Thursday, June 30, 2016

St. Kitts and Nevis: Nevis Geothermal Project Nears Final Design

Thermal Energy Partners Begin Final Design For Nevis Geothermal Project (News Release)

A Binary Cycle Design for a geothermal power plant (Courtesy Thermal Energy Partners, LLC)
Thermal Energy Partners, LLC (TEP) announced through its affiliate, NRE International (NREI), that it has begun a series of final design reviews, and analysis of utility interconnection points for its Nevis geothermal power plant. TEP also announced that Clemessy, a subsidiary of Eiffage, has joined Turboden in a Joint Venture to provide EPC services for the project.

Technical teams from Turboden, Clemessy and TEP were on-hand this week to make final preparations with Nevis Electric Utility (NEVLEC) officials and tour the port facility prior to the mobilization of the drilling and construction equipment. This latest announcement comes after TEP previously conducted well testing and monitoring of the geothermal resource back in March and selected Turboden as its ORC technology vendor.

Read More........

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

Sponsorship opportunities at the geothermal energy event of the year

Your organization has the opportunity for high visibility at the Geothermal Resources Council’s 40th Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo scheduled for October 23 - 26, 2016, at the Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, California, USA.

Below are sponsorship opportunities for organizations looking for heightened exposure at the geothermal energy event of the year. All Sponsors’ logos will appear on GRC’s website until after the event. Sponsored events begin October 23, 2016.

GRC Sponsorships from Geothermal Resources Council

GRC/GEA Mutual Sponsorships from Geothermal Resources Council

Science & Technology: Extracting Valuable Rare Earth Elements from Geothermal Fluids

How PNNL Extracts Rare Earth Elements from Geothermal Brine (PNNL)

By looking at a problem at a nanoscale level, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers are developing an economic way to extract valuable rare earth elements from geothermal fluids. This novel approach may help meet the high demand for rare earth elements that are used in many clean energy technologies.

USA, California: Salton Sea Restoration Could Boost Geothermal Energy Development

Salton Sea Restoration Gets $80.5 Million In State Budget (KPBS)

Development could open up land for geothermal projects

The state budget Gov. Jerry Brown signed last week includes $80.5 million for restoration of the Salton Sea — more than California has ever allocated for the state's largest and most troubled lake.

The $80.5 million allocated in the state's budget will fund the design and environmental documentation for the first phase of the Salton Sea Management Plan. It will also fund some construction, said Bruce Wilcox, assistant secretary for Salton Sea policy at the California Natural Resources Agency. The plan builds habitat around the edges of the sea, which would deal with the habitat issues and the human health issues associated with the dust.

Wilcox said construction is expected to begin next year on two pieces of the project funded by the state — 600 acres of species conservation habitat and 450 acres at Red Hill Bay.

Read More........

Science & Technology: Using Geothermal Energy to Fix CO2 Underground

The Science Behind How These Geologists Are Turning Carbon Emissions Into Solid Rock (Forbes)

To learn more about the CarbFix project, and to find out how it all started, I spoke to the lead author of the paper, Prof Juerg Matter

Geothermal power plants are generally much cleaner than coal-fired plants, but because they pump volcanically-heated water from deep underground to the surface, they also release (mainly) carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). 

Most carbon storage projects require the H2S to be removed from the mixture (nicknamed ‘sour gas’) before storing, which can be an incredibly expensive process. But Matter and his colleagues found that they didn’t need to – they could sour gas with water directly, producing a slightly smelly, fizzy, acidic liquid that could be reinjected 400-500m down into the rocks.

Indonesia: Big Regional Geothermal Conference

IIGCE 2016 - Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition 2016

10-12 August, Jakarta, Indonesia

The most prestigious geothermal industry event in the region, where government agencies, policy makers, investors, developers, services companies, academicians and practitioners in the industry gather, network and exchange ideas.

IIGCE 2016 invites you to participate in our Convention, August 10th-12th 2016 at the Jakarta Convention Center.

Our theme this year is “Innovative Breakthrough to Achieve 7000 MW Geothermal Development by 2025".

More Information.........

U.S.A., Mexico, Canada: 50% of Electricity by 2025 from Clean Energy Sources

U.S., Mexico, Canada pledge 50% renewables and nuclear by 2025 in new climate pact (Utility Dive)

The United States, Mexico and Canada have struck a new regional deal to produce 50% of their electricity by 2025 from clean energy sources, including wind, solar, nuclear and hydropower, Reuters reports. The deal is set to be announced Wednesday at a summit of the three nations.

The deal builds on a slate of climate efforts from the Obama administration, including the EPA Clean Power Plan and signing of the Paris Climate Agreement last year. The CPP, currently under a judicial stay imposed by the Supreme Court, will be necessary in meeting the 50% goal, the White House said.

The deal is most ambitious for Mexico, which got less than 20% of its electricity from renewables and nuclear last year. The U.S. currently sources about a third of its power generation from renewable and nuclear resources, and Canada is over 80%. The agreement also includes language to limit methane emissions 40% to 45% by 2025 and provisions to ease power trading across borders.

Global: Ranking of Geothermal Energy Countries

81 countries have installed geothermal for electricity or heat

Philippines: Dispute Over Bac-Man Geothermal Plant Rehabilitation Work is Settled

EDC, contractor agree to end arbitration over geothermal plant (The Standard)

BacMan Geothermal Production Field (Courtesy EDC)
Energy Development Corp. (EDC) said Tuesday wholly-owned subsidiary Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. and Scottish contractor Weir Engineering Services Ltd. settled their respective claims on the rehabilitation works of the Bac-Man geothermal facility in the Bicol region.

“EDC is pleased to announce that BGI has informed it that all claims arising under the contract have now been settled on terms satisfactory to BGI and Weir,” EDC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

Bac-Man Geothermal agreed to return $1.89 million to Weir and both parties “have agreed to jointly take steps to cause the discontinuance of the arbitration.”

Canada: Huge Potential for Direct Use Geothermal in British Columbia

Geothermal energy going unused in B.C. (24 Hours Vancouver)

A new report examining the use of geothermal power in B.C. finds many interior communities who have access to natural heat energy aren’t using the resource.

Geoscience BC published a report identifying geothermal energy sources in 63 different communities in the province on Monday, along with instructions on how these communities can identify the strengths of the geothermal energy they have, and what they could use it for.

Carlos Salas, vice-president of energy at Geoscience, said examples of geothermal energy uses include space heating, creating greenhouses, raising tropical fish, spas, drying lumber and more.

In about 90 different hot spring sites examined by Geoscience, only about two dozen had any form of development. Places that could benefit from geothermal heating include Canoe Creek, Clarke Lake, Mount Meager and the Okanagan.

Read More.......

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mexico, New Zealand: Opportunity for Mexican Students to Study Geothermal Energy Down Under

Auckland signs landmark agreement with Mexico (Scoop)

Twenty Mexican students will have a chance to study at the University of Auckland each year as a result of a new agreement.

The University is the first New Zealand university to sign with Mexican agency Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) providing sponsorship for Mexican students wishing to study full PhD degrees and also promoting postgraduate fellowship visits between the two countries.

The University hosts an Energy Centre and its Geothermal Institute is actively engaged in research and exchanges in Mexico. Head of Engineering Science, Professor Rosalind Archer, a GRC Member, sees potential for even more collaboration with the signing of the Conacyt agreement.

"This agreement will pave the way for more scientific interchange on renewable energy between New Zealand and Mexico. We hope to see Mexico grow its geothermal energy generation, which will assist it in reducing its dependence on fossil fuels."

Read More.........

Science & Technology: Mapping Geothermal Features by Drone

Drone with heatcam reveals geothermal secrets (Scimex)

Researching geothermal features in inaccessible or dangerous terrain can now be done a bit more safely and cheaply, thanks to a new study that simply used a drone kitted with a heat camera to take groundbreaking images.

The researchers created a mosaic of the Waikite geothermal area in Rotorua, New Zealand, using nearly 6000 thermal images captured by just one drone - which they believe is the largest such image ever published - and even managed to remotely record the exact temperature of an inaccessible lake.

Read More........

USA, California: Nuclear Plant Closing Because of State Renewable Energy Policy

PG&E official: Renewable energy policy driving Diablo Canyon closure (The Tribune)

A new state law requiring half the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 was the key motivation in PG&E’s decision not to seek license renewal for Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, PG&E’s Chief Nuclear Officer Ed Halpin told The Tribune on Thursday.

“Over the past two years, the market has changed and the regulatory landscape has changed,” he said. “The plant’s power is just not needed.”

Earlier this week, PG&E announced that it will not seek license renewal with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the plant’s two nuclear reactors. The current operating licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.

The state’s energy goals to have 50 percent renewable power and a doubling of energy efficiency savings by 2030 as required by 2015’s Senate Bill 350 were the leading factors in PG&E’s decision, Halpin said. California regulators do not consider nuclear power to be renewable and are required to purchase renewable energy before they can purchase non-renewable power, Halpin said.

Read More......

Australia: Birdsville Geothermal Power Station to Expand to 200 kW

Queensland town of Birdsville embraces renewable energy through geothermal electricity station (Sunday Mail )

Birdsville mechanic and roadhouse owner Peter Barnes, with the outlet of the towns geothermal power station. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

It is the iconic Queensland town renowned for its larrikin-packed pub and annual “Melbourne Cup of the Outback”.

However, Birdsville, population 115, is about to become the epicentre of the state’s renewable energy evolution. The Sunday Mail can reveal the tiny town near the Queensland/South Australia border will soon be predominantly powered by an ­expanded geothermal electricity station.

Ergon Energy will spend up to $4.5 million expanding Birdsville’s unique 80 kilowatts geothermal power station into a 200kW state-of-the-art facility.

It will cut diesel use by up to 80 per cent.

The station will provide up to 70 per cent of Birdsville’s electricity and save $340,000 a year on diesel fuel.

Read More........

Armenia: Geothermal Exploratory Drilling Begins

Armenia Begins Drilling for Major Geothermal Station (Renewable Energy World)

In the second half of June, Armenia launched reconnaissance drilling of geothermal wells near Kyarkyar City in the southern part the country, according to a recent statement from Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia Hayk Harutyunyan.

Harutyunyan said the location is the first of two sites that have been chosen within previous studies for the construction of a geothermal power station. Preliminary researches indicated that a station at the site would be able to produce between 30 MW and 50 MW of energy, operating 7,000 hours per year.

Read More.......

Canada: Guide to Direct Use Geothermal Applications in BC

Geoscience BC Releases Comprehensive Guide for BC Communities on Development of Direct-Use Geothermal (News Release)

Geoscience BC today released its Direct-Use Geothermal Roadmap, a comprehensive guide for communities and businesses to help them evaluate and develop local geothermal energy projects to stimulate economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Direct-Use Geothermal Roadmap contains practical guidelines for communities on geothermal surface exploration, land acquisition and permitting, drilling and testing wells required for the design and development of direct-use geothermal resources in BC. 

USA, Idaho: Drilling Begins of a New Large Diameter Well at El Ceibillo Geothermal Project

U.S. Geothermal to Deepen San Emidio II Wells (News Release)

U.S. Geothermal Inc. has announced an update on two of its advanced stage development projects.

San Emidio Geothermal Power Plant (Courtesy U.S. Geothermal Inc.) 
Drilling of a new large diameter well, EC‐5 at El Ceibillo (Guatemala), began June 9. Well EC‐5 is targeting the production zone previously encountered in well EC‐2A. Well EC‐5 will be used to test the geothermal reservoir’s flow characteristics and provide critical data required for the numerical reservoir model being developed by Mannvit Engineering of Iceland. The reservoir model will be used to determine the size, production characteristics, and power production capability of the reservoir.

Approval has been received from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to deepen two geothermal wells at San Emidio Phase II (Nevada) originally drilled to obtain temperature gradients at San Emidio. Drilling is scheduled to begin on July 11. A vegetation survey was completed in May, and a nesting bird survey will be conducted within 10 days before drilling operations commence. Extended vegetation surveys were completed over the larger resource target area in anticipation of the need for additional roads and well pads.

The two wells were originally drilled to a depth of 1,000 feet and encountered high bottom hole temperatures and high temperature gradients. Both of these are indicators of a deeper, active geothermal system. If productive zones are encountered, the wells will be tested to determine resource temperature and production characteristics of this south‐west zone.

Read More........

Friday, June 24, 2016

Japan: Exploration Drilling to Begin at Fukushima Geothermal Project

Idemitsu to Begin Drilling Survey for Fukushima Geothermal Plan (Bloomberg)

Idemitsu Kosan Co., a Japanese refiner, is set to begin drilling surveys for a geothermal project in Fukushima with 10 other Japanese companies, highlighting efforts to promote clean energy in the prefecture after an earthquake in 2011 triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. 

Two survey wells will be drilled as deep as 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) at the Bandai-Asahi national park 230 kilometers north of Tokyo later this year, said Hisashi Jotaki, who heads the geothermal section at Idemitsu. Surface surveys began in 2013 to identify areas suitable for drilling.

The partners -- including Inpex Corp. and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. -- will decide by March 2018 whether to move on to drilling wells for use in actual power generation. That would depend on the results of the current survey, said Jotaki, a 36-year-veteran in geothermal development.

Science & Technology: Good Educational Overview of CarbFIX Project

Volcanic rocks can quickly turn pollution into stone (Science News for Students)

Transforming ‘greenhouse’ gas into solid rock may be better than other methods at fighting climate change

Greenhouse gases are a major contributor to climate change. But a new technique can turn one of these gases into solid rock before it floats up into the atmosphere. If widely adopted, such a move might just help slow global warming.

As part of a test program, researchers in Iceland injected gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) into basalt (Bah-SALT). It’s the type of rock that lava turns into when it cools quickly. About two years later, the scientists checked back. More than 95 percent of the gas had turned to stone, they found.

Solidifying the gas effectively locked it away. Now the gas is no longer a threat to Earth’s climate. Such a relatively fast process could help counteract the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, the researchers conclude.

Ethiopia: PM - Geothermal Energy is Clean, Green and has Minimal Effects on the Environment

Ethiopian PM visits Olkaria, promises more energy partnerships (The Star)

Hailemariam Desalegn
The Ethiopian Prime Minister promised more collaboration with Kenya on energy when he visited Olkaria, the largest geothermal power plant in Africa, on Friday.

Hailemariam Desalegn led a delegation of senior officials from his country to the Kenya-Ethiopia Business Forum.

He said he was impressed by Kenya's investment in the plant, noting geothermal energy is clean, green and has minimal effects on the environment.

Read More........

Peru: GRC Member Explores Geothermal Phenomenon in the Amazon

Amazon’s Boiling River becomes a reality for researcher Andres Ruzo (The Australian)

The Boiling River is spiritually significant to indigenous people of the Amazon. Picture: Sofia Ruzo

The trees are so tall, and jungle so thick, that it is difficult to distinguish the topography above the ridge. In places, thatched-roof homesteads sit on lush lawns dotted with large trees and grazing cattle. These patches of domesticated jungle expose rolling hills and ravines.

“Isn’t it incredible?” Guida says, beaming. “I love the jungle.”

“It’s beautiful.” I nod. “But I just can’t wait to see this thermal river. Honestly, I’m having trouble focusing on much else.”

Guida laughs. “Try to enjoy the present a little more,” she says. “The river will come soon enough.”

We hear a shout from the front of the pekepeke (long boat), where our second guide, Brunswick, is standing. He is in his early 30s and is [our chief guide] Maestro’s apprentice. “Look over there!” he says, pointing some 10m ahead. “There is the mouth of the Boiling River where the hot and cold waters meet.”

This is an edited extract from geoscientist Andres Ruzo’s The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon (TED Books; Simon & Schuster, $19.99, Amazon Prime $12.93, Kindle e-book $7.99).

Read More.......

Thursday, June 23, 2016

East Africa: Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility Launches Next Application Round

Launching of 4th Application Round of GRMF

The 4th Application Round of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) was officially launched during the AUC East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting held at the African Union HQ in Addis Ababa.

The Interim GRMF project manager Rashid Ali Abdallah provided an overview on the GRMF to date and provided an update on the GRMF Expression of Interest, on the general GRMF procedures, as well as on aspects of procurement and special considerations regarding Environmental and Social Impact assessment:

Presentation on application procedure by GRMF Technical Consultant

Relevant documents and application forms can be found on the GRMF webpage.

The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest for AR 4 is 12 August 2016 (16:00 Ethiopian time).

USA: FERC Ruling Opens Up Huge Potential Distributed Renewable Energy Market

New Ruling Opens Up 400 GW Renewables Market (Rocky Mountain Institute)

FERC confirms that co-ops can buy unlimited power from PURPA-qualifying facilities

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s Thursday ruling clearly rejected Tri-State’s petition, stating:
Tri-State’s petition would effectively undo Delta-Montrose’s statutory obligation to purchase from QFs and correspondingly limit QFs from selling power to Delta-Montrose at negotiated rates.
FERC, June 2016 Commission Meeting Summaries
This ruling has two significant implications for rural electric cooperatives (co-ops), municipal utilities (munis), and the generation and transmission providers that serve those utilities (G&Ts).
  1. Distribution co-ops and municipal utilities are no longer constrained in their ability to source cost-competitive local power
  2. G&Ts need to embrace a distributed energy future
The FERC ruling has opened up a huge potential distributed renewable energy market. Renewable energy buyers and sellers both have a role to play in enabling this market to achieve its full potential. 

Canada: Borealis GeoPower Geothermal Energy Outreach in BC

Introduction to Geothermal Exploration with Craig Dunn! (Borealis GeoPower)

Saturday, July 16th, Valemount, British Columbia, Canada

Africa: Rwanda, Djibouti and the Union of Comoros Get Funds to Develop Geothermal Energy

More African Countries Embrace Geothermal Power, Receive $37M in Funding (Renewable Energy World)

The tiny East African countries of Rwanda, Djibouti and the Union of Comoros have joined the African league of geothermal power producers, in a field still dominated by Kenya after applying and getting funding to commence surface studies and drilling operations from the US $115 Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) fund, which is administered by the African Union (AU).

Alongside Kenya and Ethiopia, the countries have jointly won a US $36.7 million funding for a total of seven different projects at an evaluation meeting convened at AU headquarters in Ethiopia on June 17, and being part of third round of funding applications from the GRMF established in 2012.

Rwanda, through its state Energy Development Corporation Ltd., and Comoros, through state company Bureau Géologique des Comores, received funding for drilling, while Djibouti government corporation L’Office Djiboutien de développement de l'Energie Géothermique won funding for surface studies.

Philippines: For Every Tree That is Cut, Geothermal Company Plants 100 Seedlings

EDC Official Says Geothermal expansion outside Mt. Talinis (Visayan Daily Star)

The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has clarified that its proposed 60 MW geothermal expansion project in Valencia, Negros Oriental, is outside the Mount Talinis protected area.

Despite that, EDC has reforested 1,100 hectares in the Mount Talinis area from 1998-2014 for combined non-Binhi and Binhi projects, with almost 800,000 trees planted, it added.

“We cannot exist without forests because we rely heavily on healthy watersheds to recharge our geothermal reservoir,” Engr. Vicente Omandam, senior manager for EDC's Negros Island Geothermal Business Unit said. “Without them, our steamfields will dry up and will not be able to supply geothermal energy to our power plants.”

“For every tree that is cut, EDC replaces it by planting 100 seedlings. We invest not only in the establishment but also in the maintenance of these trees to ensure their survival,” Omandam stressed.

EDC also said it has not begun any activity for its proposed geothermal expansion project apart from its application for an Environmental Clearance Certificate, which is still pending release.

Read More.......

Italy: Turboden Wins Award for Geothermal Cogenerative Plant Technology

Turboden is awarded the COGEN Europe Recognition Award 2016
for its geothermal cogeneration plants in the Technology and Innovation
category (News Release)

Turboden received the COGEN Europe Recognition Award 2016 for achievement in the cogeneration sector through its geothermal cogenerative plants.

Turboden is a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, leader in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology for distributed power generation from renewable sources and waste heat.

Confident in its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) solutions, Turboden has implemented cogenerative power plants in the geothermal sector as well. The Italian company has produced and commissioned three combined heat and power geothermal units, one in Austria (Altheim) and two in Germany (Bavaria) with an overall power installed of 10 MW electric. A further 4.2 MW geothermal power plant is under construction to be delivered in Croatia.

Turboden will be exhibiting at the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, October 23-26 in Sacramento, California, USA.

Read More........

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Canada: Alberta Takes Notice of Geothermal Energy

Hot Treasure - Alberta's unique geothermal potential (Alberta Views)

Our province has a new government and a new climate plan that proposes to change everything, especially for the energy sector. We’re phasing out coal and putting a higher price on carbon. New environmental regulations loom for the energy industry. Oil prices are down sharply as global competitors flood the market. Unemployment is up and corporate revenues are down. Everyone says we must diversify, but no one knows how. A lot of capital is tied up in idle rigs and abandoned wells.

Alberta, however, has the resources, the know-how and the interested parties to create a new energy specialty: geothermal. “To me, this is an exciting opportunity,” says Craig Dunn, the president of Calgary-based Borealis GeoPower. As a geologist, he knows that oilfield wellheads often erupt with brine, oil, gas—and steam. To him that means “Albertans have direct access to the earth’s heat.” What oil companies have long seen as a hazardous nuisance, Dunn’s company sees as a renewable resource that can be turned into a commodity. Already, engineers are retooling oilfield equipment to drill for heat. Even abandoned oil wells can be repurposed for geothermal energy.

Canada: Local Support for British Columbia Geothermal Project

Opinion: Geothermal money where mouth is (The Rocky Mountain Goat)

If I had a million dollars, I’d invest in the Valemount Geopark and get core holes drilled and the first slim hole started. I don’t have money like that. But if given a chance, I will put the money I do have – little as it is – in this project I believe in.

Korie Marshall, Editor
The Rocky Mountain Goat
Borealis Geopower is considering a crowdfunding campaign to help get a geothermal industrial park, in partnership with the Valemount Community Forest, off the ground. Borealis doesn’t have to crowd fund, they have other options, and it won’t cover all the costs they’ll have for the project. The BC Securities Commission has new rules for start-up crowdfunding, and no one person can invest more than $1,500. There are also limits to how much can be raised with crowdfunding. 

So when you are talking about half a million dollars to drill core holes, and then another million each for slim holes, that would take over a thousand individual investors putting in the max amount just to get the first slim hole – a daunting task.

Indonesia: 110 MW Online in December at Sarulla Geothermal Project

110 MW Sarulla Geothermal-Based Plant to Operate by Year-End (

The Sarulla geothermal power plant 110 MW unit I is scheduled to reach its commercial operation date (COD) in December.

Units two and three with an additional capacity of 110 MW each will begin operation in 2017 and 2018 respectively, making a total of 330 MW.

The Sarulla geothermal power plant will be the world’s largest single-contract geothermal power plant and will accelerate the achievement of electrification target in Indonesia.

The project requires roughly USD 1.5 billion of investment, financed by private sector participation—lead by Medco Energy in a consortium with Itochu, Kyushu, and Ormat— encompassing 20 percent equity and 80 percent loan financing from Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC), through an independent power producer (IPP) scheme.

Read More........                   Other Sarulla articles.......

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

USA, California: Plan to Replace Generation from 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon Plant with Renewable Energy

PG&E to close Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, replace it with renewables, efficiency, storage (Utility Dive)

Pacific Gas & Electric, the electricity provider for northern California, has reached a deal with environmental and labor groups to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and replace it with a combination of renewable energy, efficiency and energy storage.

Under the terms of the deal struck with Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council and others, PG&E will renounce plans to seek license renewals for the plant's two reactors, which expire in 2024 and 2025 respectively. In the meantime, the utility will propose a plan to the California Public Utilities Commission to replace the generation from the 2,240 MW plant with clean energy resources.
The deal ends an extended struggle over the future of the plant, the Washington Post notes, during which critics raised concerns over the safety of the plant, located near a major geological fault line on the central California coast. Diablo is the last nuclear plant in the state and provides about 9% of California's electricity.

USA, Oregon: State Officials Visit Newberry Geothermal Site

Oregon Geothermal on the Rise (Oregon Department of Energy)

Advances in renewable energy are just around the corner in Central Oregon.

South of Bend, Oregon, the Newberry Volcano rises about 4,000 feet above the city (7,989 above sea level). Newberry is the largest volcano in the Cascades, and its last eruption was just 1,300 years ago. This sleeping giant – a caldera like Crater Lake – is now the star of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, where Oregonians and tourists can camp and hike along its two lakes, the impressive lava flows, or many volcanic cones and vents (there are more than 400!).

But just under the earth’s crust, the area around Newberry offers much more – and the NEWGEN team of experts are ready to tap into the volcano’s potential renewablegeothermal energy.

NEWGEN – Newberry Geothermal Energy – is a team of partners who want to strengthen geothermal technology using the natural energy under the western flank of the Newberry Volcano. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oregon State University, AltaRock Energy, Inc., GE Global Research, and Statoil are working together to develop and test engineered geothermal systems (EGS) at Newberry.

Japan: Onsen Owners and Geothermal Energy Developers Look for a Compromise

Naked bathers and tradition stymie Japan's clean energy ambitions (The Straits Times)

Courtesy Japan Sauna Spa Association
"We strongly oppose geothermal development," said Toru Terada, the senior managing director of the Japan Spa Association, which represents 1,200 members. "Geothermal plants can lower the temperature of the springs, as well as deplete volume. We can't support the government's plan to loosen regulations in order to expand facilities."

Hot springs are big business in Japan. More than 120 million people stay overnight at such resorts annually, while millions go for day trips, according to the association. 

"Undoubtedly the onsen has impeded" development of geothermal, Greg Bignall, head of the geothermal department at New Zealand-based GNS Science, said by phone. "They can point historically in Japan and around the world where developments have negatively impacted the hot springs."

The government and developers should address hot spring owners' concerns by showing examples of areas that have been developed without damage and by explaining advancements in current methodologies and technologies, according to Bignall.

In October, the government relaxed rules protecting onsen and natural parks, expanding the area that can be drilled. The government still doesn't allow for drilling in so-called "special protection areas."

About 80 per cent of Japan's geothermal resources lie on onsen or nature reserves, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Indonesia: Cities and Regencies to Share Profits from Geothermal Energy

Regional Govts to Get Share from Geothermal Profits (Tempo)

Local governments in Indonesia will soon be able to enjoy the profits from geothermal activities. The government has entered the final stages of drafting a regulation on the bonus from geothermal production, which is expected to be implemented next month.

"The Energy Minister, Finance Minister, Home Affairs Minister, and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy have all agreed. We now only have to wait for the president's approval," Yunus Saefulhak Director of Geothermal Energy and Mineral Resources, told Tempo Monday, June 20, 2016.

The bonus and profit portions for local governments will be given based on the sales percentage between geothermal developers and the central government. The calculation is based on power units (kilowatt hours/kWh). For thermal power sales and purchase agreements (SAPs), the profit share is 1.0 percent and for electricity SAPs the share is 0.5 percent.

Yunus said areas that are eligible for a share of the revenues are cities and regencies—not provinces. If a work is located in more than two regencies/cities, the production bonus will be divided according to the area size.

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Zealand: Drilling Starts at 20 MW Te Ahi O Maui Geothermal Power Project

Geothermal well drilling begins (SunLive)

Eastland Group's board of directors visited the Te Ahi O Maui drilling site last month. From left: Keiran Devine, Mike Glover, John Rae, Nelson Cull (chairman), John Clarke, Tony Gray. Photo: Courtesy Eastland group.
An Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi is predicting the drilling for new geothermal wells will provide an opportunity to develop and create local expertise and employment for the community.

Drilling is now underway on the first of three wells for Te Ahi O Maui geothermal power project near the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau. 

Following completion of the well, two further wells will be drilled later this year.

East Africa: Establishing Geothermal Energy as a Strategic Option in Power Expansion Planning

Ethiopia: AU hosts geothermal seminar (ESI Africa)

Energy and power industry influencers attended the first east African donors’ coordination meeting last week in Ethiopia, dedicated to promoting geothermal investments.

The conference was also organised to highlight the importance of improving access to equity or other funding sources and therefore play a catalytic role in establishing geothermal energy as a strategic option in power expansion planning for the region.

The forum was held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. Commissioner for infrastructure and energy Dr Elham Ibrahim welcomed the delegates, which among them included Gary Quince head of the EU delegation to the African Union, Bruce Shepherd of New Zealand, Thomas Terstegen, deputy head of mission of Germany, deputy director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), energy ministers and ambassadors of the East African Rift System.

Read More.......

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Global: Nominations Due This Week for GRC Geothermal Awards

The GRC Awards – Seeking the Best in Global Geothermal

Nominations are due June 24. The winners will be announced at the GRC Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California, USA.

2015 Joseph W. Aidlin Award winner Gene Suemnicht (left)
with GRC President Paul Brophy
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is pleased to announce the opening of nominations for this year’s GRC Awards. The awards recognize distinguished colleagues in the geothermal community from around the world and have been a highlight of the geothermal calendar since the late 1970’s.

The winners will be honored at the GRC Awards Luncheon, the climax to the GRC Annual Meeting being held in Sacramento, California, USA from October 23 –26. The theme for this year’s meeting is Geothermal Energy, Here and Now: Sustainable, Clean, Flexible.

“The recipients of these awards often have a lifetime of achievement in the academic, scientific and commercial geothermal communities,” said GRC Executive Director Steve Ponder. “These awards are considered among the most prestigious in the geothermal community.”

More information on the GRC Awards, including a nomination form, can be found on the GRC website. The deadline for nominations is June 24, 2016.

Read More......                        Nomination Form......

Friday, June 17, 2016

USA, Idaho: Stimulation Increases Well Injectivity 50 Fold at Raft River Geothermal Field

EERE Success Story—Geothermal Technology Breakthrough in Idaho: Building Upon Previous EGS Accomplishments (EERE/GTO)

The RRG-9 ST-1 wellhead fitted 
with a lubricator. (EERE/GTO)
The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO)'s major long-term goal is to realize enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technologies’ vast potential through commercial, cost-competitive, EGS power production. In pursuit of this goal, GTO funds research and development (R&D) and field demonstrations to facilitate new, innovative technology deployment and validation to reduce costs and improve performance of these man-made geothermal reservoirs. To build upon previous EGS demonstrations successes, GTO and the University of Utah are continuing to push EGS technologies forward with ground breaking accomplishments at the Raft River Geothermal Field in Idaho.

The Energy & Geoscience Institute at the University of Utah is demonstrating stimulation techniques that connect a previously isolated injection well, RRG-9, to the existing power production wells. In effect, this makes existing geothermal reservoirs larger, and more electricity can be added to the grid.

As of June 2016, the team observed more than a 50-fold increase in well injectivity, from approximately 20 gallons per minute (gpm) to nearly 1,000 gpm at RRG-9. Regular fluid samples collected from nearby production wells indicate new, man-made connections between the RRG-9 and the existing reservoir.

Read More.........

Japan: Insurance for Onsen Impact Surveys for Geothermal Plant Operators

Asia Minute: Geothermal Power and Japan’s Hot Springs (Hawaii Public Radio)

Geothermal power has been part of the electricity grid for decades on Hawai‘i Island. In Japan, development of geothermal has been slow—but a recent move might speed things up. Hawaii Public Radio’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Download MP3 file (1:22 Minutes)......

Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance is now selling insurance to operators of geothermal plants that would pay for a technical survey to determine if a plant has any impact on a nearby hot spring.  Up to now, the operators of the hot springs have been on the hook for those studies…which can top a quarter of a million dollars.

Read More.......

Japan: Fukushima Geothermal Project Surface Survey Completed - Drilling Survey is Next

Commencement of drilling survey (Phase 3) in Bandai District, Fukushima Prefecture for geothermal energy development (Your Industry News)

Inpex Corporation announced today that the Fukushima Geothermal Project Team has completed a three-year surface survey of geothermal resources at the area around Mt. Bandai in the Bandai-Asahi National Park in Fukushima Prefecture Japan and plans to commence drilling survey at a promising area confirmed from the surface survey.

The Team has been conducting a surface survey since 2013 with the consent of local communities and the financial support from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), it will move onto the next phase; drilling survey in the area.

Read More........

China: Government Calls on Companies to Explore Potential 800 MW Geothermal in Tibet

China to accelerate Tibet's clean energy development (China Daily)

China will speed up the development of clean energy in Tibet Autonomous Region from 2016 to 2020, under the principle of "putting the environment first," according to an energy official.

The initiative will boost the local economy and increase strategic reserves of clean energy, Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration, said on Thursday at a conference on Tibet's energy development held in the regional capital of Lhasa.

The government called on companies to explore the abundant geothermal sources in Tibet.

Global Geothermal News reported in January that Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has detected 672 geothermal sites with a combined power generation potential of 800 MW in a new survey.

East Africa: Geothermal Energy is Important for Development of Region

East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting encouraging Geothermal Investment commences at the African Union Headquarters (News Release)

The East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting commenced on Monday 13th June 2016. 

As it was the first meeting of its kind ever to hold at the African Union, Commissioner Elham Ibrahim expressed her warm regards to delegates present and to the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) team for organizing   a gathering that thrives to encourage public and private investors to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in Eastern Africa. Dr. Elham noted that it is more than ever important to increase the deployment of geothermal projects so as to increase the rate of energy access in Africa especially with the growing population. This she said can be achieved with reliable and competitively priced modern energy such as geothermal.

Ambassador, Gary Quince the Head of the EU delegation said that Geothermal is a course strong potential contribution to renewable energy development in Africa. With the growing population he said that geothermal energy is a unique option as it provides base load alternative with high capacity factor to fossil fuel based electricity generation thus deemed environmentally friendly

Thursday, June 16, 2016

USA: News from the Geo Heat Pump Industry

Heat Exchange Industry News (Geothermal Exchange Organization)

The latest GEO Industry News is now available from the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO).

Headlines and features in this month’s edition include:
  • President's Message - GEO Continues to Push for Tax Parity
  • Repowering America - Special to GEO, by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
  • New York Geo Tax Credit Passes Legislature for Second Time
The Geothermal Exchange Organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association based in Springfield, Illinois, USA that advocates the environmental, energy efficiency and economic benefits of geothermal heat pump systems for heating and cooling applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings in the USA.

GEO Industry News (PDF)

Indonesia: Pertamina to Add 165 MW Geothermal Energy Capacity This Year

Pertamina to operate three geothermal plants in 2016 (Antara News)

PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) is ready to operate three geothermal plants this year with a total capacity of 165 MW.

The three geothermal plants are Unit 3 in Ulubelu, Lampung, with a capacity of 55 MW, the Lahendong Unit 5 in North Sulawesi with a capacity of 55 MW, and the Karaha Unit 1 in West Java with a capacity of 55 MW.

The Ulubelu unit 3 is scheduled to begin operations in August 2016 in accordance with the commercial operation date (COD).

Meanwhile, the Lahendong unit 5 and the Karaha unit 1 are scheduled to begin operations in December 2016.

"The total additional capacity installed in these geothermal plants is 160 MW. Currently, the installed capacity of geothermal power plants managed by PGE is 437 MW," said Corporate Secretary of PGE Tafif Azimudin.

PGE has also completed the exploratory drilling of wells in these geothermal power plants. The drilling consists of two wells in Ulubelu unit 3, two wells in Lahendong unit 5, and three wells in Karaha unit 1.

Read More........

Japan: Toshiba: “We are just doing turbines now but we want to take full advantage of business opportunities in every stage of the value chain.”

Toshiba Eyes Expanding Its Geothermal Business Beyond Turbines (Bloomberg)

Toshiba Corp., the world’s biggest supplier of turbines used to produce electricity from the heat trapped underground, will expand its geothermal power business into operation and maintenance services as it aims to extend its lead in a global market dominated by a handful of competitors.

“We are just doing turbines now but we want to take full advantage of business opportunities in every stage of the value chain,” Tsutsomu Higashizawa, who is in charge of the Tokyo-based company’s global geothermal business, said in an interview.

Three Japanese manufacturers dominate the market for geothermal turbines. Toshiba, which has provided equipment for projects accounting for more than 3,000 megawatts of capacity, has a 23.4 percent share, trailed by Fuji Electric Co. and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd. with 21.2 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Mitsubishi Hitachi is a venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd.

“Our goal is to get a 100 percent share of the market, but more realistically we are aiming for at least half,” Higashizawa said.

Toshiba American Energy Systems Corporation (TAES) will be exhibiting at theGRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, October 23-26 in Sacramento, California, USA.

Read More........

USA, California: Renewable Energy Resources Dominate the Golden State's Grid System

Electric Utilities Prepare for a Grid Dominated by Renewable Energy (Greentech Media)

The control room at CAISO headquarters near Sacramento
A growing number of electric industry leaders agree that it’s only a matter of time before renewable energy resources dominate their grid systems.

In California, it’s already a reality, said Steve Berberich, president and CEO of  California Independent System Operator (CAISO). On a typical day, CAISO will pull about 30,000 megawatts of energy production, with around 6,500 megawatts from solar, 5,000 megawatts from wind and another 5,000 from geothermal and other services on the system. In addition, California’s grid system has roughly 4,000 megawatts of behind-the-meter solar, which is growing at a rate of about 70 megawatts per month.

In any given day, California gets more than 30 percent its electricity from renewable energy. On many days that amount climbs to 40 percent, and on some days renewables reach 50 percent, said Berberich.

“Now we have to think about the system as a renewable energy-based system complemented by other things,” he said, speaking at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention this week in Chicago.

There will be a GRC Fieldtrip to the headquarters of CAISO from the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, October 23-26, Sacramento, California.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Turkey: 1,000 MW Geothermal Energy by 2018

Turkey likely to reach geothermal sector's 1,000 MW target by 2018, ahead of 2023, say EBRD officials (Energy Observer)

The geothermal sector in Turkey, which is developing very dynamically, is very likely to reach the objective of 1,000 MW capacity well before its target of 2023, said Natalia Khanjenkova, managing director for Turkey and Central Asia at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Tuesday.

Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency, Khanjenkova said Turkey has big potential for geothermal energy.

"I understand the estimates are between 2,000 - 4,500 MW which are significant resources. This, combined with a strong regulatory framework and very good job done by the government, create the framework that helps investors in the geothermal sector. Another critical factor is the very vibrant private sector that is eager to invest," Khanjenkova said.

USA, California: Funds Available for Projects to Improve Performance and Cost Effectiveness of Geothermal Energy

Grant Funding Opportunity - Improving Performance and Cost Effectiveness of Small Hydro, Geothermal and Wind Energy Technologies (California Energy Commission)

Projects must address the following:
  • Improving the cost-effectiveness and operational flexibility of geothermal energy production.
  • Develop new and advanced technologies, strategies, and tools that improve the cost-effectiveness and operational flexibility of geothermal energy production, extending the operating life of existing and new geothermal energy generation facilities.
Deadline for Written Questions: July 6, 2016, 5:00 p.m. Deadline to Submit Applications: August 17, 2016, by 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Application Workshop, June 28, 2016, 10:00 a.m. PDT, California Energy Commission, Sacramento, California.