Wrap-up of GEA/GRC geothermal event; GEA Honors finalists announced

The GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo wrapped up after welcoming nearly 2,000 delegates to Las Vegas from nearly 40 countries and all 50 states. On the last day of the Expo, the GEA announced its finalists for the GEA Honors 2013 recognition.

The 2013 Geothermal Energy Expo

Strong Optimism for Geothermal Globally, Hope for U.S. Market Expressed as Industry Meets in Nevada
Geothermal Energy Association Announces Finalists for GEA Honors 2013

Strong Optimism for Geothermal Globally, Hope for U.S. Market Expressed as Industry Meets in Nevada
GEA Press Release, Las Vegas (October 3, 2013) – The GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo wrapped up this week after welcoming nearly 2,000 delegates to Las Vegas for an event that featured the latest technologies in geothermal, and frank discussions on opportunities and challenges internationally as well as within the United States. Attendees represented nearly 40 countries, and all 50 states.

Agencies and companies are interested in East African geothermal development. Pictured: Steve Hirsch, EAGP advisor; John Garrison, USAID Bureau for Africa; others

“Each year, the GEA brings together the geothermal business community from all around the world at its EXPO,” noted GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. “The sense from the industry was strong optimism for sustained growth in the global market despite lagging U.S. markets, and hope that as the United States works to meet higher state RPS requirements and new climate change goals the value of geothermal will be recognized which will spur growth.”

GEA’s optimism was underscored by release of a GEA report identifying over 700 geothermal projects under development worldwide. The report estimated that projects in the pipeline would more than double current worldwide capacity from the 12,000 Megawatts (MW) expected to be on-line by year’s end, and beyond that “developers are actively engaged with 27,000 MW of geothermal resource globally.”

In the U.S., GEA pointed out that as the percentage of electricity produced from intermittent sources increases, the stress on an aging power system designed for fossil fuels encourages geothermal’s continuing role as an important part of the power supply mix. “The market will turn around as geothermal’s full value to the grid is recognized,” Gawell said. “Its baseload capacity makes it valuable for replacing retiring fossil fuel facilities, and its ability to provide flexible support will add to power system reliability.”

Dr. Meseret Teklemariam, UNEP, speaks at the Geothermal Energy Expo. She is part of a visiting East African geothermal delegation.

This year’s gathering incorporated a wide range of activities supporting U.S. companies working in the international market. Both the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the U.S. Agency for International Development supported delegations from Turkey and East Africa, respectively. Presentations in the EXPO hall featured delegates from several countries seeking to develop their geothermal power potential. GEA also held a standing room only dialogue with U.S. companies discussing how to expand U.S. exports of goods and services in key world markets.

A wide range of technology was on display at the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, which featured 125 booths. EXPO booths highlighted the latest in technology to support today’s power projects and tomorrow’s “enhanced geothermal system” developments.

At the event, GEA also held its annual members meeting and elected a new President for the Association. Craig Mataczynski, President and CEO of Gradient Resources, was elected as GEA’s President. Speaking in the Opening Session of the event, Mataczynski laid out a bold new vision for the industry: “to contribute in excess of 5% of the electric energy needs in the United States and globally.”

The next GEA event will be the GEA International Geothermal Energy Forum & Expo, April 29-30 in Washington, DC. For more information on this event visit GEA’s website at http://www.geo-energy.org or contact Kathy Kent at kathy@geo-energy.org.

Additional coverage on the combined events:

“Geothermal Industry Looks To Raise Its Game,” Earthtechling.com

“Pictures from the Opening of the GEA Geothermal Expo in Las Vegas,” Thinkgeoenergy.com

“Geothermal Resources Council Announces Scholarship Winners,” Geothermal.org, PDF

“Geothermal Industry Must Band Together to Stay Relevant,” Renewableenergyworld.com

Read a daily sampling of activities – with photos! – from the 2013 Geothermal Energy Expo:

“In Las Vegas, it’s showtime at the Geothermal Energy Expo,” Geoenergist.wordpress.com

“Geothermal Energy Expo participants undeterred by looming gov’t shutdown,” Geoenergist.wordpress.com

“Geothermal Energy Expo attendees create long-lasting bonds,” Geoenergist.wordpress.com

“GEA members and exhibitors applauded on Geothermal Energy Expo’s final day,” Geoenergist.wordpress.com

Geothermal Energy Association Announces Finalists for GEA Honors 2013
GEA Press Release, Washington, D.C., October 7, 2013Geothermal leaders recognized at GEA Geothermal Energy Expo 2013 in Las Vegas – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) announced the finalists for the GEA Honors at the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo 2013 in Las Vegas last week. GEA Honors recognizes companies and individuals that have made significant contributions during the past year to advancing technology, spurring economic development and protecting the environment. Now in its third year, GEA also makes special recognition of companies and individuals who have made notable advances and achievements for geothermal energy.

“This diverse group of honorees is leading the development, financing and implementation of geothermal energy both within and outside the United States,” said GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell. “It takes a community of stakeholders to develop and operate a renewable, sustainable energy source. We at GEA are pleased to honor these companies and individuals for their contributions to this growing industry.”

GEA has named the finalists for GEA Honors in the following categories: Technological Advancement, Economic Development and Environmental Stewardship. GEA will announce a final winner in each category in December. Additionally, GEA will award special recognition to one GEA or non-member company or individual making significant contributions to the geothermal energy industry.

Technological Advancement: Awarded to an individual or company that has developed a new, innovative, or pioneering technology to further geothermal development. Finalists include:

• AltaRock Energy: As a leader in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), AltaRock Energy has recently excelled in diverter technology and hydro-shearing, thereby forming a foundation for future expansion of EGS in the energy marketplace.

• SPX Heat Transfer LLC: SPX has developed and implemented a new type of direct contact condenser called an Advanced Direct Contact Condenser or ADCC. ADCC technology was recently chosen to be used in the largest geothermal units constructed in Kenya, as well as in some of the smallest.

• U.S. Geothermal’s 22 MW Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Power Plant: Through a U.S. government program promoting the development of “Innovative Technology,” U.S. Geothermal received financing for its Neal Hot Springs project in Vale, Oregon to develop and build the first commercial, supercritical Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) binary power plant. TAS Energy designed, manufactured and installed the supercritical ORC binary power plant employing R134a, an organic working fluid that is non-toxic and non-flammable.

Economic Development: Awarded to an individual or company that has made a substantial contribution to the development of local, regional or national markets through the development of geothermal systems. Finalists include:

• GGE Chile: GGE Chile has been the leading geothermal developer in Chile, the most active geothermal development market in Latin America. GGE Chile has looked to the local community for industry leadership: in combination with the talent and resources of Mighty River Power, and the exploration and project management experience of GeoGlobal Energy LLC, GGE Chile has trained its Chilean engineers and geologists to create the leading geothermal exploration and development team in the country.

• GeothermEx’s work encompasses more than just a review of the resource data. The company excels in the facilitation of common understanding between developers and financiers. To date, GeothermEx’s evaluations have enabled the development of more than 7,000 MW of geothermal power, the total financed to date exceeding $12 billion US.

Environmental Stewardship: Awarded to an individual or company that has fostered outstanding environmental stewardship through the use of geothermal systems. This award will be presented in conjunction with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI).

• Dale Merrick, Canby Geothermal: Dale Merrick has been a leader and visionary working to implement a community-based geothermal development project at Canby, California. The project would produce power and cascade the remaining energy to support an existing geothermal district heating system and future greenhouse and aquaculture businesses. If successful, Canby would be the first net-zero community in California and a model to the 71 communities in the state identified by the CEC as having a co-located geothermal resource. Projects like the Canby Geothermal System take many different types of support, and an advocate and visionary, like Dale Merrick, is essential. Canby Geothermal is a classic example of what a geothermal “champion” and a supportive community can do.

Special Recognition: The Special Recognition award will also be announced later this year, and is open to individuals or companies either within the GEA membership or beyond for outstanding achievement in the geothermal industry. This award will be announced later this year when the winners in the categories above are announced.

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