News from GEA members AltaRock Energy and Ormat Technologies

Member companies of the Geothermal Energy Association are leading geothermal development in the U.S. and around the world.

AltaRock Energy: Differences Between EGS and Hydraulic Fracturing Explained
AltaRock Energy: Company Joins Nevis Partnership
Ormat Technologies: Olkaria III Geothermal Complex in Kenya Reaches 110 MW With Commercial Operation of Plant 3

AltaRock Energy: Differences Between EGS and Hydraulic Fracturing Explained
Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) are discussed this week in an article on by Trenton Cladouhos, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at AltaRock Energy. He explains the multiple zone stimulation technique that has the potential to bring down costs on future similar projects. He also notes key differences between EGS and hydraulic fracturing, which is used in the oil and gas industry: “Hydroshearing uses moderate surface pressures to open very small cracks (1-2 mm) with the goal of creating a network of thousands of permeable cracks for the efficient transfer of heat to the water. Fracking uses much higher pressures to initiate new tensile fractures, which propagate rapidly away from the well and result in wide fracks that require propents to keep open. Hydroshearing cracks self-prop from the slippage and uneven surfaces on each side of the crack. Furthermore, there are no fracking fluids used in hydroshearing, just water, so the problem of ground water contamination is eliminated.”

AltaRock Energy: Company Joins Nevis Partnership
An article on updates the geothermal project on Nevis Island and says AltaRock Energy will be partnering with Nevis Renewable Energy International (NREI) along with Tetra Tech. The project is expected to take about four years, and a concession agreement is still pending. Thomas Drolet, president and CEO of NREI told press the target area of the resource is already well fractured. Bruce Cutright, NREI Chief Technology Officer, expects to drill up to four production wells.

Ormat Technologies: Olkaria III Geothermal Complex in Kenya Reaches 110 MW With Commercial Operation of Plant 3
Ormat Press Release (RENO, Nev.) February 4 ~ Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:ORA) announced today it successfully completed construction and reached commercial operation of Plant 3 in the Olkaria III geothermal power plant complex almost three months ahead of schedule. With Plant 3 online, the complex’s total generation capacity has increased to 110 MW. The power generated by the Olkaria III complex, located in Naivasha, Kenya, is sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC).

The Olkaria III complex was financed with a $310 million debt facility provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In November 2013, Ormat drew down the remaining $45 million available under the project finance debt facility for the completion of Plant 3.

“Olkaria III is a prime example of our multi-stage approach to project development generating higher investment returns and reducing risk. In less than one year, we’ve completed construction of two additional plants and, over the course of five years, more than doubled the facility’s generating capacity. Due to our operational expertise and innovative technology, we’ve accomplished that growth ahead of schedule resulting in a significant increase in revenues,” said Dita Bronicki, chief executive officer of Ormat. “As we complete this project, we remain committed to support the growing power needs of Kenya with this indigenous, reliable and environmentally friendly source of electricity. Kenya is an important market for our future growth due to its high geothermal potential and we are focusing our efforts on increasing our operation in Kenya.”

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