Canadian renewables spinoff; EDC spends in Chile, Peru; LAC potential confirmed; Nicaragua seeks investment

A Canadian utility creates a renewables spinoff. EDC releases its spending plan for Chile and Peru. IDB confirms geothermal potential in Latin American and Caribbean countries. Nicaragua seeks support from the World Bank.

Canada: Utility with Geothermal Assets Creates Renewables Spinoff
Chile and Peru: EDC Spending Plan Released
Latin America & the Caribbean: IDB Report Confirms Enormous Geothermal Potential
Nicaragua: WB Investment Sought

Canada: Utility with Geothermal Assets Creates Renewables Spinoff
The Calgary-based utility TransAlta Corp. has grown its renewables portfolio to 25% of its assets over the past 10 years and now plans to spin off a new company called TransAlta Renewables Inc.  In our June 20 newsletter we noted the company executed a new power purchase agreement for some of its geothermal assets in California, which it owns jointly with MidAmerica Holdings, Warren Buffet’s company and a GEA member.

The parent has filed a preliminary prospectus for the IPO, expected to close in August.  It expects to sell 15 to 20% and transfer 1,112 net MW of contracted wind and hydro power generation assets to the new entity.  The company could gain between $200 and 250 million in the transaction.  Calgaryherald.com, Geo-energy.org

Chile and Peru: EDC Spending Plan Released
Energy Development Corp (EDC) of the Philippines has disclosed its spending plan for projects in Chile and Peru. To date, the company has a geothermal power generating capacity of 1,130 MW. Now EDC will spend $58.3 million for building infrastructure at the Mariposa project in Chile over the next 18 months. Another $8 million will compensate Alterra (a Canadian company and GEA member) for costs at the Tutupaca Norte, Loriscota and Crucero geothermal projects in Peru. Moving forward in Peru, EDC will lead in exploration and development while Alterra will retain a minority stake. Interaksyon.com

Latin America & the Caribbean: IDB Report Confirms Enormous Geothermal Potential
“Rethinking our Energy Future,” a new report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says renewable energy sources in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region have the potential to supply 22 times more electricity than is expected to be in demand by 2050.

“With this study we seek to promote concrete action and public-private partnerships, by putting into perspective the magnitude of available renewable sources, outlining their broad benefits and illustrating policy options,” Walter Vergara, head of the IDB’s Climate Change Division and lead author of the report was quoted on IDB’s Web site.

The report confirms that geothermal energy has great potential in the LAC, where several countries already produce geothermal energy and others have begun exploring their potential.  “Mexico is the world’s 5th largest producer of geothermal electricity with almost 1 GW of installed capacity,” according to the report (page 10). “This country is now seeking to complement the utility’s activity with private sector projects, and has requested resources from the Clean Technology Fund. Central America has almost 500 MW of installed capacity in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

“More recently Caribbean countries (St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, Montserrat, and St. Lucia) have developed plans to exploit their geothermal resources. There have been no geothermal projects to date in South America, although Argentina is planning a 100 MW plant in Neuquén, and Colombia, Ecuador and Panama are actively exploring their resource.”

Meanwhile, wind energy was recognized as the fastest growing non-traditional renewable source in the region.

Download a PDF of the report: Iadb.org

Nicaragua: WB Investment Sought
Nicaraguan officials hope to tap the World Bank for geothermal support. With ten potential development areas needing feasibility studies, an amount between $15 and $20 million is sought. Nicaragua currently has two operating geothermal power plants. The World Bank currently finances $12 million for Nicaragua Ministry of Energy and Mines projects in rural electrification, solar panels, small and mini-hydro, and energy efficiency.  Laprensa.com.ni, translated by Google

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