International geothermal news briefs for the week of March 31, 2014

Geothermal photos via Twitter users @4lisaguerrero in New Zealand and @CheemasClasses in Iceland
Geothermal photos via Twitter users @4lisaguerrero in New Zealand and @CheemasClasses in Iceland

U.S. States
*Alaska: Nome Project Needs Contract
*New York: Geothermal Advocated for Hurricane Sandy Area

Africa
*Kenya: 280 MW at Olkaria Added to Grid
*Kenya: Country’s Only Female Geothermal Drilling Engineer Featured Locally

The Americas
*Dominica: Project Doing Well, Says Visiting Expert
*Dominica and Martinique: Officials Discuss Geothermal Cooperation
*Nicaragua: Casita Project Nears Final Stages

Asia-Pacific:
*China: Large Geothermal Potential Found in Qinghai
*India: Geothermal an Area of Focus
*Indonesia: ADB Announces $350 Million Loan for Sarulla Project
*Japan: Two Geothermal Developments to Receive Debt Guarantee
*Japan: Sister Cities Celebrate Geothermal
*Mongolia: Geothermal Zones Found in North and Northwest
*New Zealand: Ohaaki to get Cooling Tower Upgrade
*The Philippines: Six Countries Present Bid to Host 2020 WGC

A company near Nome, Alaska needs a purchasing commitment in order to continue working toward geothermal development for the area. The company hopes to begin drilling next month.

In New York City, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is asking New York City Housing Authority to install geothermal technology for heating and cooling, starting with building that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Red Hook and Coney Island.

Local reports from Kenya are saying an additional 280 MW of geothermal capacity at Olkaria is being added to the grid in March or April 2014. “As part of the Government of Kenya’s effort to scale up power generation by 5,000 megawatts in 40 months, KenGen and Kenya Power require to access the national grid to facilitate the connection of the 280MW of geothermal power in Olkaria,” the two companies were quoted.

Kenya’s only woman drilling engineer in geothermal energy, Caroline Kipsang, works for KenGen at Olkaria station. “I always wanted to be a mechanical engineer,” she told the local series “Strength of a Woman,” and the Olkaria field inspired her to work in drilling geothermal.

Dominica’s geothermal project is well structured and is doing well, said an industry expert from New Zealand on an official visit to the Caribbean island. “I think the project is being well-structured, it is taking care of the initial issues that will be faced by any project, but all geothermal projects do take time and considerable investment to get them moving ahead,” New Zealand special envoy for energy and executive director Dr. Mike Allen was quoted in local press.

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit led a delegation to neighbor Martinique that included discussions on geothermal energy cooperation between the countries.

News from Nicaragua states that Ram Power subsidiary Cerro Colorado Power “started feasibility studies for the environmental and local permits required” for the Casita geothermal project in 2013 and is in the process to negotiate a power purchase agreement with the government of Nicaragua. The project could begin operations by the middle of this year.

China Geology Survey geothermal energy project has identified potential for geothermal energy development under Qiabuqia township in Gonghe County, in partnership with Qinghai’s department of land and resources.

Pan Global, Corp. told press that partnership talks are underway toward geothermal energy development in India. The Company’s Management commented, “We have previously stated our plans to include geothermal energy as one of the Company’s focus areas within the renewable energy sector. We are pleased to update our shareholders that our plans regarding geothermal are progressing.”

The Sarulla geothermal project in Indonesia will benefit from a US$350 million loan just announced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Companies involved in the 320-MW geothermal project in North Sumatra include Itochu Corp., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ormat International, and Medco Power Indonesia.

For the first time, Japan’s government will guarantee debt for geothermal power plant developments. Two geothermal project will be offered the guarantee: a 5-MW project in Oita by Kyushu Electric Power Co., and a 400-kW station in Fukushima.

Rotorua, New Zealand’s Mayor Stephanie Chadwick will be in town for the hot springs festival in Beppu, Japan to celebrate on the invitation of her counterpart Hiroshi Hamada. “Mayor Hamada’s invitation to join him for Beppu’s anniversary celebrations also provides a timely opportunity to investigate hot springs and geothermal opportunities for our city,” she was quoted in press.

UB Post in Mongolia ran a feature on the potential for geothermal in the country. “There are many places where Mongolia’s geological structure can be to its benefit. Many of these can be found in the hot springs, warm springs and other geothermal zones that can be found in the northern central part of the country and in the northwest,” according to the article.

At the 68-MW Ohaaki Geothermal Power Station in north Taupo, New Zealand, Contact Energy has awarded a cooling tower upgrade contract to Hamon Australia.

The International Geothermal Association Board of Directors met in the Philippines in late March. According to IGA, “One important agenda item included the bid presentations of candidate host countries for the World Geothermal Congress (WGC) in 2020 on 21 March 2014. Bidding countries include Chile, Iceland, Kenya, The Netherlands & Germany, Philippines and the USA. Candidate countries presented their suitability for hosting an event of approx. 2,000 participants, described their venue, accommodation, geothermal projects in the country and their financial proposal to the IGA Board of Directors. In the coming weeks the IGA WGC2020 Selection Committee will further evaluate the bids. Subsequently, the 30 members of the IGA Board will vote on the best candidate to host the WGC2020.”

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