Leading news: California Bill Faces Final Hurdles; GEA Welcomes New Members

This post brings you the week’s “Top news for geothermal development and GEA members,” including the latest on California’s S.B. 1139, updates on GEA members, and deadlines coming up for major geothermal events in Portland, Oregon.


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

*S.B. 1139 Faces Final Hurdles in California Legislature

*GEA Welcomes New Member Companies Coastal Technologies, Cooling Tower Depot, Durango Geophysical Operations, LiUNA Local, and Marathon Capital

*Deadlines Approaching for Major Geothermal Events

*Coastal Technologies a Geothermal Supplier for Kamojang, Indonesia Project

S.B. 1139 Faces Final Hurdles in California Legislature

California’s geothermal procurement bill, S.B. 1139, is nearing the end of its course through the State Legislature. It was scheduled today (August 27) for a vote in the State Assembly, and with the legislative session ending September 1, the Assembly is expected to vote anytime between now and the end of the weekend. It is expected to be a tight vote. Follow along by checking the status of S.B. 1139 at: leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

The bill requires electricity retail sellers to procure a statewide total of 500 MW of geothermal by December 31, 2024. Individual retail sellers would need to procure a proportionate share as determined by the Energy Commission. Due to the highly valued known geothermal resource areas across the state, the bill gained immediate support from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) and the geothermal industry at large when it was introduced early this year by Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez and State Senator Ben Hueso. See also “Calif. Senator Hueso: Geothermal Energy Good for Job Creation, Renewable Energy,” ivn.us.

“There are many good reasons to pass this bill, but in the end it may end up being all about money and power,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director, GEA. “Every interest that might lose market share has lined up against it and major Sacramento power brokers are stoking the flames of their dissent.”

The State Senate passed S.B. 1139 on May 27 in a 21-11 vote. Since then, it has been amended in several important ways. It now (1) allows the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to set a procurement expenditure limitation for each utility covered by the act, (2) sets a cap on any power purchase agreement’s impact on ratepayers of 1 percent, (3) directs the PUC to investigate and take action on existing geothermal contracts and to “ensure that facilities with expiring contracts are not disadvantaged by new procurement of new baseload generation,” and (4) requires that projects selected must “demonstrate an environmental benefit to California.”

A concurrent initiative by the Imperial Irrigation District in Imperial County would use geothermal energy in a plan to restore the Salton Sea habitat and shorelines. At the GEA’s recent National Geothermal Summit, Carl Stills, Energy Manager, Imperial Irrigation District discussed the District’s plan to use geothermal development at the Salton Sea as an economic aid to the goal of restoring the receding Sea. “Geothermal will be the perfect vehicle to help at the Salton Sea, and also meets A.B. 32,” Stills said. A.B. 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, is California’s comprehensive program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources throughout the state.

California also needs to replace 2,200 MW from the closed San Onofre nuclear power plant. Furthermore, regulators and environmental groups are calling for a shutdown of the 2,200 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear power complex due to safety concerns. Geothermal is not only a clean renewable resource, it is also available on a baseload, 24-hour-a-day schedule, and is thus able to provide the same baseload benefits as nuclear.

Bob Sullivan, Vice President of Business Development at Ormat Technologies, has said the bill would help geothermal resources to be considered fairly. “California has a preferred loading order, and renewables are at the very top along with distributed generation and efficiency. Then fossil fuels start coming on. But geothermal keeps getting overlooked,” he said. The problem lies in the lack of recognition of geothermal energy’s differences from other renewable sources, and a lack of incentives for the ancillary benefits that make it key to the energy mix.

GEA recently issued a status report on California’s geothermal resources. With about 2,720 MW of geothermal power on-line and 13,230 GWh produced in 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are an additional 2,500 MW of discovered geothermal power resources in California and 11,000 MW of undiscovered resources. The state is a global geothermal leader, but its resources are still largely untapped. The report found that the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area is considered by many to be the best opportunity for growth in California in the near term.

Policy is a key determiner for what will happen in terms of geothermal growth, with state decisions, such as S.B. 1139, driving the future of energy markets in the U.S.

GEA Welcomes New Member Companies Coastal Technologies, Cooling Tower Depot, Durango Geophysical Operations, LiUNA Local, and Marathon Capital

Juliana Glenn, GEA staff–The Geothermal Energy Association extends a warm welcome to our new members. GEA is dedicated to providing our members with the valuable information, resources, and networking opportunities companies need to grow and thrive. Membership dues provide the bulk of financial support for GEA and directly facilitate our efforts to engage policy makers on key industry issues, organize events, and produce industry data, reports, and publications. We would like to thank all of our members for their support.

New GEA Members from July to August 2014 are:

Coastal Technologies, based in Hampton, SC, has been serving the mist elimination and separation market for over 20 years, and provides a variety of products for the geothermal industry. Their Web site can be found here.

Cooling Tower Depot, a leading cooling tower manufacturing company, offers new cooling towers, major rebuilding and overhaul and inspection services, and emergency response services. They manufacture and install field erected industrial cooling towers around the world. Their Web site can be found here.

Durango Geophysical Operations is a Durango, Colorado based company that provides exploration services. You can contact them here.

LiUNA Local 1184, the Laborers International Union of America, is based in Brawley, California. You can contact them here.

Marathon Capital is a leading investment bank and financial advisory firm focused on delivering financial products and services to the global energy and infrastructure markets. They specialize in the sale and financing of companies, projects and assets in these markets. Their Web site can be found here.

GEA is now accepting Membership applications for the upcoming fiscal year. A GEA membership provides the structural support that GEA needs to continue to promote growth for the geothermal industry and our member companies. Other benefits include:

  • a listing in GEA’s searchable online Member database with a link to your company website
  • discounts for all employees to attend GEA events
  • advance notice of speaking opportunities at GEA events and various other opportunities
  • advance copies of GEA reports
  • eligible to participate on GEA committees
  • eligible to win GEA Honors Awards
  • the “Member Access” section of GEA’s Web site with additional industry resources

Become a member today! Visit www.geo-energy.org or contact Juliana@geo-energy.org regarding GEA membership.

Deadlines Approaching for Major Geothermal Events

Press Release (Portland, Oregon) August 27–Register by September 3 to save over $60 on room rates for the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo–The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) and Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) reminds attendees that the offer of discounted hotel rooms at the world’s largest annual geothermal conference at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA, Sept. 28-Oct.1, will end next week.

The weekday room rate for the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower and DoubleTree by Hilton Portland at present is $139. After September 3 the rates will increase by over $60.

Hotel room reservations can be made by following a link from the GRC website at www.geothermal.org. Book now as there are only a certain number of discounted rooms available.

This is the premier gathering to learn about the latest developments in geothermal energy. Last year, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo hosted representatives from more than 40 countries. Participants from six continents were present. In 2014, an even broader attendance is anticipated.

The GRC Annual Meeting will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects, and numerous networking opportunities.

The GEA Expo floor features a unique opportunity for leaders in the business to showcase their projects, equipment, services and state of the art technology to the geothermal community. Exhibit space still remains but is selling quickly.

Registration for the GRC Annual Meeting is available from the GRC website at www.geothermal.org. A Preliminary Program complete with a Registration Form is available to view and download. However, the GRC recommends online registration through a secured connection. The link is also available on the front page of the GRC website at www.geothermal.org. The earlybird discount deadline is this Saturday, August 30.

Registration for the GEA Expo only is available from the GEA website at www.geothermalenergy2014.org.

For more information about exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.geothermal.org or www.geothermalenergy2014.org.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following the GRC @GRC2001 and #GRCAM2014 or GEA at @geoenergist and #GEAExpo2014.

For GRC Annual Meeting information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Estela Smith, 530.758.2360 or grc@geothermal.org. For GEA Expo exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kathy Kent Schott, 202.454.5263 or kathy@geo-energy.org.

To request press credentials, please contact Shawna McGregor, The Rosen Group, 917.971.7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

Coastal Technologies a Geothermal Supplier for Kamojang, Indonesia Project

Press Release–Coastal Technologies Inc. (USA) announces that it will supply the steam scrubber for Unit 5 of the Kamojang geothermal power station in Indonesia. The order for this project was placed directly by Fuji Electric Corp. of America. Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. is responsible for manufacturing and delivering the steam turbine and generator units. The steam scrubber is responsible for protecting the steam turbine from any carryover of brine and water carried with the steam from the steam fields.

The geothermal plant is owned and operated by PT. Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), the geothermal arm of the state-run oil and gas company, Pertamina, and is located in Garut, a city located approximately 40 km from Bandung City, West Java, Indonesia. Unit 5 will have a 35 MW power generation capacity, and its construction is scheduled to be completed by July 2015.

Coastal Technologies’ unique cyclonic style scrubber was selected, in part, due to the success and performance of a similar scrubber supplied at the nearby Darajat 55 MW project. The geothermal power industry has been a core market for CTI over the past 25 years having installations of steam scrubbers and separators around the entire Pacific Rim.

Geothermal energy can generate a stable supply of electricity day and night, and in all weather conditions. Since virtually no carbon dioxide is emitted, it is regarded as an attractive alternative to fossil fuels. Indonesia has the world’s largest geothermal energy resources and is planning many additional projects to exploit these resources.

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