Results are imminent at Alaska’s Pilgrim Hot Springs. California’s low carbon fuel standard is upheld. Hawaii’s Big Island Mayor will move forward with a health study. A New Mexico rule could mean changes to the renewables mix.
Alaska: Results Imminent at Pilgrim Hot Springs
Drilling is underway at the Pilgrim Hot Springs geothermal project near Nome. “We are expecting to breach bedrock within the next few days, and we should know if the project is feasible within two weeks,” Gwen Holdmann, director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) told press (Alaskadispatch.com). If tests promise 2 MW of production, the group will proceed with a geothermal generation plant. It could be the state’s second-ever working geothermal power plant, and the city of Nome, with high energy demands in summer and winter months, could become the first in Alaska to meet energy needs using mostly wind and geothermal resources. Funds for current work at Pilgrim Hot Springs come from ACEP ($2.2 million) as well as the U.S. Department of Energy ($3.8 million). The DOE money was originally slated for a project in Naknek, AK. GEA’s September 5 newsletter (Geoenergist.wordpress.com) noted that the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the City of Nome, and local native corporations and nonprofits are also supporting the project.
California: Low Carbon Fuel Standard Upheld
A panel of federal judges on Wednesday upheld California’s mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The arguments came from companies of the perspective that California’s “Low Carbon Fuel Standard” discriminated against out-of-state producers. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) was able to continue implementing the law while the case was being heard. “This is a very good step for Californians and the fight against climate change,” CARB spokesman Dave Clegern told press. California is the first state in the nation to require a low carbon fuel standard which is part of its global warming law, AB 32. It seeks to cut the state’s dependence on petroleum by 20% and help cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Huffingtonpost.com
Hawaii: Mayor to Move Forward with Health Study
Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi plans to move forward on a study of the potential health effects of geothermal energy. The study that would cover the Puna district is a response to recommendations from a community task force. Kenoi told press the study would be complete by early 2014. Hawaii.news.blogs.civilbeat.com
New Mexico: Rule Could Mean Changes to Renewables Mix
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is considering changes to the “reasonable cost threshold” of its energy that could affect the “diversity rule,” which mandates a mix of wind, solar, geothermal, and distributed transmission power. An article on Bizjournals.com says changes could mean less geothermal because its cost is higher than wind’s.