Tuesday, May 22, 2018

USA, Oregon: Portland General Electric Issues RFP for 100 MW of Renewable Energy Including Geothermal

PGE Seeks 100 Average Megawatts of New Renewable Resources (News Release)

Portland General Electric (PGE) Company is continuing its push for a clean and reliable energy future for its customers and the communities it serves by issuing a request for proposals (RFP) today seeking an additional 100 average megawatts of renewable power generating resources. PGE shared the RFP in draft form with potential bidders and stakeholders earlier this year, and on May 16 received final Oregon Public Utility Commission sign-off to move forward with the competitive bidding process. After final adjustments to reflect commission direction, the RFP is now open for bids.

Bids submitted must meet a minimum size of 10 megawatts, and can represent multiple technologies including geothermal, biomass, biogas, solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Bids can also be structured in a variety of ways, including power purchase agreements or proposals for facilities that PGE would own and operate. 

Opinion: Uncertainty Makes Geothermal Less Attractive to Investors and Utilities

Opinion: Lack of long-term U.S. energy plan impedes transformative technology (The Brookings Institution)

Lance Collins, J. Silbert Dean of Engineering - Cornell University

In the case of geothermal, there are no national guidelines indicating how much it should be contributing to total energy production. Support for geothermal projects in the form of loan guarantees, lending support, or cooperative agreements has been inconsistent since the 1970s and a tax credit for geothermal developers expired in 2016 – the same year a new energy bill stalled in Congress that may have boosted funds directed at geothermal projects. This uncertainty makes geothermal less attractive to investors and utilities.

In the more than 60 years we’ve recognized energy as an important societal problem, we’ve failed to come up with the means and determination to change our reliance on fossil fuels. Researchers in universities and labs across the country will continue to innovate and find new ways to make energy more efficient, cheap, resilient to natural disasters, and less damaging to the environment. It is essential that we partner with government and policymakers to create a pipeline for these innovations to reach the market, so that we can ensure a sustainable energy future.

Read More.........

USA, Nevada: Permission Sought to Build 62 MW McGinness Hills III Geothermal Power Project

Geothermal power plant near Austin next McGinness Hills phase (Northern Nevada Business Weekly)

McGinness Hills Geothermal Power Plant
(GRC Fieldtrip 2015 - Photo by Ian Crawford)
Energy company ORNI 41 — a subsidiary of Ormat Nevada, Inc. — has applied to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission for permission to build a geothermal power plant 10 miles north of Austin.

The McGinness Hills III project would include a 62-megawatt electric power plant built next to two existing 48 MW generating stations. Austin is located about 2 hours east of Fallon, off Interstate 80.

Along with the new power plant, the company is proposing a 230-kilovolt power line to connect it to the grid.

The plant, like the first two phases of the McGinness Hills project, would be built on BLM land. The company has already filed its applications with the federal government and BLM previously approved the location for a geothermal facility.

The new plant will require drilling five near production wells and two injection wells. The injection wells will be on private property leased to ORNI/Ormat. It will include about 15 acres of land altogether.

USA, Nevada: Private Investor Buys Into Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Power Plant

Ormat Announces Closing of $33.4 Million Partnership Transaction for Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Power Plant (News Release)

Ormat Technologies Inc. today announced that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries that indirectly owns the 26 MW Tungsten Mountain Geothermal power plant entered into a partnership agreement with a private investor.

Under the transaction documents, the private investor acquired membership interests in the project for an initial purchase price of approximately $33.4 million and for which it will pay additional installments that are expected to amount to approximately $13 million. Ormat will continue to operate and maintain the power plant and will receive substantially all the distributable cash flow generated by the power plant.

The Tungsten Mountain geothermal power plant, located in Churchill County, Nevada, began commercial operation on December 1, 2017. Tungsten Mountain is the first power plant to sell its power under the 26-year Ormat Northern Nevada Geothermal Portfolio Power Purchase Agreement with Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), which was announced in June 2017.

Read More.........

United Kingdom: Lucien Bronicki Receives Engineering Award for Geothermal Energy Work

Prince Philip Medal Awarded to Geothermal Energy Pioneer (News Release)

Lucien Bronicki
Lucien Bronicki, Former Chairman and CTO of Ormat Industries Ltd, is to receive the 2018 Royal Academy of Engineering Prince Philip Medal for his outstanding work in developing new technologies to harness the earth's geothermal power.

The Prince Philip Medal is the Academy's most prestigious individual award, made in honor of its Senior Fellow, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh KG KT. The award is made biennially to an engineer of any nationality who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering.

Lucien Bronicki has made significant contributions to engineering science as a whole, with about 50 scientific publications and 35 authored patents, with another 65 co-authored. He has also supported institutions focusing on geothermal energy production, such as the Geothermal Resources Council in the USA.

Lucien Bronicki said, "It is a great honor to receive the Prince Philip Medal. At the time, "selling" a completely new type of power unit against well established and proven diesel generators or geothermal steam plants was difficult and it is gratifying that today there are many well established manufacturers and R&D centres promoting ORC systems."

USA, Hawaii: Lava Inches Closer to Puna Geothermal Venture but Main Flow Stays Away

Lava creeps onto geothermal plant site on Hawaii's Big Island (Reuters)

A lava flow encroaching onto the shuttered Puna Geothermal Venture power plant destroyed a warehouse on the property Monday evening, but the top executive in Hawaii for PGV said the concerns about lava inundation at the plant have been overblown.

Puna Geothermal Venture can be seen at lower
right, close to the line of lava flow. Honolulu
Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell.  
Molten lava from the erupting Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island crept onto a geothermal power plant site on Monday, as workers rushed to shut down the facility to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases.

Crews worked into the night to cap the 11th and final well at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant, which provides about 25 percent of the Big Island’s power, as lava from an active fissure flowed 200 to 300 yards from the nearest well pad, county and federal officials said.

The plant has been closed since shortly after lava began erupting on May 3 through newly opened fissures in the ground running through neighborhoods and roads on the far eastern flank of Kilauea.

Within a week, some 60,000 gallons (227,124 liters) of the highly flammable chemical pentane, which was stored at the plant, were moved from harm’s way. The state said last week it was pumping cold water into the wells and would cap them with iron plugs.

USA: Over $600,000 for Geothermal Technologies in SBIR Funding

Energy Department Announces Nearly $13 Million in Small Business Research and Development for EERE (News Release)

As part of today’s $34 million announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary, Rick Perry, for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development projects, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will fund 87 new projects across 34 states, totaling nearly $13 million in funding.

Nine EERE technology offices are funding 10 Phase I topic areas (Advanced Manufacturing I & II, Bioenergy, Buildings, Fuel Cells, Geothermal. Solar, Vehicles, Water, and Wind) across 29 subtopics. Some examples of EERE-funded projects include the following geothermal themed projects:

Porifera Inc., San Leandro, CA
$149,916.79 - SBIR
An Efficient PFO-SPS System for Concentration of Brines and Wastewater 

Using Low Enthalpy Geothermal Heat Concentration of brines and wastewater is an energy intensive process and does not utilize available geothermal heat. This proposal will enable the design of a pilot system that will concentrate challenging wastewaters using geothermal heat. The system will be able to reach higher concentrations and treat more problematic water using less energy compared to state of the art technologies.

Mainstream Engineering Corporation, Rockledge, FL
$149,955.11- SBIR
Thermal energy storage for dispatchable geothermal power

Heat energy from the earth represents a nearly inexhaustible and underutilized domestic energy resource. This project is developing technology that will allow geothermal power plants to operate flexibly, allowing them to seamlessly adjust their electrical power output in response to requests from the electric utility based on demand.

Tech4Imaging LLC, Columbus, OH
$155,000.00 - SBIR
Non-Invasive Operations Tool for Dispatchable Geothermal Wells

A lack of information on how geothermal wells should be properly balanced between harvesting hot water/steam and returning cool water puts wells at risk of being over exploited. An operational control system utilizing an innovative non-invasive mass flow meter and other well data is being developed to equip Well Operators with the tools necessary to analytically manage these valuable resources.

TerraCOH Inc., Hopkins, MN
$149,999.69 - SBIR
CO2 Plume Geothermal (CPG) and the Earth Battery -- Innovative Geothermal Power Production Using Non-water Working Fluids

The DOE seeks to enable expansion of geothermal as an on- demand energy source. TerraCOH’s innovative CO2 Plume Geothermal (CPG™) technology uses CO2 as the geothermal heat transfer/energy storage fluid, allowing far more, lower-temperature areas to be cost-effectively used for geothermal power in general and as a dispatchable energy source.

Read More.........

Germany: International Geothermal Association Releases Manifesto for Change

Preparing For The Future – The IGA Is Implementing Far Reaching Changes (News Release)

Preparing for the future – The International Geothermal Association is implementing far reaching changes

A new look for the website at
Upon concluding a tremendous amount of work on a strategic alignment program, the International Geothermal Association is implementing a series of changes. These improvements will help prepare the geothermal sector for the future and emphasize the IGA’s role in the representation of the Global Geothermal Energy Sector.

To focus and strengthen its role, the International Geothermal Association (IGA) is proud to announce a series of reforms following the recent decisions made during the IGA Board of Directors meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland.

IGA has made strides toward a more sustainable, independent structure that reflects the international nature of the representing body of the global geothermal sector through the association. This effort will transition IGA to an independent structure and position itself for growth by changing its funding model and modus operandi.

Read More.........

Monday, May 21, 2018

USA, Hawaii: Lava Flows Away From Puna Geothermal Venture

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Daily Update (U.S. Geological Survey)

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2:15 PM HST (Monday, May 21, 2018, 00:15 UTC)

Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. 

Spattering continues from Fissures 6 and 17 with significant lava flows being erupted from Fissures 20. Two of these lava flows from Fissure 20 reached the ocean along the southeast Puna coast overnight; however, a crack opened under the east lava channel early this morning diverting the lava from the channel into underground voids. This may cause changes downslope in the channel system and the ocean entry.

Read More.......

Indonesia: World Bank and IFC Support Geothermal Energy Development

Indonesia: Tapping Geothermal for Greener Growth (World Bank)

The World Bank is supporting the development of a credit facility that will channel $650 million in finance into geothermal exploration drilling, through a combination of IBRD lending, concessional finance, and funding from the Indonesian government.

IFC is collaborating with the World Bank to identify the concerns of potential private sector investors in the sector and is developing a complementary facility to fund downstream activities.

Read More..........

Opportunities for Exposure at Largest Annual Geothermal Gathering in the World

Sponsor The Geothermal Event Of The Year!

Sponsorships for the GRC Annual Meeting & Expo are now available. These are great opportunities for companies to get more exposure at the largest annual geothermal gathering in the world.

The 2018 meeting will take place in Reno, Nevada from October 14th through the 17th.The four-day event will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, an expo and numerous networking opportunities.

Make the geothermal community take notice, become a sponsor now!

More Information........

Friday, May 18, 2018

USA, New York: Cornell University Presents Geothermal District Heating Scheme

Cornell experts present ambitious geothermal proposal to community (ithaca.com)

Seeking a carbon neutral solution to heat its campus, Cornell – a university with a storied history of digging giant holes – presented their proposal for what, by volume, is likely to be the largest hole dug in the university’s history; one, they say, could lay the groundwork for a revolution in district heating in the Northeastern United States.

At a session Thursday evening attended by dozens of members of the community and faculty, a group of Cornell researchers presented a preliminary outline of their proposal for a massive geothermal heating system they hope to build beneath Cornell’s campus. The ambitious project, first proposed as part of the campus’ climate action plan drafted in 2009, aims to heat Cornell’s campus by digging a hole nearly three miles down, encasing it in concrete and pumping a solution of water and anti-corrosive deep into the earth, where it will be heated and recirculated 15,000 feet above through a system of pipes throughout the campus.

USA, Hawaii: GRC Member from California is at Puna Geothermal Venture

DOC Visits Hawaii Volcano to Help Secure Geothermal Plant (Cal Conservation)

GRC Member Charlene Wardlow, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)’s Geothermal Program Manager, is helping the State of Hawaii with one aspect of the Kilauea volcano’s eruption.

Global: $15,000 in Educational Awards Available to Eight Students in Global Geothermal Energy Community

2018 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships - Deadline is Next Week  (News Release)

Applications must be received by May 25, 2018 to be considered.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, has announced the following changes to the 2018 GRC Scholarship Awards:

USA: NREL Streamlining Collection and Sharing of Geothermal Data Sets

Access to Data Accelerates Innovation and Adoption of Geothermal Technologies (NREL)

The future of research and development in the geothermal sector is being driven by data-informed decisions and research built upon the quantifiable outcomes of previous endeavors.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has adopted a strategy of measuring success “not when a project is completed, or an experiment concluded, but when scientific and technical information is disseminated.” The timely dissemination of critical information is what allows future research projects to build upon previous lessons learned, reduce duplication of efforts, and combine findings into new innovative research projects.

Over the past few years, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s geothermal team has developed several tools and platforms to streamline the collection and sharing of geothermal data sets, enabling new breakthroughs in geothermal research and development.

Europe: What Stakeholders in Near-surface Geothermal Resource Project Need to Develop their Projects

Report of the relevant needs of Stakeholders in the field of Near-surface Geothermal Resources (GRETA)

12 partners from 6 different countries has met into the GRETA project with the aim demonstrate the potential of Near-surface Geothermal Resources (NSGE) in the Alpine Space and to share its knowledge to foster the integration of this technology into future energy plans in the area at different administrative levels. This approach will help to reduce total CO2-emissions in environmentally sensitive regions using renewable energy sources which are very widely available, thus establishing transnationally integrated low carbon policy instruments.

On the basis of the results presented from Focus Groups in the Pilot Areas of Germany, Italy and Slovenia, the understanding of differences and similarities of barriers and needs regarding the expansion of the geothermal system in the given countries have identified the initial installation cost as a common barrier.

The data analysed in this comparison reveal each of these countries having different needs and barriers in regulations, financial, technical, research, organisation and administration, geological maps and opportunities areas. The strong association between these barriers and local and national administration dynamics suggests own directions for policy makers and the geothermal private sector within these sampled countries to be sought for the expansion of own national geothermal sector.

Read More........

Sweden: Climeon Reports Rapid Progress in Geothermal Heat Power Projects

Climeon Investor News - Interim report for the period 1 January - 31 March 2018 (News Release)

Important events, January - March included:

  • In January 2018 Climeon owners Gullspång Invest AB, LMK Forward AB and Blue AB decided to establish the financing company Baseload Capital Sweden AB (Baseload Capital) to accelerate global geothermal heat power projects. Climeon will participate through a minority stake of 19.9 percent 
  • A business agreement worth over EUR 5 million was signed in February 2018 with the German energy provider Geoenergie Kirchweidach, resulting from the Letter of Intent signed in the fourth quarter 2017 

Important post-closing events include:

  • During April, a new business agreement was signed with Borealis GeoPower, Canada, worth around EUR 1 million. Climeon has thus won the world’s first order of geothermal power plant in Canada
  • A representative office opened in Japan to investigate and evaluate Climeon’s potential in the local market 

Thomas Öström CEO: We see proof after proof that it is attractive for customers and financial backers to invest in geothermal heat power. The plants produce electricity around the clock, all year long, and electricity producers can sign long-term Power-Purchase Agreements (PPA) with a fixed price (i.e. during 15 years) for the electricity supplied to the grid. A product that makes electricity from hot water thus makes money out of hot water with great predictability for a long time to come. Cash flow and investments can thereby be calculated, which also makes it easier for customers to obtain financing. 

The existence of Baseload Capital is a clear advantage since customers frequently need to finance their investments externally. For understandable reasons, banks lack experience in financing our type of heat power, which means that the processes are slower when using a bank. Baseload Capital focuses entirely on sustainable baseload power, and can offer our customers pre-approved loans with favorable conditions. Baseload Capital provided financing for both Icelandic Varmaorka and U.S. Wendel, thereby freeing Climeon from its previous financing commitments to these customers. 

Finance: “A faster route to power production, which improves the business case, is to use ‘wellhead generators’.”

Decreasing the equity requirements with wellhead power plants (Green Energy Geothermal)

At the Iceland Geothermal Conference, London-based Green Energy Geothermal (GEG) gave a presentation as part of a session on competitiveness and innovation.

Featuring three technology providers, including GEG, a proposed GeoMagma power plant and a presentation the competitiveness of the geothermal sector, the session focused on how different approaches could help in more geothermal development.

In its presentation, GEG focused on a recent financial model done by a third party, looking at the financial impact of staging a larger-scale geothermal development 110 MW project. The case study looked at two scenarios, the traditional approach with two 55 MW units and another approach with eleven 10 MW units by GEG.

Malawi: Toshiba to Supply 1 MW to 10 MW Geothermal Wellhead System

Toshiba signs MoUs to support African hydropower, geothermal roll-out (Engineering News)

(Courtesy CIA.gov)
Energy systems multinational Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to cooperate with African countries to develop hydropower and geothermal energy systems.

Toshiba Africa MD Iwasuke Shimada points out that the company has signed MoUs with Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Djibouti for geothermal power development in these countries, and that it has supplied and helped to develop geothermal power plants in Kenya.

One of the MoUs is with Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining (MNREM) for the development and supply of equipment and the development of operational and management guidelines, and to facilitate capacity building programmes for geothermal power in Malawi.

Specifically, the agreement includes feasibility and geotechnical work, early construction and the supply of geothermal power generation equipment, including a 1 MW to 10 MW geothermal wellhead system.

From the Global Geothermal News archives:

Costa Rica: IDB Line of Credit to Help Development of 55 MW Borinquen I Geothermal Project

Legislative Assembly approves $ 500 million IDB credit line for electric projects (BNamericas)

This Thursday, May 17, the Legislative Assembly unanimously approved and in the second debate the bill of law 19.998 that authorizes the agreement of a line of credit for $ 500 million to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The instrument, known as the CCLIP (Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects), will be aimed at the development, modernization and expansion of infrastructure linked to renewable electricity generation projects, including the Borinquen Geothermal Field, as well as transmission networks and national distribution.

USA, Hawaii: Wells Killed at Puna Geothermal Venture - Lava Still a Threat

Geothermal Power Plant in Hawaii Remains Threatened by Lava (Energy Manager Today)

(Courtesy USGS)
A geothermal energy conversion plant that produces about a quarter of the energy for the Big Island of Hawaii remains under threat from the Kilauea volcano eruption.

Earlier this week, three active wells at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) had to be shut down with cold water.

The eruption, which started about two weeks ago, prompted an emergency shutdown at PGV on May 3. This week, authorities began pumping cold water into the plant’s wells to kill them.

“The danger’s gone as long as we maintain the wells killed,” Tom Travis, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency told Hawaii News Now. “However, there’s also danger of lava flows going across the top of the well.” That, he explained, would mean they no longer have a way to put cold water over the wells. The next step is to put plugs in the well above the geothermal resource, Travis said.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Science & Technology: The CarbFix Project at Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Station

Turning carbon dioxide into rock - forever (BBC News)

Waste CO2 from the steam (I) goes to the gas separation station (II) is diluted in water (III) piped to the injection site (IIII) and pumped underground where it mineralises into rock
Hellisheidi  power station is not just an accomplished provider of green energy. It is also the site for a scientific breakthrough; an experiment to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and turn it into stone - forever.

Thus keeping this greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere and putting a dent in global warming.

"Mankind has been burning fossil fuels since the industrial revolution and we have already reached the tipping point for CO2 levels", says CarbFix project leader Edda Sif Aradottir. "This is one of the solutions that can be applied to reverse that".

Called CarbFix, the project is pioneered by an international consortium led by Reykjavík Energy, the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the University of Iceland and Columbia University.

East Africa: Update On Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility

First Progress Report of the Chairperson of the Commission of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (African Union)

The main challenges for development of geothermal resources in the East African Rift System include: (i) inadequate policy and regulatory framework to attract investments; (ii) large upfront cost of geothermal resource exploration and development; and (iii) risks in resource “exploration” and “power development”. 

The projects in Annex III, are pre-qualified to submit full application for the Fifth Application Round:

I wish to note that the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility Program remains one of the successful projects in the Commission, despite the challenges mentioned above. Much progress continues to be made by the developers in preparing their GMRF grant applications and in complying with the GRMF requirements.

The Commission will continue to work with development partners to improve the capacity and expertise of interested Member States and mobilize more financial resources to meet the increased interest in geothermal energy development as witnessed by the growing number of projects that are submitted for grant awards. It is critical that Member States put in place the appropriate institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks, in order to attract more private investors and allocate adequate resources to the Commission for the expansion of this Programme to other AU countries.

Science & Technology: Geothermal Energy Pioneer Explains EGS

Quakes, fracking and geothermal: opportunities and challenges (Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)

Ernest Majer
Ernest Majer, one of North America’s foremost experts in the subject of seismicity and geothermal systems, spoke to The Climate Examiner about enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), how it differs from conventional geothermal, what challenges the sector faces, and his views on a recent event in South Korea.

Majer began his career in the 1970s exploring seismic activity at California’s Geysers geothermal field, a complex of 22 geothermal plants and the largest single geothermal power producer in the world. He has worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the issue for over 40 years.

Philippines: Phinma Withdraws from Leyte Geothermal Power Exploration Project

Phinma pulls out from proposed Leyte geothermal project (Business World)

Phinma Petroleum and Geothermal, Inc. (PPG), formerly Trans-Asia Petroleum Corporation, has withdrawn from a service contract that sought to explore the possibility of geothermal energy in Leyte, the company told the stock exchange on Thursday.

The energy exploration company, a unit of Phinma Energy Corp., said it would recognize a loss of P32.7 million for the write-off of its share in expenditures incurred so far in Service Contract No. 51 in Eastern Visayas.

Philippines: AboitizPower’s Cleanergy Center Showcases Geothermal Energy

Science tour gives peek of how geothermal energy powers homes, offices (Philippine Star)

Geothermal energy comes from the heat of the earth and is produced by drilling holes into the earth to tap the steam from geothermal reservoirs. But how exactly is this converted to electricity to power our homes and offices, especially amid the hot and dry summer?

Watch as Philstar.com tours you inside the AboitizPower’s Cleanergy Center—the country’s first energy educational facility.

(Video 2:03 Minutes)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Global: $15,000 in Educational Awards Available to Eight Students in Global Geothermal Energy Community

2018 Geothermal Resources Council Scholarships - Deadline is Next Week  (News Release)

Applications must be received by May 25, 2018 to be considered.

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), a non-profit educational association dedicated to the promotion of geothermal energy and associated technologies around the world, has announced the following changes to the 2018 GRC Scholarship Awards:

Undergraduate Scholarship Awards:
  • The number of recipients will be increased from two to three; 
  • Instead of a lump sum, each recipient will receive a stipend of $250 and travel expenses (up to $750) to attend the GRC Annual Meeting (double occupancy); 
  • Each award recipient will be required to either present at the meeting (poster or paper such as from a senior thesis) or prepare a report for the GRC Bulletin describing what they learned from attending the meeting and how they would utilize what they learned for their educational or career path. 
Graduate Scholarship Awards:
  • The number of recipients will be increased from three to five; 
  • The amount of each award will remain $2,500, but travel expenses will now be considered part of this total rather than offered separately; 
  • Each award recipient is required to submit a paper on his/her research (or research progress) to be published in the GRC Transactions and deliver results at the meeting as either a poster or oral presentation; 
  • If the recipient presents in the year of the award then the full $2500 is awarded , but they will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodations from the award money; 
  • If the recipient defers to present/publish the following year then $750 is withheld to cover travel expenses for when the recipient presents. 
The Student Project Award will not be awarded this year to allow us to increase the number of graduate awards.

If you have any questions regarding the GRC Scholarship Awards, please contact Brian Schmidt at bschmidt@geothermal.org or (530)758-2360, ext. 104.

USA: Just Under 8,000 Employed in the Geothermal Power Generation Industry - Report

The 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (EFI & NASEO)

According to the study the geothermal power generation industry employed 7,927 in 2017, up from 5,768 in 2016.

Produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) provides a quantitative lens with which to evaluate the employment impact of new energy technologies, shifting fuels deployment, and evolving transmission and distribution systems.

The 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) finds that the Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors today employ approximately 6.5 million Americans. These sectors increased in 2017 by about 2 percent, adding 133,000 net new jobs, roughly 7% of all those created in the country.

The USEER analyzes four sectors of the U.S. economy including Electric Power Generation and Fuels Production.

According to the study the geothermal power generation industry employed 7,927 in 2017, up from 5,768 in 2016 and 7,645 in 2015.

Read More........

Indonesia: 55 MW Lumut Balai Geothermal Power Plant to Go Online By End of Year

Pertamina and PLN tussle to reach PPA for Lumut Balai plant (Asian Power)

It will be commercially operational by the end of this year and so far, no agreement has been reached.

Pertamina Geothermal Energy and PLN continue to lock horns over an adapted price for power fromt he 55 MW Lumut Balai geothermal power plant in Ogan Komering Ulu Regency, South Sumatra, Indonesia.

The facility is expected to go online later this year, but both parties have not settled for a Power Purchase Agreement.

The price of electricity that was previously agreed upon is US$0.116/kWh, but PLN requested a review as it deemed the price too high.

The government has asked PLN and Pertamina to immediately discuss the price of electricity sold from geothermal power plants.

Read More.........

Indonesia: Asian Development Bank Working to Boost Geothermal Energy

Developing Indonesia’s Geothermal Power Potential (ADB)

Indonesia has an estimated potential of 29,000 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy resources—the largest in the world. In 2017, installed geothermal power capacity was 1,800 MW.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants to change that. By 2025, the country targets geothermal production capacity to reach 5,000 MW. Hydropower and geothermal power should account for 25% of the nation's power supply.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working with the government and the private sector to help develop this clean energy potential. In recent years, ADB has financed the Sarulla, Muara Laboh, and Rantau Dedap geothermal projects. Michael Barrow, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, explains how the bank supports development of the geothermal power market.

USA, Hawaii: Lava is Flowing Away from Puna Geothermal Venture

Map as of 6:45 a.m. HST, May 15, shows the location of the 'a'ā lava flow spreading from fissure 17; the flow front at the time is shown by the small red circle with label. The flow is following a path of steepest descent (blue line), immediately south of the 1955 'a'ā flow boundary. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

Ash emission from the Kilauea summit vent will likely be variable with periods of increased and decreased intensity depending on the occurrence of rockfalls into the vent and other changes within the vent.

At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent.

Read More..........

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

USA, Hawaii: Ormat Believes Surface Lava Will Not Impact Puna Geothermal Venture

Ormat Provides An Update On The Puna Power Plant In Hawaii Following The Kilauea Volcanic Eruption (News Release)

Ormat Technologies Inc. provides an update on the Puna geothermal power plant located about 15 miles away from the Kilauea volcano, which erupted on May 3, 2018 and which continues to erupt and flow lava.

Plant and company personnel have been and continue to be in close communication with local and state authorities, as well as HELCO officials, regarding the Puna facility. Several steps have been taken to secure the Puna facilities in accordance with its emergency response plan. These steps include:
  • Taking electricity generation offline 
  • Shutting down all the geothermal wells 
  • Placing physical barriers around, and protective coverings over, the geothermal wells
  • Removing flammable materials from the facility to a storage area off-site
  • Working together with the state emergency agencies on implementing measures to secure the geothermal wells and mitigate any hazards to the surrounding area and damage to the geothermal wells
According to the alert issued by U.S. Geological Survey on May 14, 2018, the eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. This eruption is still evolving, and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues, and seismic activity remains elevated in the area. However, topographical paths of steepest descent for possible lava flows are around and away from the power plant in the direction of the ocean. This gives the Company confidence that there is a low risk of surface lava impacting or making its way to the facility.

“Currently there is no physical damage to the Puna facilities above-ground, however, we will be able to assess the impact of the volcanic eruption on the Puna geothermal wells only after the situation stabilizes,” commented Isaac Angel, CEO of Ormat Technologies. “We continue to monitor the situation in coordination with HELCO, and with local and state authorities. We expect to restore the Puna operations as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The 38 MW Puna power plant, which is owned and operated by Puna Geothermal Venture GP (PGV), reflects approximately 4.5% of Ormat’s total generating capacity. In 2017, PGV generated approximately $11 million of net income and $20 million of Adjusted EBITDA. Ormat owns a 63.25% interest in PGV and the balance is held by its partner, an affiliate of Northleaf Capital Partners.

Ormat has property and business interruption insurance policies that include insurance coverage in the event of volcanic eruptions and earthquake in an amount of up to $100 million (combined). The Company is working with its insurance broker and provided notice to its insurance carriers regarding the situation at Puna and expects to submit a claim under its business interruption cover.

Any significant physical damage to, or extended shut-down of, the Puna facilities could have an adverse impact on the power plant's electricity generation and availability, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Netherlands: Drilling Starts at Pijnacker Geothermal District Heating Project

Huisman Equipment B.V. Awarded Contract to Drill Geothermal Doublet in Pijnacker (LinkedIn)

Huisman was recently awarded a contract for the delivery of a geothermal doublet in Pijnacker, the Netherlands. Drilling started at the end of April and the installation will heat a large area of greenhouses, a residential area and a local pool. The wells will be drilled directionally to a planned depth of approximately 2300 meters.

The well will be drilled utilising the Huisman LOC 400 drilling rig - a fully containerised modular rig outfitted with a fully automated pipe-handler and rig floor. At the end of 2017, the LOC also successfully finalised a geothermal energy project in Bergschenhoek, the Netherlands.

For more information regarding geothermal energy in the Netherlands (in Dutch)...........

Kenya: RFP for Reservoir Management Consultancy at Olkaria Geothermal Field

Request for Proposal - Olkaria Reservoir Management Consultancy (United States Energy Association)
  • RFP Closing Date: June 1, 2018 
  • Questions Due: May 25, 2018
  • Award Ceiling: $35,000.00
The United States Energy Association (USEA) is inviting prospective organizations or individuals through this Request for Proposal (RFP) to submit proposals for a consultancy on the present conceptual and numerical models of the Olkaria geothermal field in Kenya with an aim of advising on the accuracy of the models and to identify areas of improvement. This is an activity implemented by USEA, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Power Africa Initiative.

Proposals are due by 17:00 hours EST of the closing date. Please forward your proposal in soft copy (PDF form) to Ms. Caity Smith, Senior Program Coordinator, at csmith@usea.org

USA, Hawaii: Video - Ormat Updates on Puna Geothermal Venture

Eruption Update: Effort To Kill Puna Geothermal Wells (Big Island Video News)

(Video 7:31 Minutes)

USA, Hawaii: Video News Report on Danger to Puna Geothermal Venture

19th fissure sparks worry in regards to Puna Geothermal Plant (KITV)

(Video 1:07 Minutes)

Big Island residents are concerned about the Puna Geothermal plant as lava continues to flow. Although the pentane gas was transferred to another site last week, ten wells are still on site. Experts were brought in to help secure the area and the plan is to start plugging those wells tomorrow after they are filled with cold water.

"The danger is gone as long as we maintain the wells killed, however, there is also danger of lava flows going across the top of the well, which now we would no longer have a way to put cold water in the well. So the next step is to put plugs, after the well is killed, to put plugs in the well, above the geothermal resource. At that point, nothing coming up the well is a danger. So at that point we can take precautions to ensure the well is not sheered off at the top," Engineer Tom Travis said.

The last three fissures that have opened recently were all near the Puna Geothermal plant.

Read More........

USA, Hawaii: Another Lava Fissure Opens Up Near Puna Geothermal Venture

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Daily Update (U.S. Geological Survey)

Monday, May 14, 2018, 18:36 UTC

Eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system in the Lower Rift Zone.

This morning, activity is dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter more than 100 feet into the air, and an advancing lava flow from fissure 17 at the northeast end of the fissure system. As of 6:30 am the fissure 17 flow had traveled just under a mile roughly east-southeast parallel to the rift zone. It is turning slightly south and at this time is about one half mile south of Highway 132.

Fissure 18 that became active late yesterday is weakly active.

A fissure 19 has been spotted very near fissure 15 as of about 8 am just northeast of Pohoiki Road and north of Hinalo Street at the east end of Lanipuna Gardens. It is producing a sluggish lava flow.

Read More..........

Canada: Estevan DEEP Geothermal Power Project to Begin Drilling Next Month

Government announces funding for geothermal project near Estevan (Estevan Mercury)

The Government of Saskatchewan announced $175,000 in funding on Tuesday morning for the Deep Earth Energy Production Corporation (DEEP) to establish a geothermal power demonstration plant in the Estevan area.

The funds, to be delivered over two years through Innovation Saskatchewan’s Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund (SAIF), will be used to purchase equipment and build the infrastructure needed to demonstrate the feasibility of geothermal power generation in the province. 

DEEP estimates that the hot geothermal aquifer in the project’s selected region near Estevan may support the generation of up to 500 megawatts of power. A Power Purchase Agreement with SaskPower allows for an initial project to be developed that is expected to deliver five megawatts to the provincial grid. 

The company has completed a prefeasibility study for the project and will begin drilling the initial production and injection wells in June.

The 3,400-metre deep wells will produce hot brine which DEEP will measure and analyse over 90 days, to determine the project’s economic feasibility. Construction of the above-ground infrastructure would occur in 2018. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Finland: Stimulation Begins at Espoo Geothermal District Heating Project

St1 geothermal pilot project at Otaniemi in Espoo reaches stimulation stage (News Release)

A project of energy company St1 to build Finland’s first industrial scale emission-free geothermal energy heating plant has now progressed to the stimulation stage. 

The pilot project is seeking to extract bedrock heat for use in district heating by drilling two boreholes to a depth of several kilometres. Water will be pumped down one of these boreholes for underground geothermal heating, with the resulting hot water then extracted via the other borehole. 

The heating plant will feed this heat into the local district heating network. The stimulation stage will study the flow of this borehole water through rock fissures at a depth of more than six kilometres underground.

USA, Hawaii: New Fissure is Located 500 Meters from Puna Geothermal Venture

New fissure (number 16) erupts this morning (Saturday), northeast of fissures 1-15 (USGS Volcano Hazards Program)

Taken at 08:27 a.m. HST, May 12, 2018, an aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left).

The fissure is located 500 m northeast of the Puna Geothermal Venture site (top right).

Photograph courtesy of Hawai`i County Fire Department.

Turkey: 48 MW Türkerler Alaşehir Geothermal Power Plant Project Wins Award

2018 ICCI Geothermal Energy Award Goes to Türkerler Holding (Jeotermal Haber.com)

Türkerler Alaşehir Geothermal Power Plant Project

The seventh ICCI Energy Awards, recognizing Turkey's best leading energy producing companies, was held at Istanbul WOW Convention Center on May 2, 2018.

Türkerler Holding was awarded first place in the Geothermal category for the Türkerler Alaşehir Geothermal Power Plant Project, in Manisa province in the Aegean Region of western Turkey.

According to the Türkerler Holding website, the Alaşehir Geothermal Power Plant has an installed power of 48 MW. The binary type geothermal energy power plant will be fed by 8 wells including 3 production, 3 injection, 1 reserve production and 1 reserve injection well.

In the category of Electricity Distribution, Vedas Vangölü Electricity Distribution Company, an affiliate of Türkerler Holding, was awarded the Jury Special Award for its successful social responsibility projects.

Read More..........

Djibouti: Kenya Offers Help in Developing Geothermal Energy

Kenya to offer technical support to Djibouti in exploration of renewable energy (The Star, Kenya)

Kenya will offer technical support to Djibouti in the exploration of renewable energy mainly geothermal in the coming years.

This emerged when visiting Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh toured Olkaria Geothermal fields in Naivasha where he hailed the steps taken by Kenya in advancing exploration of the key resource.

Guelleh who was accompanied by Energy CS Charles Keter and senior government officials from the two nations said his country stood to benefit from the immense knowledge Kenya has on geothermal exploration.

Philippines: EDC President Calls for Government Supported Geothermal Exploration Mitigation Fund

Lopez-led EDC urges gov’t to help develop PHL geothermal industry (Business World)

Richard B. Tantoco, EDC president
and chief operating officer
The government can support the growth of the country’s geothermal industry by helping with the upfront risk that goes with the development of the indigenous energy resource, the president of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) said.

“Globally, geothermal has always grown in government’s hands — whether it’s Costa Rica, Mexico… because government has unlimited balance sheet,” Richard B. Tantoco, EDC president and chief operating officer, told reporters.

“So if government could do anything to help, not just us but any of the 13 players that have concession areas, it’s to help with that upfront risk,” he added.

Mr. Tantoco made the statement in response to a request for comment on the country’s standing in global geothermal power generation, which has slipped a notch lower this year after being overtaken by Indonesia in the second spot. The US remains the world’s biggest.

“FiT (feed-in-tariff) will always help because you have a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with the government. But really, if you look at geothermal — historically and worldwide — the biggest issue… is in the upfront risk,” he said.

Japan: Swedish Company Sees Growth in Japanese Geothermal

Climeon opens representation office in Japan (News Release)

The animation above illustrates the simplified cycle of a Climeon Heat Power module.
Climeon opens a representation office in Nagano, Japan to explore and evaluate the company's ability to sell primarily geothermal heat power modules in the country. Japan is one of Climeon’s priority markets.

Climeon employees will be based in the country to work with partners to explore and deepen the understanding of the Japanese market.

After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan's energy production has been significantly reduced, which means that more than 90 percent of all energy is imported. The country has the potential to become more self-sufficient by increasing the utilization of geothermal energy. Japan is located in one of the world's most active volcanic areas and has many hot springs around the country, but today only utilizes just over 2 percent of its known geothermal energy resources. In recent years, the Japanese government has introduced economic incentives and simplified the requirements for permits and surveys to accelerate the shift to local green electricity. The price of electricity generated from geothermal power in Japan today is just over SEK 3 per kWh, which is eight times higher than the electricity price in Sweden.

European Union: Geothermal Solutions for EU Islands

Geothermal energy for EU islands (EGEC)

European islands often face significant challenges when it comes to energy supply and energy costs. Due to geographic location, small economies of scale, and limited or absent interconnection to the mainland or to other islands, many islands are still heavily dependent upon costly imported fossil fuels to generate electricity or to meet their heating and cooling needs. 

Unlike other intermittent energy sources, geothermal energy could provide a stable, sustainable, and affordable energy supply for a wide variety of potential uses that are not restricted to electricity generation, but encompass many types of direct uses.

USA, Hawaii: Puna Geothermal Venture is Now Between Active Lava Fissures

Kilauea Eruption: New fissures 16 & 17 erupt east of PGV Saturday (Hawaii 24/7)

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure, number 17, is opening up about 100 meters below fissure 16. At this time, steam and lava spatter activity has started from this new fissure.

Minor spattering activity from fissure (16) is diminishing and no significant lava flow was issued from this area.

In addition, HVO has cautioned about the possibility of an explosive eruption at Halema’uma’u Crater due to the ongoing withdrawal of lava from Kilauea summit lake. This could generate dangerous debris very near the crater and ashfalls up to tens of miles downwind.

Read More........

USA, Hawaii: Statement from Ormat on Puna Geothermal Venture

Puna Geothermal Venture Issues Statement (Big Island Now)

Michael Kaleikini, senior director, Hawai‘i Affairs Ormat Technologies Inc. issued the following statement about Puna Geothermal Venture.

Rainbow from a Passing shower. Puna Geothermal Plant,
Pahoa, Hawaii, USA. Sam Abraham on February 24, 2012.
Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Puna Geothermal Venture. Our staff is working hard monitoring the situation, assisting first responders, and helping those affected by the Leilani volcanic eruption. We have prepared the following statement for use by the media while we assist those most affected in the community:

First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the Leilani volcanic eruption. Safety has been and always will be PGV’s top priority and we are sparing no resources to ensure the safety of our employees and of the surrounding communities.

After the frequency of earthquakes increased dramatically, plant personnel closed and secured the facility per the emergency response plan.

As part of that, we have done the following:
  • We shut down the power plant and the geothermal wells have all been shut down.
  • All pentane, a flammable fluid used in the electricity generation process, has been removed from the site and is safely stored off-site.
Plant personnel is on site around the clock, monitoring and ensuring safety. PGV personnel have been and continue to be in close communications with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Administrator, Civil Defense and Mayor Harry Kim regarding the PGV facility. PGV is supplying portable air monitors to the first responders in the area and working with Pu‘uhonua O Puna and American Red Cross aiding in disaster relief.