International roundup: Geothermal in NYC, Idaho, Kenya, Bolivia, DR, Nicaragua, Australia, Hungary, and more

This post brings you geothermal news from California, Hawaii, New York, Utah, Idaho, Kenya, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Australia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Hungary, and Iceland.

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Geothermal photos via Twitter users @t2gunner in New Zealand and @GeothermalKe in Kenya

Click below to read this week’s international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*California: Imperial’s Plan Addresses Environmental Problems
One of the interesting points about the Salton Sea Restoration & Renewable Energy Initiative in Imperial Valley, California is that it directly addresses environmental problems at the site in a unique way. An article on greenerideal.com states, “Scientists also believe that this will reduce the toxicity of the lakebed, and the construction of a geothermal plant here can help mitigate the large dust storms that currently affect the area. This will improve the environmental issues and also the potential ability of improving the local economy.”

*Hawaii: Geothermal Company Funds Training Program
Puna Geothermal Venture on the Big Island of Hawaii has pledged to fund a workforce development program at Hawaii Community College. The program will address needed skills and knowledge gaps on the island and is set to launch in January 2015. The amount the geothermal company offered is $12,000 a year for five years. [hawaiitribune-herald.com]

*New York: Geothermal Planned for Harlem Townhouse
Drilling is expected to begin on the first geothermal energy townhouse in Harlem, New York City. [Harlem + Bespoke]

*Utah and Idaho: USU to Conduct Play Fairway Analysis
The Geology Department at Utah State University will be using advanced software for geothermal resource exploration in southern Idaho, as part of the Department of Energy’s Play Fairway Analysis program for geothermal systems. Exprodat, the company providing the software services, quotes John Shervais, Professor of Geology at USU on their Web site: “Integration and analysis of data is critical if our geothermal Play Fairway Analysis is to be successful. Using Exprodat’s software means we are able to easily and quickly take data from a huge range of sources to build a powerful ArcGIS database and perform geotechnical interpretation.”

Africa

*Kenya: PPA Signed for 35-MW Menengai Plant
Officials have signed key paperwork for a 35-MW geothermal plant at the Menengai steam field. OrPower Twenty-Two has entered a 25-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power as well as a 25-year project implementation and steam supply agreement with Geothermal Development Company. The OrPower Twenty-Two project partners (Civicon, Ormat Technologies and Symbion Power) are preparing for construction on a build-own-operate basis. The African Development Bank has pledged a Partial Risk Guarantee. [kbc.co.ke]

*Kenya: KenGen Preps for Olkaria 6 and 7
KenGen is asking to increase shareholder equity as part of plans to add an additional 70-MW geothermal plant at the Olkaria steam field. According to reliancykenya.com, the option came about because wells that were previously drilled at Olkaria yielded a better output than expected, saving money that can now be put toward the proposed additional plant. KenGen wants to develop the so-called Olkaria 6 and 7 under a Public-Private Partnership model. KenGen’s recent phases of commissioning at Olkaria have included 140 MW in July, 70 MW in October, and another 70 MW to be added this month. [standardmedia.co.ke].

*Kenya: Geothermal Surpasses Hydro
Kenya’s share of electricity from geothermal has surpassed that from hydro for the first time, with 42.7% for geothermal and 35.1% for hydro in the month of October. [businessdailyafrica.com]

The Americas

*Bolivia: Potosi Receives Geothermal Funding
President Evo Morales has said funding for geothermal in Potosi, Bolivia, is in place and that the department has previously identified geothermal energy there. He added the country needs proper training in geothermal. [evwind.com, Google Translate]

*Dominican Republic: Geothermal Proposed for Inclusion in Energy Incentives
The Executive Branch of the Dominican Republic government wants to include geothermal energy in a Senate bill. The scope of Law 57-07 would include incentives for certain types of energy production, and the proposed amendments would add “production based on the use of the earth’s internal heat (geothermal),” as well as biomass projects and urban solid waste. [lexology.com]

*Mexico: President Clarifies Geothermal Law
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced clarifying regulations, effective October 31, 2014. Regulation of the Geothermal Energy Law (Reglamento de la Ley de Energia Geotermica) specifies the manner in which private parties may develop geothermal energy resources in Mexico. See lexology.com. Read also “New Geothermal Laws Passed in Mexico and Colombia Create Opportunities” from GeoEnergyWire, July 2014.

*Nicaragua and Iceland: Delegation to Discuss Geothermal Cooperation
Nicaragua is expected to host a delegation from Iceland this week to explore potential cooperation opportunities in geothermal development and investment. The delegation is to be headed by the Minister of Industry and Trade, Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir. [briefnews21]

Asia and the Pacific

*Australia: CSIRO Reports on Geothermal Modeling
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, reported technological advancements in geothermal reservoir modeling. CSIRO scientists used porosity and P-wave velocity to predict thermal conductivity in quartz sandstones. The study used reservoirs in the Perth basin as well as one reservoir in Eastern France. [sciencewa.net.au]

*Indonesia: 70 MW Expected in First Stage of Muara Laboh Project
Construction will begin at the Muara Laboh project in West Sumatra as early as next year. PT Supreme Energy expects a 220-MW plant eventually, though will begin with a first stage of 70 MW. At the same time the company will work on land-related issues to prepare the way for future development phases. “We need to work in the Kerinci Seblat National Park area. The new Geothermal Law permits us to enter the national park, so further talks need to take place,” president director Triharyo Indrawan Soesilo explained to press. [The Jakarta Post]

*The Philippines: Mt. Apo Prepped for Data Gathering
Local news sunstar.com.ph reports Energy Development Corporation (EDC) of the Philippines has asked the Davao City Council for approval for geothermal exploration activities at the Mt. Zion area. EDC aims to conduct data gathering activities at the existing Mt. Apo Geothermal Project. Also this week, virgin.com has posted a feature on EDC’s geothermal work.

*Thailand: Private Producer Buys Stake in Indonesia Geothermal
Reuters reports that Electricity Generating PCL, Thailand’s second-largest private power producer, has bought into Indonesia’s Star Energy Geothermal. The company spent $215 million for 20% indirect stake in the 227 MW geothermal power plant.

Europe

*Hungary: Loan Granted for Geothermal Project
An €18 million loan from the Hungarian Export-Import Bank to company PannErgy will go toward financing a geothermal project near Győr, northwestern Hungary. [bbj.hu]

*Iceland: Geothermal Plant Uses Seawater for Cooling
Viewportmagazine.com posted a photographic tour of the Reykjanesvirkjun geothermal plant in Iceland. The author points out that at this plant, seawater is used for cooling. The capacity is high at 100 MW. The 12 boreholes are 1800-2600 m deep and have temperatures of 285-315 °C.

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