Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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Costa Rica: Geothermal Helps to Cut Fossil Fuel Use

Costa Rica’s ICE slashes use of fossil fuels by a remarkable 94 percent (ICR News)

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) slashed its use of fossil fuels for electric generation a remarkable 94 percent during the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2014, according to purchase records provided by the Costa Rican Oil refinery (RECOPE).

Some 77.6 percent of the electricity generated during the period came from hydroelectric power plants; 12.34 percent was from geothermal sources; 10.05 percent came from wind power; and 0.01 percent from solar panels.

Clean sources will account for nearly 93 percent of the electricity generated this year, ICE predicted last month.

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Iceland: How renewable energy transformed the island's economy

Exploring Iceland's Clean Energy Economy (Huffington Post)

Geothermal Sunsets by Sigurdur William Brynjarsson, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland.
The area around Nesjavallavirkjun geothermal plant in Iceland.

Until the 1970s, Iceland was classified as a developing country by the United Nations Development Program. For centuries it was among the poorest in Europe, a nation dominated by sheep farming, fishing, and a dirty energy mix of fossil fuel, imported oil and coal.

In the decades that followed, Iceland radically transformed its energy system to one that relies on domestic renewable sources. Today, all of Iceland's electric power is generated by hydropower and geothermal energy, and about 95 percent of the nation's heating demands are warmed by geothermal means. This was accomplished through localized, profit-driven initiatives led by communities, small villages and individual entrepreneurs.

Photos from 2015 GRC Annual Meeting: Opening Session

Photos from the Opening Session of the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, on September 21, 2015

GRC 2015 - Opening Session

USA, Oregon: Drilling to Begin on 3-15 MW Geothermal Power Project on Tribal Land

Geothermal Exploration (Warm Springs Community Radio)

Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises is beginning the second phase of a geothermal research project utilizing a $580,000 grant from the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development.  Jim Manion, general manager of Power and Water, explains that the research area is near Kah-Nee-Ta and the Mutton Mountains.

The first phase of the project involved analysis of soil and other features of the area, to determine whether a geothermal resource may exist.  This study proved positive, leading to the second phase, which will involve drilling a deeper well and more detailed analysis. Eventually, Power and Water could develop a small or moderate sized generating facility. The facility would be in the 3 to 15 watt range, compared to, for instance, the tribes’ Re-Reg dam, which is 20 megawatts.

A state energy policy requires utilities to include a certain amount of renewable energy sources in their portfolios, which makes the Warm Springs geothermal project potentially lucrative for the tribes.

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Chile: Government Wants 70% Renewable Energy by 2050

Chile sets 70% non-conventional renewable energy target for 2050 (Fox News Latino)

Chile's government says that as part of its push for a low-emission and cost-competitive energy future it has set a goal of lifting non-conventional renewables' share of the country's energy matrix to 70 percent by 2050.

That target, which would represent a 58-percentage-point gain with respect to the current level, was announced Tuesday, a day after President Michelle Bachelet pledged before the U.N. General Assembly that Chile would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions between now and 2030 by 30 percent if it receives international support.

The government is proposing that non-conventional renewable sources account for at least 70 percent of Chile's energy matrix in 2050, a plan in which solar and wind energy will be the focus, complimented by new small hydroelectric projects as well as biomass, geothermal energy and marine energy.

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Photos from 2015 GRC Annual Meeting: Opening Reception

Photos from the Opening Reception of the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, on September 20, 2015

GRC 2015 - Opening Reception

France: Strasbourg Geothermal Project Gets Green Light

State allows geothermal drilling near Strasbourg (News AFP)

(Translated from French) The prefect of the Bas-Rhin region announced Tuesday that it had authorized a geothermal deep drilling project at Ostwald (suburb of Strasbourg), a project that he said will be accompanied by a "network monitoring "to" control the risk of micro-seismicity. "

The project, designed by the group Electricité de Strasbourg (ES, a subsidiary of EDF), aims to power a future district heating system and industrial facilities.  It was the subject of a public inquiry in April and May, and a "significant citizen involvement, legitimate given the stakes," observed the prefect Stephane Fratacci.

The first drilling should take place in the summer of 2016.

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USA, Nevada: Beautiful Video of Enel's Hybrid CSP/PV Geothermal Power Plant

Enel Green Power’s hybrid power plant in the USA (enelvideo)

Note in the video the bigger footprint of the 26 MW of Solar PV and 17 MW of CSP arrays compared to the 33 MW of geothermal power plant

Last year, Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGP-NA) added a 17 MW trough-based concentrating solar power (CSP) component to its existing 33 MW Stillwater geothermal power facility in Churchill County, Nevada, USA.

Enel's hybrid plant was built in the USA, with a combination of various renewable sources, namely the generation capacity of geothermal, solar PV and thermodynamic power coexisting on the same site. A mix of different technologies that can achieve cutting-edge solutions for energy production.

Photos from 2015 GRC Annual Meeting: Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Photos from the GRC Annual Charity Golf Tournament held at the Red Hawk Golf Course in Sparks, Nevada, September 20, 2015.

GRC 2015 - Golf Tournament

Australia: Origin Energy to begin a "controlled exit" from certain geothermal and international exploration activities

Origin Energy to raise $2.5b equity to ease pressure on balance sheet (The Australian Financial Review)

Having agreed to sell its 53.1 percent stake in major New Zealand geothermal energy producer Contact Energy to "a broad range of Australian, New Zealand and international equity market" investors in August, Origin Energy has continued to realign its assets.

The Australian utility has  dropped its  resistance to a capital raising, moving to sell $2.5 billion in new equity in  response to markets increasingly panicky about resource sector debt levels  while key commodities face a prolonged price slump.

Assets to be sold include Origin's stakes in oil and gas production ventures in the Cooper Basin and the Perth Basin, overseas exploration, geothermal energy, wind farms and pipelines. The company has already received approaches for assets and expects to complete sales by early next year.

It also said it would begin a "controlled exit" from certain geothermal and international exploration activities.

Read More.......

El Salvador: Government to Boost Renewables With Tax Benefits

El Salvador to expand tax incentives for renewables (SeeNews Renewables)

El Salvador's government has proposed legal changes to extend tax incentives to larger renewable energy projects and the expansion of existing plants.

A draft decree was presented to the parliament on Tuesday by economy minister Tharsis Lopez, chairman of the National Energy Council.

The list of energy sources and technologies under the renewable energy law will be extended to include new technology developments, while the expansion of existing plants will become eligible for incentives which would stimulate additional investments. Another objective, according to the economy ministry, is removing the current limit of 10 MW while maintaining stronger support for the small projects via longer-term tax exemptions.

The reform is expected to encourage investments in hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, marine, biogas and biomass power, as well as any new energy source in the future, the ministry said.

Read More.........

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

USA, Nevada: Ex Ormat Director Paul Thomsen Appointed to State PUC

Expert with renewable energy background appointed to Public Utilities Commission (Las Vegas Sun)

Paul Thomsen at a GRC Annual Meeting Opening Session
Gov. Brian Sandoval has appointed Paul Thomsen, an energy expert with experience in the renewable industry, as the newest regulator on the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. Thomsen was Director at Ormat Technologies from 2005 to 2013.

Thomsen replaces outgoing Commissioner Rebecca Wagner and will serve as chairman.

“Paul is one of the leading experts in Nevada’s dynamic energy industry,” Sandoval said in a news release. “I know he will be a fair regulator.”

Thomsen arrives at the PUC as regulators debate high-profile cases regarding the state’s rooftop solar industry and a push by the casino industry to purchase and create power without the state’s largest utility, NV Energy.

Since 2013, Thomsen has served as director of the Governor’s Office of Energy and has an extensive background in the geothermal industry.

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Europe: Geothermal News from EGEC

The EGEC Newsletter September 2015 - The Voice of Geothermal in Europe

The September issue of the EGEC newsletter is now available. Click here to download it.

  • GIA Honorary members
  • New Regulations on energy labelling
  • New Shallow Geothermal task force
  • EGC 2016
  • New EU energy label crowns geothermal heat pump as the most efficient heating device
  • EGEC establishes new Task Force on Ground Source Heat Pumps
  • EU Commission unveils new Integrated Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan
  • France adopts ambitious energy transition law
  • Horizon 2020: details of next funding opportunities for geothermal projects now available
  • DH system in Unterschleissheim in profit years ahead of schedule
  • Drilling to start in February 2016 for Power plant in Holzkirchen, Germany
  • Turkey 9th in global Geothermal Capacity Ranking
  • Bauer and Schlumberger to collaborate on new deep drilling Rigs
  • ETH Zurich unveils new modelling method for supercritical fluids
  • Munich RE providing exploration Risk insurance for Akiira Geothermal Limited in Kenya
  • Enel Green Power Innovation Competition: Deadline 31st October
  • Geothermal Career day for employers and Candidates
  • EGC2016
  • GeoPower and Heat Summit
  • Events Calendar

USA, California: Los Angeles Council Member Celebrates More Geothermal for the City

Expanded Geothermal Plant Helps Create Clean Energy Future for L.A. (councilmember.fuentes)

The plant is expected to produce power at an average of 95 percent capacity or more annually. Because of its predictability, it also saves on transmission and other integration costs, as compared to wind and solar renewable energy.

In another step toward creating a clean energy future for Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced today that Angelenos are now receiving clean, reliable and renewable geothermal power from an expanded geothermal power plant in Nevada.

The Don A. Campbell II Geothermal Power Plant in Mineral County, Nevada is delivering 16.2 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy to Los Angeles homes and businesses, moving LADWP closer to its mandated renewable energy target of 33 percent by 2020. The new plant will provide more than 130 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean reliable energy per year, enough to serve 22,500 Los Angeles typical households each year and avoid over 75,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is roughly equivalent in removing 14,600 cars off the road.

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Kenya: EoI Invited for O&M for 70 MW Akiira Geothermal Power Plant

Expression of Interest (EoI) for Operation and Maintenance of Akiira Geothermal Limited (AGL) 70 MW Geothermal Power Plant
  • Akiira Geothermal Limited (AGL) is currently developing a 70 MW power plant
  • AGL seeking for suitable firms to provide Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for their power plant.
  • The O&M contract will be for a 5 year period with the option to extend the contract.
  • The contract will cover under a fixed price the Power Plant and the Steam Gathering System management.
  • The Company (AGL) will operate the geothermal field and will be responsible for the steam supply.
  • The contract will include penalty and bonus provisions.
  • The full Request for Proposal will be out in October.
Interested companies should provide proof of the following:
  • At least 5 years’ experience in operating similar size plants under similar contract arrangements.
  • Experience in operating geothermal facilities will be a plus.
  • Experience in operating in East Africa will be considered favorably
  • A strong balance sheet to assure timely and quality performance.
  • 3 years Audited accounts and any other relevant financial information
Email or Soft Copy submissions are to be send to

Hard copies are to be sent to:

Akiira Geothermal Limited
Technical Director
36 Muiri Lane, Off Langata Road, Opposite Galleria
Nairobi, Kenya.

Submission must reach AGL no later than September 30th, 2015, 5 PM EAT.

USA, California: More Photos of the Wildfire Damage at The Geysers

Wildfire Damage at Renewable Energy Complex Estimated At $35 Million (KQED)

The Valley Fire, which leveled more than 1,900 structures and left 3,000 homeless,  also appears to have done more damage than initially thought to facilities at The Geysers geothermal field, along the border of Sonoma and Lake counties.

Texas-based Calpine, which operates the damaged plants, estimates it will cost $30-$35 million to repair infrastructure damage from the fast-moving blaze, which scorched wooden cooling towers and communications infrastructure at five of its 14 power plants.

Read More.......

Australia: Nice Overview of Geothermal Energy by Australian Academy of Science

Feeling the heat: geothermal energy (

Geothermal energy is a clean, green resource with the potential to power Australia for millennia.

Our planet is feeling the heat—but it’s not all from climate change and the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Some of the heat is coming from within Earth itself; and rather than causing global warming it has the potential to wean us off fossil fuels for good.

There seems to be enough geothermal energy to keep us all ‘rocking’. Earth’s total heat content has been calculated at 12.6 x 1024 megajoules, which would meet the world’s current energy needs for several billion years.

Unfortunately, most of this is inaccessible; but tapping just a fraction of it would make a substantial contribution in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It has been estimated that in Australia, using just 1 per cent of the geothermal energy shallower than 5 kilometres and hotter than 150°C could supply all our energy requirements for 26,000 years (and then some, as this figure does not take into account geothermal energy’s renewability). Geothermal exponents talk about an ‘almost limitless’ supply of energy. The challenge is tapping into it in a cost-effective way.

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Finance: Update on Geothermal Exploration Financing from the GRC Annual Meeting

Multinational Bank Financing of Geothermal Exploration Up 11 Percent from 2012 (Renewable Energy World)

Pierre Audinet at the International Session of the GRC Annual Meeting
Financing of geothermal energy exploration by multinational banks has increased 11 percent, up from 6 percent in 2012 to 17 percent in 2015, Pierre Audinet, senior energy economist for World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), said on Sept. 21.

Speaking during the Geothermal Resources Council 39th Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada, Audinet said that the increased spending from multinational banks, such as World Bank, is “a big achievement.”

A result of the World Bank-initiated Global Geothermal Development Plan, the investment in exploration is helping grow the global geothermal industry.

About 15 percent of capital expenditures for geothermal projects must be invested in exploration in order for the projects to move forward, Audinet said, adding that from 1977 to 2012, about 94 percent of the $3 billion invested in geothermal development by multinational banks was dedicated to above-ground infrastructure.

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South America: Report from Geothermal Workshop in Columbia

A Look At Irena’s Geothermal Initiative In The Andes (IRENA)

Geothermal energy is an abundant resource in the Andean region that has enormous potential to provide low-cost clean energy, though it remains largely untapped. The total geothermal resource capacity of the region is approximately 12 gigawatts, which equals the total installed global geothermal capacity in 2014. 

Despite such considerable and unique geothermal energy potential, no geothermal power plants are operating to date as Andean countries still face challenges. In this context, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), together with the government of Colombia, recently co-organised a two-day workshop to address this issue. The event focused on: identifying the main barriers that Andean countries face in financing geothermal projects; and disseminating best practices.

Indonesia: Permits for Geothermal Projects in Forested Areas to be Processed in 15 days

Indonesia introduces new stimulus measures to boost its ailing economy (China Post)

Indonesia on Tuesday unveiled more stimulus measures to woo desperately needed investment, in its latest bid to boost the sliding rupiah and breathe new life into the slowing economy.

New measures announced Tuesday included slashing the time taken to process investment permits from at least eight days to just three hours, with processing for permits in mining and geothermal projects in forested areas to be cut from up to four years to about 15 days.

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Canada: Geothermal Pioneer Receives Top National Scientific Honor

INRS professor Jasmin Raymond recognized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society (EurekAlert -press release)

Professor Jasmin Raymond
Professor Jasmin Raymond of the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre received the 2016 Colloquium Lecture honour from the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) at its annual conference GeoQuébec 2015. He earned this distinction for the quality of his proposed talk on different in situ approaches used to precisely measure the thermal properties of geological materials for geotechnical applications.

Even though his career is just beginning, Professor Raymond is already well known as a scientific leader in the field of geothermal energy, a new source of renewable energy from the Earth's core, as his work on deep and shallow geothermal resources has shown. He is helping to advance knowledge of analysis and energy modelling and their geothermal applications, from building heating and cooling to electrical power production. Professor Raymond also acts as a technical expert for a Canadian Standards Association committee for the installation of Earth energy systems and for Geoscience BC's geothermal technical advisory committee. He also sits on the board of directors of the Canadian Geothermal Research Council.

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USA, Idaho: Comments Invited on Big Creek Geothermal Energy Project

Salmon-Challis National Forest; Idaho; Big Creek Geothermal Leasing Proposal (Federal Register)

Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 26, 2015

The Salmon-Challis National Forest in east, central Idaho will prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the potential effects of geothermal development on approximately 5,600 acres. The decision will be whether to proceed with geothermal leasing and, if so, under what stipulations.

Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 26, 2015. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in May, 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected in September, 2016.

Send written comments to Big Creek Geothermal EIS Project, Salmon-Challis National Forest, 1206 South Challis Street, Salmon, ID 83467. Comments may also be sent via email to, or via facsimile to 208-756-5151.

USA, Nevada: Local Media Report at GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

Geothermal Energy's Impact on Northern Nevada (KTVN)

When it comes to geothermal energy, Reno is not only recognized throughout the country but throughout the world.

"It is the center for geothermal,” says Isaac Angel, Ormat CEO.

Yvette Hamacek of Geothermal Development Associates says, "We have steamboat on the south side of town which produces enough power for all of the homes in our area."

“It's a really great spot,” says Steve Ponder Geothermal Resources Council Director.

What makes Reno unique is the proximity of geothermal manufacturing to city life. While we've seen an overall growth in renewable energy sources over the past few years, geothermal energy itself has been in Reno since the 1980's. The convention is a great way for businesses to network and for the public to gain awareness.

"Lots of people in the business probably 50% of them are still in the Reno area,” says Ponder.

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United Kingdom: Crewe Geothermal Energy Project to Commence Drilling in December

Council approves geothermal well for Crewe but warns of 24 hour noise during construction (Crewe Chronicle)

Cheshire East has approved plans for a 2km deep geothermal well in Crewe but warned nearby residents might even have to be accommodated in a hotel if the 24 hour drilling during construction makes life ‘intolerable’.

Members of the council’s strategic planning board welcomed the proposal to provide the alternative energy source on the MMU campus at Crewe Green Road but most raised concerns about the noise from drilling during the construction.

Stephen Cooke, of Geothermal Engineering, said: “This project will be the first of its kind in the country. It’s an innovative use of geothermal deep drilling techniques. It’s a single vertical well that has fairly high temperatures down at the bottom, about 60 or 70 degrees, and that’s hot enough, where we can draw that water up, and put it straight into a normal building heating system without any intermediate heating above ground.”

Read More........                          Previous Stories........

Canada: Nova Scotia Town Promotes Geothermal Energy from Abandoned Mine Shafts

Springhill geothermal researchers eye opportunities (

The authority that promotes energy development in Cumberland County hosted an energy symposium this week to discuss opportunities, and challenges, with Springhill's geothermal system.

It was a chance for the public to learn more about the heating and cooling potential that's right under their feet, according Devin MacAskill, an energy expert from Cape Breton University.

Springhill's geothermal potential arose after its old mine shafts were abandoned and flooded with underground water.

Water is pumped from shallow parts of the old mine system and run through heat pumps at the surface. It returns to the mines after use. 

The resulting energy is powerful enough to heat or cool residential, commercial or industrial buildings. 

Fun: Geothermal Wins Again!

Geothermal Wins Lukas Classic at Churchill (

Horse is offspring of "Unbridled Energy"

Geothermal and jockey Robby Albarado swept to the front turning for home and gamely refused to be passed en route to a 1 1/2-length victory over favored Departing in the inaugural Lukas Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs.

The Lukas, formerly the Homecoming and renamed to honor Churchill-based Hall of Fame conditioner D. Wayne Lukas, was the first stakes win for the 6-year-old gelded son of Unbridled Energy at 12-1 odds. Owned by A. L. Luedtke, Geothermal was bred in Kentucky by his owner and Jo Ann Luedtke and is trained by Steve Margolis. We reported on a previous win back in June.

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Canada: Discussion With Geothermal Energy Experts

Solar, Wind and Geothermal, Oh My! (

Thursday, October 1, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., High River, Alberta

Are you curious about how renewable energy can contribute to the economy, create jobs, and protect our environment? Join Alison Thompson, Paula McGarrigle and Craig Dunnand for an evening of discussion.


Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis: Geothermal Energy Projects on Both Islands Progressing

Geothermal development still current; progressing steadily, says Nevis premier (Caribbean News Now - press release)

Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance Vance Amory says the development of the island’s geothermal resource is still very current and progressing steadily.

He said the recent memorandum of understanding between St Kitts and a French company to explore geothermal energy in St Kitts did not mean that the move would be detrimental to Nevis, as the island is two years ahead in terms of exploration.

However, Amory stated that the explorations in St Kitts would instead be a complementary development and both would be able to provide a larger resource to a larger demand marketplace.

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Mexico: 50 MW Los Azufres III Phase I Geothermal Power Plant Inaugurated

Mexico inaugurates 50 MW geothermal plant (SeeNews Renewables)

The Mexican government officially inaugurated on Friday the Los Azufres III Phase I geothermal power plant of 50 MW, installed in the state of Michoacan via a public tender.

The plant, worth some USD 70 million (EUR 62.8m), was built by Diamante Azufres SA de CV and is able to offset over 177,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Mexico's state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) is now planning the next Los Azufres III Phase II plant in the same area, with a 25-MW capacity.

Mexico has set a target to expand renewable and clean power generation to 35% of total electricity by 2024 versus 25% at present.

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USA, California: Calpines The Geysers Repairs to be Completed Within a Year

Calpine estimates Valley fire damage in The Geysers at up to $35 million (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

A cooling tower in the Geysers field on Cobb Mountain was damaged by the Valley fire, Friday Sept. 18, 2015. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2015

Damage and revenue loss from the Valley fire will total $30 million to $35 million for Calpine Corp. energy production operations at The Geysers geothermal complex, the company announced Monday.

The estimated toll includes property damage and lost revenue due to reductions in electric power generation.

Facility repairs should be completed within 12 months.

“We believe our insurance program will cover repair and replacement costs as well as our net revenue losses, after deductibles,” the company said in a statement.

Read More........

USA, California: Calpine Reports The Geysers Operations Have Recovered to 3/4 Capacity After Wildfire

Calpine Updates Wildfire Impact on The Geysers Geothermal Power Facilities (News Release)

Calpine Corporation announced yesterday that its geothermal power generation facilities at The Geysers in Lake and Sonoma Counties, California, have reopened to all employees after having been affected by a wildfire earlier this month. The Geysers had been operating with only essential personnel for the past two weeks due to the access restrictions imposed by CalFire as they fought to contain the Valley Fire. The Geysers is now generating about 540 megawatts of power for our customers.

Calpine reports that all employees and contractors were safely evacuated when the fire threatened The Geysers and that all the employees are accounted for. The focus now turns to assuring the continuing safety of those who have returned to work and to supporting employees whose homes and families have been impacted by this devastating fire. Calpine has implemented multiple employee assistance programs and have established an employee support fund, seeded with a $100,000 contribution from Calpine, wherein all donations will be matched by the company.

Regarding specific impacts to the facilities, as was previously reported, five of fourteen facilities sustained damage to ancillary structures such as cooling towers and communication/electric deliverability infrastructure. The unaffected facilities have continued to operate to varying degrees throughout this event. As of today, the facilities are collectively producing approximately three-quarters of The Geysers’ normal operating capacity, sending approximately 540 megawatts of renewable geothermal energy to the grid.

Read More......

USA, Nevada: 19 MW Don A. Campbell Geothermal Power Plant Up and Running

Don A. Campbell Phase 2 Geothermal Power Plant in Nevada Begins Commercial Operation (News Release)

Don A. Campbell geothermal power plant
Ormat Technologies, Inc. officially announced September 24 that the second phase of its Don A. Campbell geothermal power plant located in Mineral County, Nevada began commercial operation on September 17, 2015. Isaac Angel, Ormat's CEO had given notice to the effect in his keynote speech at the Opening Session of the GRC Annual Meeting.

The power plant is expected to generate 19 MW (net) on a yearly average basis, above the nominal target of 16.2 MW listed in the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). SCPPA resells the entire output of this plant to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

“The Don A. Campbell Phase 2 plant reached commercial operation 10 months after the project broke ground and less than two years after we commenced firm operation of the first phase in December 2013,” commented Isaac Angel, Ormat's CEO. “This rapid execution is the result of multiple improvements we have been implementing across our entire value chain, enabling Ormat to shorten time to market and accelerate time to revenue, in this case six months ahead of our original schedule. This second phase has doubled the generating capacity of the Don. A Campbell geothermal complex, and we are delighted to be able to provide LADWP with this additional firm, reliable and affordable renewable power, supporting its efforts to transition away from coal and reach its renewable energy goals.”

Australia: Government Signals a Turn Towards Renewable Energy

Australian Environmental Minister Continues To Publicly Support Renewable Energy (CleanTechnica)

Australia’s Environmental Minister
Greg Hunt
Australia’s Environmental Minister Greg Hunt has continued to publicly support renewable energy technologies in the wake of the recent shift in leadership.

Speaking on ABC radio on Tuesday morning, Mr Hunt (mostly) confirmed that the Liberal Party, under the new leadership of Malcolm Turnbull, its new leader and subsequently Australia’s new Prime Minister, will be supporting the renewable energy sector and opening up support for emerging technologies.

In an interview with radio host Fran Kelly, Mr Hunt explained that, along with the Prime Minister and newly elevated Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, he is “deliberately and consciously saying to the [renewable energy] sector — there is a major role for innovation and you should have confidence.”

Specifically, Mr Hunt said that the CEFC should “have focus on things such as solar, geothermal — and if there are emerging components in relation to wind, such as new turbines or offshore wind, that might be an appropriate way”

Read More.......

Monday, September 28, 2015

Webinar: Lessons from Geothermal Development in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia

Webinar: Driving geothermal deployment in developing countries (Climate Policy Initiative)

Tuesday, September 29th at 11:00 CEST and 16:00 CEST/10am EDT.

Climate Policy Initiative and Climate Investment Funds are pleased to invite you to a webinar sharing recommendations on the effective delivery of public finance from policymakers and development finance institutions to enable fast and cost-effective deployment of geothermal in developing countries. It draws lessons from case studies of geothermal projects with different public, private and mixed development models in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia. 

Geothermal energy has the potential to provide significant amounts of low-carbon, low-cost electricity in many developing countries. It is broadly cost competitive with fossil fuel alternatives across the world and is the cheapest source of available power in some developing countries with rapidly growing energy demand. It can also provide a clean, reliable and flexible power source that could directly replace coal or gas in the electricity mix and complement higher penetrations of other, intermittent, renewable sources on the grid. However, it is not reaching its potential in developing countries. This webinar explores the barriers to geothermal deployment and ways of addressing them.

Register here.........

United Kingdom: 5th London Geothermal Symposium

The Fifth London Geothermal Symposium: Securing our Geothermal Future

Thursday 15th October 2015, The Geological Society, London 13:30-20:00

With new projects developing single well geothermal technology, interest in exploiting ultra low grade heat from abandoned mines plus several feasibility studies for the assessment of additional geothermal resources in Scotland, this event will highlight both current opportunities and future potential.

There will be presentations on geothermal heat only and power generation schemes delivered by representatives from industry, government and academia.

There will also be time for networking during the break and at the post conference drinks reception.

Register for this event here. Speakers, please register for the concessionary rate.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Armenia: Exploration Suggests 28 MW Geothermal Resource

First results of exploratory drilling of geothermal sources in Armenia (EIN)

The first results of exploratory drilling of geothermal sources in Armenia financed by a World Bank grant are expected in 2016, deputy energy and natural resources minister Areg Galstyan told a public debate today on the future of the country’s power grid.

He said preliminary research data is very optimistic and promising, 'and we can assert that there are several geothermal sources in the territory of Armenia, but no company would agree to implement such a risky project until exploration drilling data is obtained.'

The early-stage analyses suggested that a 28 MW geothermal power plant with a total estimated cost of $90-100 million could potentially be constructed at the site. The potential geothermal power plant could be developed with a mix of public and private capital. The development of geothermal power would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Indonesia: Siemens to Supply Swithgear for 3 Generators at Sarulla Geothermal Project

Siemens wins switchgear deal for Indonesia geothermal plant (Power Engineering International)

Siemens has won an order from Hyundai Engineering and Construction for the delivery of three generator switchgear for what will be the largest geothermal plant in Indonesia.

The power plant is currently being built in the Tapanuli Utara district in the northern part of the island of Sumatra. The operator is Sarulla Operations, a consortium comprising several companies based in the US and Japan.

As general contractor, Seoul-based Hyundai Engineering and Construction expects to complete the plant by 2018, when it is expected to generate 351 MW of electricity annually.

In power plants, generator switchgear provide for reliable synchronization and for maximum operating reliability. The first of the switchgear manufactured in Germany was delivered this month and the other two will follow in June next year.

The type HB3-80 switchgear each have an output of 100 megavolt amperes (MVA), a voltage of 12 kilovolts (kV), and a rated current of 5,000 amperes (A).

The HB3-80 is single-phase encapsulated and Siemens says that, depending on the power plant type and operating voltage, it is suitable for power units up to 160 MW or 250 MW.

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U.S. Geothermal Chief Calls for Level Playing Field for All Renewables

CEO Gilles: Challenge in Geothermal is to 'Level Playing Field' with Wind, Solar (Renewable Energy World)

The Opening Session at the GRC Annual Meeting
The current challenge for the geothermal energy industry is what U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles calls “leveling the playing field” with wind and solar.

“We’re competing with the wind and solar companies,” Gilles said during the Geothermal Resources Council 39th Annual Meeting opening session in Reno, Nev., on Sept. 21. “They have incentives, and as a result of their dramatic growth, they have seen their costs come down dramatically.”

Gilles said that until the incentives change for the wind and solar industries, and until there is additional growth or technological breakthroughs in the geothermal energy industry that allows geothermal producers to lower costs, the geothermal industry is going “to continue to be challenged.”

Indonesia: Tender for Three Geothermal Projects Coming in October

Govt to Offer Up Three Geothermal Projects Next Month (Jakarta Globe)

Indonesia is set to offer a tender for three geothermal projects next month, as part of its effort to develop a sustainable source of energy.

The Way Ratai project in South Sumatra, Bukit Kili in West Sumatra and Marana in Central Sulawesi  are part of 26 geothermal projects to be offered to investors this year and next year. The 26 projects have a total capacity to generate 1,425 megawatts of power.

"We are seeking companies that are financially and technically capable," said Yunus Saifulhak, a director of geothermal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

The government has placed the Gunung Lawu geothermal field in East Java and Danau Ranau in South Sumatra on offer this year.

The Gunung Lawu project attracted proposals from Pertamina Geothermal Energi, Star Energi, Ormat, Sari Prima Energi and Bumi Energi, and the ministry will determine the winner in December, Yunus said.

Danau Ranau on the other hand, only attracted one bidder, and the government will  repeat the tender process to attract more bidders.

Read More........

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

GRC Annual Meeting & the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo:

The Big Question: Where Are the Major Geothermal Opportunities Around the World Today and What Should the Industry Do to Take Advantage of Them? (Renewable Energy World)

Geothermal technology offers renewable energy that comes from under the earth. The energy is baseload, dispatchable, and 100-percent renewable. The industry is making slow-but-steady progress in various regions of the world. As attendees head to the Geothermal Energy Expo and Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting in this week, we ask our readers this issue’s Big Question.

Ian Crawford
Director of Communications, Geothermal Resources Council

In organizing the biggest annual event in the industry (the GRC Annual Meeting & the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo), the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) gets an insight into current trends. From these, we can see that the biggest opportunities remain in Indonesia and The Philippines in Asia and in Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa.

However, the recent news that the Japanese government will allow drilling for geothermal resources in parts of national parks bodes well for the industry there. Also, new legislation in Mexico will potentially be a boon for geothermal energy.

I hope legislation will be passed to restore the Salton Sea in Southern California. This would involve the development of more than a GW of geothermal energy, providing a much-needed push for the industry in the United States.

In addition, the research into Enhanced Geothermal Resources (EGS) here in the United States, in particular at the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) program, might provide the breakthrough for the industry that will make geothermal energy available anywhere in the world.

Greater sage grouse does not require endangered species act protection - Win for geothermal energy developments

Historic Conservation Campaign Protects Greater Sage-Grouse (U.S. Department of the Interior)

Thanks to the largest land conservation effort in US history, the greater sage grouse does not need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

An unprecedented, landscape-scale conservation effort across the western United States has significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat and enabled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to conclude that the charismatic rangeland bird does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This collaborative, science-based greater sage-grouse strategy is the largest land conservation effort in U.S. history.

Secretary Jewell made the announcement earlier today on Twitter with a video that explains why the sage grouse decision is historic and sets the groundwork for a 21st-century approach to conservation.

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo:

Some photos from the GRC Fieldtrip to the Long Valley in California, from the GRC Annual Meeting, September 18-20, 2015

Gene Suemnicht describes the geology on top of Mammoth Mountain
Sheng-Rong Song (left) and Gene Suemnicht look out from the
Inyo Craters south to the Mammoth Mountains

GRC Fieldtrips are a great chance to meet new friends

Portland Utility Could Join Western Imbalance Market

Portland General Electric could join CAISO Energy Imbalance Market (Utility Dive)

Portland General Electric (PGE) will formally explore joining the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the utility announced last week. 

CAISO has been operating since November 2014 in parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. It now includes the active participation of the Warren Buffett-owned PacifiCorp utilities, and will soon include NV Energy, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), and Arizona Public Service (APS).

Because of access to a wide geographic dispersion of resources, the EIM has reduced fossil fuel use in favor of low-cost renewables to meet short-term imbalances in supply and demand. PacifiCorp and the ISO saved a combined $21.4 million over the first eight months of operation.

Read More........

Video: Fantastic Images of a Geyser Eruption - in Infrared!

An exciting video by Carolina Munoz-Saez, PhD Candidate at University of California, Berkeley showing the dynamics of the geyser system at El Tatio, Atacama, Chile. Carolina is attending the GRC Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada, USA from September 20-23.

The hotter the temperature the whiter the color in this Infrared (IR) video. It looks like volcanic flow but these are geysers erupting!

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo:

GRC Annual Meeting - Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Photos from the annual charity golf tournament held before the start of the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo in Reno, Nevada, USA.

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

Balls of DNA Could Fix Geothermal Energy’s Biggest Problem (Wired)

Wednesday, 8:40am, Capri Ballroom 3, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino
DNA-Encapsulated Silica Nanoparticle Tracers for Fracture Characterization, Zhang, Yuran & Manley, Timothy & Li, Kewen & Horne, Roland

Wired Magazine features work by a team led by Roland Horne at Stanford University in California. A presentation on the subject is being presented tomorrow morning at the GRC Technical Sessions at the GRC Annual Meeting.

SEM image of SiO2 Silicon Dioxide empty balls, coated with gold and
imaged in scanning electron microscope.  SHERI NEVA
Geothermal power has the potential to be cheap, reliable, and abundant—running off the heat of the Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s especially true thanks to a new generation of home-grown geothermal plants, which don’t run off the steam of natural hot springs and geysers. No need to find those hydrothermal gems; today, geothermal engineers are making their own reservoirs by drilling down into hot rock and pumping in their own water.

The catch? Engineers can’t see what’s happening underground. Drilling wells in just the right spot can be like playing golf blindfolded: Even if someone faces you in the right direction, you could still hit the ball way off the green. But tiny fragments of DNA dropped into the wells could soon help engineers follow the path of water underground, helping them sink their putts every time.

Read More.......

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo:

GRC Annual Meeting - Opening Session

GRC president Paul Brophy addresses the large crowd at the Opening Session of the GRC Annual Meeting, the biggest annual meeting in the industry.

Finance: Munich Re Details Multiple Geothermal Well Risk Insurance

Electricity from the depths of Africa (Topics Magazine)

Conditions around the East African Rift Valley are ideal for using geothermal energy. Munich Re has developed a new policy to cover the exploration risk and to help ensure that sufficient investors can be found for such sustainable power generation projects.

For the Akiira project in Kenya, Munich Re has implemented a new coverage concept with its Multiple Well Risk Insurance: unlike the case in low-enthalpy regions, such as Germany, the projects comprise a portfolio of several production and injection wells instead of a doublet with just two wells.

The minimum energy yield of a complete portfolio of wells is consequently insured in several project phases. Parameters for each phase are agreed between Munich Re and the project; these determine whether the project is to be aborted as being unsuccessful, thus triggering an insurance payment – or whether the promising results achieved merit continuation to the next phase.

The process involves a close exchange of information and alignment of interests between Munich Re and the project. An advantageous concept for both sides: balancing the higher risk at the beginning against the lower risk in later phases makes the project insurable and provides investors with comprehensive security for the entire project term. The option of an early exit in the event of failure also serves the interests of both parties, as it limits the investors’ risk of financial loss.

Read More.......

Ethiopia: Possible Problems With Geothermal PPA

Shashemene Geothermal Project Stalls (Addis Fortune)

Ethiopia's much publicized ambition of generating 1,000MW of electric power from geothermal sources faced a major setback this week. This came following an American firm's reluctance to proceed without renegotiating terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA) it signed with Ethiopian authorities, sources disclosed to Fortune. 

Barely two months ago, senior executives of Corbetti Geothermal Plc. signed the PPA with their counterparts at the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEC). This agreement was for the latter to buy electricity generated from geothermal power at sites in the Tulu Moye and Abaya areas, near the town of Shashemene, in Oromia Regional State, 250km south of Addis Abeba.

Greenpeace Calls for over 700 GW of Geothermal by 2050

Energy Revolution 2015 (Greenpeace)

This is the year when the fight against climate change could take a dramatic turn. The conference in Paris in December presents political and business leaders with the opportunity to take the critical decisions needed if we are to keep average temperature rises to no more than 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. According to the IPCC, humankind cannot emit more than 1,000 giga-tonnes of CO2 from now, if we are to stay within this limit. At the current and projected rate of consumption, this entire carbon budget will be used by 2040.

The report calls for an increase of geothermal energy capacity in the base scenario from 11 GW in 2012 to 62 GW in 2050. The most progressive scenario calls for an increase to 708 GW by 2050.

Energy Revolution 2015 Full Report

Energy Revolution 2015 Executive Summary

Energy Revolution 2015 Key Messages

Monday, September 21, 2015

Webinar: Lessons from Geothermal Development in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia

Webinar: Driving geothermal deployment in developing countries (Climate Policy Initiative)

Tuesday, September 29th at 11:00 CEST and 16:00 CEST/10am EDT.

Climate Policy Initiative and Climate Investment Funds are pleased to invite you to a webinar sharing recommendations on the effective delivery of public finance from policymakers and development finance institutions to enable fast and cost-effective deployment of geothermal in developing countries. It draws lessons from case studies of geothermal projects with different public, private and mixed development models in Turkey, Kenya and Indonesia. 

Geothermal energy has the potential to provide significant amounts of low-carbon, low-cost electricity in many developing countries. It is broadly cost competitive with fossil fuel alternatives across the world and is the cheapest source of available power in some developing countries with rapidly growing energy demand. It can also provide a clean, reliable and flexible power source that could directly replace coal or gas in the electricity mix and complement higher penetrations of other, intermittent, renewable sources on the grid. However, it is not reaching its potential in developing countries. This webinar explores the barriers to geothermal deployment and ways of addressing them.

Register here.........