“Weekly news roundup for international geothermal markets”
This week’s international roundup brings you headlines from California, Kentucky, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, UK and Germany.
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*California: Geothermal Contracts Renewed
Southern California Edison has “signed contracts with solar and geothermal energy producers representing more than 1,500 megawatts of clean, renewable power. Signed contracts include the purchase of more than 1,300 megawatts of new solar power and the re-contracting of 225 megawatts with an existing California geothermal energy project.” The geothermal power is sold by Geysers Power Company, LLC. [marketwatch.com]
*California: Geothermal May Help Woo Tesla
A Viewpoint article on SacBee.com says that geothermal energy in Imperial Valley, California, could help persuade high-tech electric car company Tesla to build its new “Gigafactory” in the state. See also USAToday.com.
*Kentucky: High School Goes Geo
A $500,000 grant from Kentucky Utilities helped fund a new geothermal heating and cooling system for Elliott County High School. [dailyindependent.com]
*Ethiopia: Power Africa Projects Taking Shape
“Ethiopia appears to be taking the lead in the Power Africa programme,” states a Reuters article this week. “The East African nation hopes to boost its capacity to 10,000 MW by the end of 2015, from the current level of 2,200 MW, in part with funding from Power Africa.”
*Rwanda: Bond Sale Would Fund Geothermal Plant
Rwanda is planning an international bond sale next year of up to $1 billion to fund the construction of an airport and a 150-MW geothermal plant. [iol.co.za]
*Canada: Town in B.C. Expands Geothermal System
Richmond City, British Columbia, has approved a $12.3 million expansion of a city geothermal energy project. The Alexandra District Energy Utility in the West Cambie neighborhood is planned for a triple size increase by 2018 and will service 10 developments. [richmond-news.com]
*Costa Rica Considers Geothermal Benefits
An article on ticotimes.net discusses considerations going into three potential geothermal power projects near the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, including the Guanacaste project that was given the go-ahead in July by President Luis Guillermo Solís. The three plants could potentially produce a total 1,445 gigawatt-hours per year and help Costa Rica reach 100% renewables.
Asia and the Pacific
*New Zealand: Geothermal Laboratories Best in Southern Hemisphere
A full-service geothermal and groundwater laboratory has opened at GNS Science’s Wairakei campus, located north of Taupo, New Zealand, after a $4 million upgrade. Funds went toward specialist laboratories: the New Zealand Geothermal Analytical Laboratory, the GNS Science Extremophile Laboratory, and other specialist analytical facilities. The facility assists geothermal energy development in the Philippines, Indonesia, East Africa, Peru, and Chile, and of course in New Zealand. Head of the Geothermal Sciences Department at GNS Science, Greg Bignall said, “The New Zealand Geothermal Analytical Laboratory is without peer in the Southern Hemisphere.” [voxy.co.nz]
*UK and Germany: Cornwall Team Visits Insheim
A geothermal energy plant in Insheim, Germany hosted a senior team from the Cornwall geothermal project in the UK. EGS Energy organized the visit by Cornwall Councillor Tim Dwelly, business leaders, and members of the Local Enterprise Partnership. [westernmorningnews.co.uk]