Leading news: Geothermal Energy a Unique Renewable Resource for States, Nation

“This week’s top news for geothermal development and GEA members”

Read about the latest updates on California’s geothermal procurement bill, Hawaii Island’s proposed geothermal project, and more in the world of geothermal energy.

History of Outreach for Geothermal Evident in 1948 LIFE Magazine Ad
The 1948 LIFE magazine ad above shows images of a geothermal system, with a caption at the bottom: “For those that are concerned about the ‘new’ technology we call Geothermal.” Geothermal power has been used in the U.S. for over 50 years, and today, it is used in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah. But it is still often considered a strange or new technology. Do you have questions about geothermal energy? Check out the GEA’s Web site, http://www.geo-energy.org.

Click below to keep reading “This week’s top news for geothermal development and GEA members”

*California SB 1139 Approved in Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee
*Hawaii Electric Light Co. Has New Timeline for Geothermal Project
*Calpine Sees Risk to Geothermal as Solar and Wind Power Grow in California
*U.S. Geothermal Inc. CEO, Dennis Gilles Interviewed by NBT Equities Research
*Renewables Provide 14% of U.S. Electrical Generation during First Third of 2014

California SB 1139 Approved in Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee
On June 23, the California Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce approved SB 1139 by a 8-5 vote and now heads to Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill requires energy retailers to procure a combined 500 MW of geothermal power by 2024, and has been passed in the Senate.

In a press release, co-author of the bill Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) said: “SB 1139 has the potential to generate $38M per year in local revenue, hundreds of high paying jobs and investments toward meaningful economic development. All of these benefits, resilience, and reliability to our current energy system for a small procurement of less than 1% of the current energy portfolio,” said Senator Hueso. “This bill creates the kind of smart development needed in California to produce jobs, protect against fuel price increases and reduce greenhouse gas and fossil fuel emissions.”

Assemblymember Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), co-author of the bill, commented: “It has taken a lot of effort and education to advance this measure,” explained Pérez. “Californians are still learning about the benefits of geothermal – its ability to provide base load power with nominal greenhouse gas emissions makes it a great choice for filling the gap created by the closure of San Onofre, while enabling the state to stay on track with our emissions reductions goals,” said Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez. “At the local level, the development of geothermal resources will create jobs for our Coachella and Imperial Valley communities as well as potential financing for Salton Sea restoration.”

SB 1139 will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee tomorrow morning, June 26. The committee will convene “upon adjournment of session” and session is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. Has New Timeline for Geothermal Project
Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) has a new timeline for its geothermal project review process after being criticized for failure to follow a previous timeline. A request for proposals was initially launched in February 2013, and six bidders responded, each with a proposal for a 25-MW geothermal plant. The company has now delayed its evaluation process to February, and expects an executed agreement for regulatory review in April.

In a letter to the PUC, HELCO said: “Hawaii Electric Light acknowledges that there have been delays. However, Hawaii Electric Light was ready and willing to select a winning bid(s) in accordance with the schedule set forth in the geothermal RFP had any of the bids provided pricing and technical characteristics that were in the best interest of customers.” [westhawaiitoday.com]

Calpine Sees Risk to Geothermal as Solar and Wind Power Grow in California
Via Sustainable Energy Coalition/SUN DAY Campaign and The Street–According to energy giant Calpine, hundreds of millions of dollars in historically profitable geothermal energy investments at its famed Geysers facilities may be at risk as California utilities marginalize geothermal power in favor of other renewables, like wind and solar. As the state’s renewable energy mandate expands, utilities are not being required to contract for geothermal power and are instead choosing wind and solar. Calpine says wind and solar are subsidized energy sources and the true costs of integrating solar and wind into the existing energy grid are not being factored into utilities’ decisions. As a consequence, even existing geothermal contracts are at risk of non-renewal.

U.S. Geothermal Inc. CEO, Dennis Gilles Interviewed by NBT Equities Research
Press Release (BOISE, IDAHO) June 25–U.S. Geothermal Inc. (TSX:GTH)(NYSE MKT:HTM) a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production, and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, is pleased to announce that Dennis Gilles, CEO, was interviewed by Tobin Smith, CEO of NBT Equities Research and former Contributor/Guest Anchor for Fox News & Fox Business News, following his previously announced presentation at the Marcum Microcap Conference on Thursday May 29, 2014 in New York City.

The two part video interview with Tobin Smith is available on the US Geothermal website home page at http://www.usgeothermal.com.

Also available on the company website is a webcast of the presentation from the Marcum Conference recorded by Wall Street Webcasting covering the latest version of the Company’s corporate presentation. The link is accessible at http://wsw.com/webcast/marcum2/htm or on the home page of our corporate website http://www.usgeothermal.com. The corporate presentation is also available on our website home page.

Renewables Provide 14% of U.S. Electrical Generation during First Third of 2014
Via Sustainable Energy Coalition/SUN DAY Campaign and U.S. Energy Information Administration–According to the latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through April 30, 2014), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided 14.05% of net electrical generation for the first four months of 2014. Further, for each of those months, non-hydro renewables provided more electricity than did conventional hydropower with the former contributing 52.68% of renewable electrical generation for the period. Compared to the same four months of 2013, solar increased by 108.9%, wind by 11.5%, and biomass by 4.3% while geothermal dipped b 2.0% and hydropower by 2.9%; renewables, in total, grew by 4.17%. Wind is now providing 5.15% of net electrical generation – the first time that wind has crossed the 5% threshold.

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