (EDC) today said its Unified Leyte geothermal power complex sustained heavy damage from the onslaught of Typhoon 'Yolanda'.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Lopez-owned EDC said the following equipment have been rendered inoperable:

  • Cooling towers of the 232 MWe Malitbog, 112.5 MWe Tongonan and 180-MWe Mahanagdong power plants;
  • Part of the cooling system of 130 MWe Upper Mahiao power plant; and
  • Control systems of Tongonan, Mahanagdong and Upper Mahiao power plants.

"Consequently, none of the main power plants constituting the 650 MWe are currently operable," EDC said.

Read More.....

Japan:

Toshiba, Orix to Form Geothermal JV (The Japan Times)

Toshiba Corp. and Orix Corp., a financing and leasing company, said Tuesday they will set up a joint venture for geothermal power generation.

The venture, to be owned 55 percent by Toshiba and the remainder by Orix, plans to enter the power generation business in 2015 in the hot spring village of Okuhida in Gifu Prefecture.

The 300-sq.-meter site will generate up to 2,000 kw, using Toshiba’s small power generation system.

Read More.....

USA, New Mexico:

New Mexico Issues Renewable Energy RFP (reNews)

New Mexico’s largest utility PNM issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) today for 150,000 MWh of renewable energy resources.

“We are looking for solid proposals that will help us provide affordable and reliable power to meet state renewable energy requirements,” said PNM director of resources and planning Pat O’Connell.

The new power is due to be delivered beginning in 2016. Bids are due 10 January 2014. A pre-bid conference is scheduled 25 November.

PNM said it will consider cost-competitive offers for asset purchases, design-build-transfer projects or purchased power agreements, in addition to renewable energy certificate bids.

Projects should be located in or deliver electricity to customers in New Mexico. REC-only purchases must be from a facility located in New Mexico.

Renewable energy sources sought include wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower and biomass technologies. Fossil fuel and nuclear resources will not be considered.

Complete RFP (PDF)

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Completes Sale Of Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (News Release)

U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, USG Oregon LLC, has completed the sale of its Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC).

The State of Oregon allows certain renewable energy project investments within the State of Oregon to qualify for the BETC. The Neal Hot Springs project, recently constructed near Vale, Oregon, applied for and received formal approval from the State of Oregon for the maximum $10 million tax credit.

Based on the statutes' guidelines, the company was able to monetize (sell) the tax credit for the sum of $7.4 million, and after paying certain transaction expenses, the project received approximately $7.0 million. In cooperation with the US Department of Energy, the project loan guarantor, 50% of the amount received will be used to fund additional project reserves, while the balance will be available for distribution to the project owners.

Read More......

Monday, November 18, 2013

Global:

Geothermal Resources Council Announces President-Elect

Paul Brophy is chosen to be 25th President of the GRC


The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced the election of Paul Brophy as President Elect. He will become the 25th President of the global geothermal energy association.

Paul was a Senior Associate with the engineering consultant firm of Dames & Moore from 1990 until 1995 and then spent nearly 10 years as District Geologist for California Energy Company in Santa Rosa, California providing services to the Coso Geothermal project and numerous other developments in the U.S. In 1995, he formed EGS, Inc. as President and Principal Geologist.

Paul has previously served as President (2007-2008) and Vice President of the Geothermal Resources Council, and as a Director of the International Geothermal Association and the Geysers Geothermal Association. He has over 40 years of experience in geologic and resource assessment services.

In 2011, Paul Brophy was awarded the Joseph W. Aidlin Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the Geothermal Resources Council and to the development of geothermal resources.

Paul Brophy earned an M.S. in Mining and Exploration from the University of N. Queensland, Australia, a M.S. degree in Geophysics from the University of Leeds, England, and a B.S. (Honors) in Geology from the Chelsea College, University of London, England.

Opinion:

Old Reliable: Consider Warming up to Geothermal Energy (Motley Fool)

Every year travelers from around the world shoot over to Yellowstone National Park to see the famous geyser. Hot water and steam from deep within the earth flow up to the surface. Like clockwork, every two hours the pressure builds to the point of explosion. Old Faithful shoots thousands of gallons of boiling hot water more than 100 feet into the air! Tourists never go home disappointed because the geyser always lives up to its name. First documented in the 1870's, Old Faithful hasn't missed a day of work since.

Compared to a coal or nuclear plant, nearly every city in the world would rather have a geothermal plant in its backyard. Worldwide, the installed geothermal base is estimated to be 11,400 MWe.

That's enough electricity to power about 12 million households, but just a fraction of the overall demand. Utility-scale geothermal facilities can be found in more than 20 countries. El Salvador, Iceland, and the Philippines rely on it for 25% of their electricity usage.

Read More.....

Global:

Report: 2012 - Average Year of Growth for Geothermal but Vast Potential... (renewableenergyfocus.com)

A special Renewable Energy Focus power generation focus previews REMIPEG's latest update, carried out in the first four months of 2013 by Lahmeyer International, and presents an overview for each renewable power sector, based on scenarios up to the end of 2012.

The global geothermal energy market continued growing in 2012; however the newly installed capacity of 353 MW represents average growth in respect to the last six years (547 MW, 317 MW, 338 MW, 392 MW and 225 MW; 2011-2007 respectively). The US contributed 147 MW of newly installed capacity for the year, and another 207 MW is a result of statistical revision done by the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association (GEA). Hence, the US has around 3386 MW of installed geothermal plant and remains the largest national market.

Nicaragua (36 MW) and Mexico (25 MW) also completed expansions of existing geothermal power plants, while Indonesia completed construction and expansion respectively of three plants with a combined capacity of 135 MW. Kenya brought a 5 MW installation online, while in Germany a binary cycle plant started production with a capacity of 4.8 MW. Thus, in 2012 cumulative geothermal capacity globally increased to around 11.57 GW.

Overall, the geothermal industry is currently developing 175 geothermal projects with a total potential capacity of 2.5–2.6 GW, around 800 MW of which is at an advanced stage. The United States is leading this. While its 3386 MW across eight states represents 28.6 % of worldwide geothermal capacity, the GEA says significant growth is expected in 2013 and subsequent years. In 2013 up to 14 plants could begin operation, another nine plants in 2014 and 10 more in 2015.

Read More.....

United Kingdom, Scotland:

Water from Coal Mines Could Heat Homes in Central Belt (Herald Scotland)

As much as a third of the heat needed to keep Scotland warm could be provided by tapping geothermal energy from old coal mines across the central belt, a major new study for the Scottish Government has concluded.

Warm water piped up from abandoned mine shafts between Glasgow and Edinburgh and in Ayrshire and Fife could help heat many thousands of homes and other buildings for decades, researchers said. They are urging ministers to embark on an ambitious attempt to make geothermal energy a major new source of clean, renewable power within a few years.

The two-volume, 345-page study was conducted by the US energy firm Aecom and the British Geological Survey, and has been published by the Scottish Government. Geothermal energy from deep underground has "the potential to play a significant role in Scotland's future energy provision", it said.

The most promising source is the water that has flooded the hundreds of disused mine shafts that underlay large areas of the Central Belt. Heated by the warmth of the Earth, it averages 17C, with higher temperatures at deeper levels.

According to the study, the water can be pumped to the surface and, in combination with modern heat exchange technology, used to supply central heating and hot water to buildings. It estimates that water from Scotland's 600 cubic kilometers of old mine workings could provide a "maximum accessible heat resource" of 12 gigawatts.

Read More.....

Chile, Peru, Philippines, Australia:

EDC Acquires Two Hot Rock Geothermal Concessions in South America (Business Mirror)

Philippines geothermal energy company Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has signed a share sale deal with Hot Rock Holding Ltd. (HRH) of Brisbane in Australia, for the former to acquire geothermal concessions in South America.

Under the agreement, EDC will acquire all of HRH’s shares in Hot Rock Peru Ltd. (HRP) and Hot Rock Chile Ltd. (HRC). The agreement shall ultimately transfer selected geothermal concessions and authorizations held by HRP and HRC’s affiliates in Chile and Peru to EDC, including its remaining stake in the Quellaapacheta Project. The sale will be completed upon “fulfillment of several conditions precedent under the SSA.”

HRH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hot Rock Ltd. of Australia, holds 23 geothermal assets across Chile, Peru and Australia. Early last year, EDC inked an agreement with HRH that gave the former control over the joint venture’s geothermal projects in South America.

Hot Rock said the net proceeds will provide working capital to allow it “to focus on how to progress with its remaining geothermal assets in Australia, Chile and Peru while also considering other alternatives that may be open to the company”.

Read More.....

Philippines:

Help for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

The number of people in the Philippines confirmed dead from Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda now stands at 3,631, officials say. UN and local agencies have issued conflicting tolls, and the final figure is likely to rise still higher. One week after the storm, food and supplies are now beginning to reach survivors, but aid agencies say the logistics of distribution are enormous.

GRC Member Jonelle Nikolai Crisostomo has suggested the best way to get aid to his typhoon-ravaged country.

The Philippine Red Cross



Sagip Kapamilya, the Philippines emergency humanitarian assistance program of ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

Friday, November 15, 2013

USA, California:

Sonoma Clean Power Eyes Geothermal from The Geysers (northbaybusinessjournal.com)

Calpine deal would supplement other sources.


Sonoma County’s startup public power agency is set to consider the purchase a portion of its electricity supply locally from the Geysers, the world’s largest complex of geothermal power plants located along the Sonoma and Lake County border, according to material presented to the agency’s governing board.

The contract with Calpine would constitute approximately 10 percent of Sonoma Clean Power’s electricity through 2023, ramping up to 18 megawatts — 158,000 megawatt-hours annually — as the renewable energy-focused power provider increases its customer volume in the coming years. Houston-based Calpine operates 15 geothermal power plants at The Geysers, with a combined capacity of 725 MWe.

The Sonoma Clean Power Authority is scheduled to consider the agreement on Nov. 21. Staff have been pre-authorized to go forward with the separate primary contract without full board approval, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.

Read More......

Canada:

Geothermal Could Save BC Hydro $2.5 Billion (therockymountaingoat.com)

(Courtesy B.C. Government)
The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) is asking BC Hydro, the utility in British Columbia, to remove geothermal power from its list of “Currently Unavailable Options” arguing that geothermal can provide the province with power by 2020, saving BC Hydro $2.5 billion in transmission lines and deferring the construction of the Site C dam.

The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) is pushing hard to see geothermal included in BC’s slate of clean energy options as BC Hydro completes the latest consultations on its 20-year plan.

Allison Thompson, Chair of CanGEA says geothermal potential is located at three areas where new major load growth is forecasted – near the LNG terminals on the North Coast, the new mines in northeastern BC, and gas projects around the Horn River Basin near Fort Nelson. All three of these areas show high potential for geothermal power on BC Hydro’s own map.

Read More.....

USA, California:

California Energy Summit 2013 (Information Forecast, Inc.)

December 4-5, 2013,
Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA

California Energy Summit 2013 will provide the latest information on the strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats in California and bring policy-makers together with utility, IPP, energy storage and DR executives to explore the potential opportunities to solve resource adequacy problems. They will explore the impacts of new energy storage procurement on generation and transmission needs, the potential opportunities for the construction of power assets, and how the revision of net energy metering and retail rate regulation can drastically affect the economics of solar power and utility generation in the state. Finally, financiers will provide their perspectives on investment in and financeability of projects in the California market.

10% Discount by using code "ACML" when registering.....

Chile:

Transmark Chile Spuds First Well (News Release)



Transmark Chile, a subsiduary of Transmark Renewable Products B.V. of Amsterdam, has announced that it has successfully spudded its first geothermal exploration well in Chile, in its San Alberto license area. After an efficient preparation, including the involvement of all local authorities and communities, last week the first section has been drilled and casing set. With the aim to confirm the conceptual model in the area, this first exploration well does provide Transmark Chile a remarkable milestone in the company’s young existence.

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Netherlands:

Symposium - Geothermal Energy In The Netherlands In European Context

29 November, 2013 - TNO Utrecht, Princetonlaan 6, Utrecht, Netherlands

Dutch innovations in the Geothermal Energy sector must be seen in a wider, European context. This symposium sheds light on the state-of-the-art of Geothermal Energy in Europe.


Free symposium registration until 25 November 2013 to: thermogis@tno.nl
(Subject: Geothermal Symposium)

Australia:

Perth Basin Geothermal Energy Project Abandoned (Esperance Express)

In a blow to Western Australia's renewable energy generation prospects, Greenpower Energy Limited has announced that its will not pursue its geothermal energy exploration project at its Mount Ridley site near Esperance.

Last year Greenpower secured a state government co-funded drilling grant of $120,000 for the Mount Ridley project through the Royalties for Regions' Exploration Incentive Scheme.

Drilling at the site commenced earlier this year, with testing for radiogenic granite for hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal energy generation potential. Dry steam geothermal energy can be produced by steam from reservoirs of hot water several kilometres below the earth's surface.

However, in its quarterly activities report (PDF) released late last month, Greenpower said it had advised the Western Australian Department of Minerals and Petroleum that it had relinquished its Mount Ridley geothermal exploration permits.

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Philippines:

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Update (Businessweek)

(Courtesy United Nations)
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda damaged Energy Development Corp.(EDC)’s four major plants in its Leyte geothermal production field, the company said in a statement on Nov. 11. The field accounts for 56 percent of the company’s overall generating capacity, according to its web site. The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines will need six weeks to restore transmission lines damaged by Haiyan.

Leyte province bore the brunt of the storm, which slammed into the central Philippines on Nov. 8. At least 4,460 people were killed and 243,600 houses destroyed, according to the United Nations. Much of the damage was concentrated in and around Tacloban city, the capital of the province, while roads have been washed away or blocked by debris.

Cooling towers at EDC’s Malitbog, Tongonan and Mahanagdong power plants sustained damage, while the Upper Mahiao power plant may be restored “quickly,” according to the company’s statement.

The four plants have a 650.9 MWe combined capacity, accounting for 93 percent of the Leyte field’s installed generating capacity. The field contributed 7.58 billion pesos ($173 million) in sales in the first half, or 56 percent of the company’s 13.43 billion peso sales in the six-month period, according to the company’s web site.

Haiyan destroyed 248 electricity towers and 318 poles, while seven substations were damaged as of Nov. 12.

“Even if the damage is minor and EDC gets the facility on-line, it can’t deliver electricity if the transmission wires aren’t restored,” said George Ching, analyst at COL Financial Group Inc. in Manila.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

USA, Idaho:

U.S. Geothermal Third Quarter Updates (Press Release)

"Our third quarter operating results are in line with our expectations, and were driven by the improved third quarter availability at all three of our facilities, and lower than planned operating expenses" said Dennis Gilles, U.S. Geothermal's Chief Executive Officer.

"All three facilities are now operating as expected and we look forward to continued high availabilities for the balance of the year and beyond. The fourth quarter, which we are now in, is projected to be our highest contributing quarter due to higher generation as a result of the colder weather and the maximum energy prices on average for the year. We continue on track to meet our guidance for the year."

Recent Operation Achievements:
  • Generated fleet wide total 62,842 megawatt-hours in the third quarter of 2013
  • Delivered quarterly average availabilities of: Raft River - 99.9%, San Emidio - 94.7%, Neal Hot Springs - 87.2%
  • Completed deepening of resource confirmation well EC-1 at El Ceibillo project in Guatemala, and began well testing
  • Completed drilling of wells OW-12 and OW-10 (61-21) for San Emidio II plant expansion
  • Celebrated Grand Opening of Neal Hot Springs project, with U.S. FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff attending along with U.S. DOE, State, Local and Tribal representatives

Germany:

IGA Academy Launched (Press Release)

IGA President Prof. Roland Horne (right)
and Board Member Rolf Bracke (left) at the
launch of the IGA Academy
Today, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) announced the foundation of the IGA Academy, a geothermal learning center at the headquarters of the IGA in the International Geothermal Centre Bochum (GZB) in Germany, managed by the IGA Service GmbH. About 100 international guests from academic institutions, industry and politics were present.

With its distinguished global approach offering training courses of different focus and depth at existing international geothermal training institutes and universities, local expertise and specialized equipment, infrastructure and site characteristics will be used.

In the long term, the IGA Academy will develop into a global partnership of accredited, certified universities and research institutions with site‐specific training courses. Certification is carried out by the IGA and the accredited partner institutions. Courses of different lengths and depth are envisaged to be given over the full spectrum of the geothermal energy systems subjects.

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Tanzania:

Geothermal Power Tanzania Ltd. Receives Permit for Exploration Drilling at Ngozi (ThinkGeoEnergy)

Geothermal Power Tanzania (GPT) has announced that it has received clearance from the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) last month for exploration drilling. The company will now proceed with geothermal development in Tanzania.

Still unexploited, Tanzania has an expected 650 MW geothermal potential ready to harvest. One of the largest reserves lies in the Ngozi-Songwe geothermal system. Holding several prospecting license in Mbeya region, GPT is ready to develop the geothermal reservoir in the Ngozi volcanic complex.

Prior to drilling deep geothermal wells, an environmental study had to be undertaken to prove that all national regulations were satisfied regarding safety, reliability and quality. GPT has achieved this milestone, which allows the company to advance to the deep drilling stage and advance the project towards realizing Tanzania’s first geothermal project with an estimated capacity of 100 MWe.

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USA, Nevada:

Ram Power Update (Press Release)

Remediation program at San Jacinto will end in December


Ram Power, Corp., has announced its operating results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013.

The achievement of commercial operation of the Phase II expansion at San Jacinto in Nicaragua in December 2012 continued to generate strong year-over-year revenue growth for the Company of $11.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013, compared to $6.9 million for the same period in 2012, a 62% increase.

Antony Mitchell, Executive Chairman for Ram Power, stated, “Notwithstanding the interruptions in production that occurred due to the remediation program, San Jacinto continues to generate strong revenue and EBITDA for the quarter.  We look forward to the successful completion of the remediation program in December, and the continued review and reductions of all general and administrative costs across the Company.”

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Philippines:

Leyte Geothermal Stations are Still Running (Wall Street Journal)

However, transmission lines are down and will take more than two months to repair



Just one year ago Jericho Petilla was debating whether to accept President Benigno Aquino III’s offer to head the energy department. At the time he was the governor of Leyte province, in the central Philippines, one of the areas hit hardest last week by Typhoon Haiyan.

He accepted the position, and is currently the country’s energy secretary, and Leyte is again his main priority as he wrestles with restoring power to an island endowed with rich geothermal resources, but currently without a way to get them where they’re needed.

The geothermal fields throughout the province have installed capacity of 701 MWe, and the power they produce is transmitted via underwater cable to the neighboring islands of Samar, Negros, Cebu and even the main island of Luzon, where the capital Manila is located.

While Cebu, Negros and Luzon all have other energy sources, however, Samar and Leyte rely mainly on the electricity generated by the geothermal stations and transmitted through above-ground cables. And though the stations are still running, Haiyan toppled many of the transmissions towers that help deliver the power they generate – leaving the two islands in darkness.

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USA, Nevada:

Ormat to Double Output at McGinness Hills Geothermal Plant (reNews)

McGinness Hills geothermal plant (Courtesy Ormat)
Ormat Technologies has paved the way for a 30 MWe expansion of its McGinness Hills geothermal plant in Nevada by clinching an amendment to its existing power purchase agreement.

An agreement signed with NV Energy allows Ormat to sell 63.7 MWe from the complex in Lander County. A new rate of $85.58/MWh with a 1% annual escalator will be set for the entire facility once Phase 2 enters commercial operation.

“The favorable performance of the reservoir and the PPA amendment give Ormat the ability to further expand this geothermal site,” said Ormat president Yoram Bronicki.

“Phase 1 of our McGinness Hills geothermal power plant has been in commercial operation since June 2012 and the strength of the reservoir allowed the power plant to consistently produce more energy than was contracted in the original PPA.”

The move is subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

Global:

Call for Papers Open for World Geothermal Congress 2015



The WGC 2015 Organising Committee invites abstract submissions to be presented at the World Geothermal Congress, 19-25 April 2015, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia.

Submission of abstract, papers and review by the WGC 2015 Technical Program Committee consists of several steps, with the following strict deadlines:
  • January 31 2014: Deadline for Abstract Submission
  • February 1 – March 30 2014: Technical Program Committee review of Abstract.
  • April 1 2014: Notification of acceptance of Abstract.
  • May 30 2014: Deadline for the Submission for Technical Papers (for review).
  • June 1 – August 31 2014: Technical Program Committee review of Technical Papers.
  • September 1 2014: Technical Program Committee return submissions to authors following the review, with notification of acceptance and/or need for revisions.
  • October 30 2014: Deadline for Final Technical Papers. Receipt of final, corrected papers in format specified. Papers not received by this date will not be included.
  • February 1 2015: Technical Program Committee notifies authors of assignment of papers for presentation or poster session.
If you have any enquires regarding call for paper submissions or the technical program please email wgc2015techprog@sesmail.stanford.edu

For further information visit the Congress website.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Zealand:

A Visit to the Sacred Waters of the Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Reserve (WildJunket Magazine)

 (Courtesy WildJunket Magazine)
Deep in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island is a fiery landscape peppered with turbulent geothermal activity and phenomenal displays of volcanicity.

Well known for its unstable setting atop the Australian and Pacific Plates, it is this precarious placement atop an ever changing geology which has produced many of the diverse landscapes the country is now so famous for.

At the very heart of this tempestuous scene is the town of Rotorua.

A town which in almost every way is rather mundane, yet below the pavements it conceals something extraordinary.

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USA:

International Geothermal Market Set for Development Boom but Challenges Remain (Power Engineering)

What’s the next big opportunity for geothermal? According to panelists at Wednesday’s Renewable Energy World international geothermal session, it’s emerging markets.

Kicking off the two-hour discussion, special guest Agnes Dasewicz of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) explained the Power Africa initiative, which launched in June 2013. USAID is attempting to unlock energy growth in six countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and – of particular interest to the geothermal crowd – Ethiopia.

Power Africa has committed more than $7 billion for infrastructure investment and technical assistance, and the private sector has committed more than $14 billion, which has mainly come from African financiers. Dasewicz said that investment banks such as Ex-Im and OPEC are very open to discuss and support geothermal development in resource-rich Africa.

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USA, Oregon:

3 MWe Paisley Geothermal Plant Starts Construction (Lake County Examiner)

(Courtesy Surprise Valley
Electrification Corporation)
Construction of a 3 MWe geothermal power plant near Paisley in southern Oregon, is slated to begin next week.

According to Surprise Valley Electrification Corporation spokesman Lynn Culp, the binary geothermal power generation plant is pre-built and is slated for arrival on Monday, Nov. 18, for installation on the site’s foundation.

Piping as well as the plant’s cooling tower will be shipped as separate components and assembled on site, Culp said. Colorado TVC, based in Fallon, Nev., is the contractor that won the bid for the project, and one of three firms that issued a bid, Culp said.

The project, estimated by Culp in overall value at $20 million, dates back about four years in development.  The target date for coming online is spring of 2014, he said. A power purchase agreement is currently in the works with Pacific Power, but has not yet been signed, he said.

For a good overview of the project see "Geothermal Boosts Our Energy Future" (PDF) by Lynn Culp, member service manager at Surprise Valley Electrification
Corp.

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Global:

GRC Update

  • It's Time To Renew Your GRC Membership! GRC Memberships are by calender year & will expire December 31, 2013.
  • GRC Board Of Directors Election Will Start December 1, 2013. Have you sent in your Member Consent Form in order to vote online?
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Philippines:

Advisory on Donations for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

A map of geothermal energy facilities on
Leyte Island showing the proximity
to the devastated Tacloban City
(Courtesy ThinkGeoEnergy)
Our thoughts continue to be with the folk in the Visayas region of the Philippines after the Typhoon struck earlier this week.

In response to several queries regarding possible recipients of donations for those affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. would like to inform the public that donations may be sent through the following means:

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