Wednesday, April 5, 2017

USA: North-West Utility Plans for Another 30 MW Geothermal in Next 12 Years

PacifiCorp long-term plan for renewable energy

The 2017 Integrated Resource Plan preferred portfolio includes an additional 30 MW of geothermal energy by 2029

PacifiCorp owns and operates the Blundell geothermal plant in Utah, which uses naturally created steam to generate electricity. The plant has a net generation capacity of 34 MW. Blundell is a fully renewable, zero-discharge facility. The bottoming cycle, which increased the output by 11 MW, was completed at the end of 2007.

The Oregon Institute of Technology added a new small qualifying facility (QF) using geothermal technologies to produce renewable power for the campus that is rated at 0.28 MW.

PacifiCorp has a six-year power purchase agreement with a 3.65 MW QF geothermal project near Lakeview, Oregon, which became operational September 2016.

In the report, the authors state "Geothermal resources are a desirable renewable generation resource given their base-load operating profile combined with high reliability and availability. However, geothermal resources have significantly higher development costs and exploration risks than other renewable technologies such as wind and solar.

In the event PacifiCorp identifies a geothermal asset that appears to be economically attractive but also determines that there is a significant possibility of development risk that the market will not economically absorb, PacifiCorp may approach state regulators with estimates of resource development costs and risks associated to obtain approval for a mechanism to address risks such as dry holes.

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