International roundup: Geothermal in New York, Wyoming, Comoros, Japan, Germany and more

This pots brings you geothermal headlines from California, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Wyoming, Comoros, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand and Germany.


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

U.S. States

*California: Natural Gas to Replace San Onofre Power
Carlsbad Energy Center, a 500-MW five unit natural gas peaking plant, “expects to help ensure reliability in southern California following the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2013” according to a press release. Supporters of the geothermal industry have pointed out that geothermal energy is a beneficial choice in the area.

*Hawaii: Developer Selection Recommended for Approval
Boston Pacific Co., the firm monitoring the geothermal project bid in Hawaii, is recommending regulators approve the selection of Ormat as the developer. Ormat was one of two bidders out of five that met the threshold price, set at 12 cents/kWh.

*New York: NYC School Gets Geothermal System
Trevor Day School in New York City is installing a geothermal system. Head of School Scott Reisinger told press, “Structural piles—ours are made from reinforced concrete—are turned into heat exchangers by adding loops of plastic pipes down their length, some more than 80 feet deep. Their function is not only to provide support for the building, but also to allow the structure to extract and store heat from the earth for use in heating and cooling the building. Geothermal energy is cost effective, sustainable, and a limitless educational tool.”

*Oregon: Joint Memorial Urges FORGE Siting at Newberry
The Oregon Senate has joined the House in unanimously backing the Newberry site in the Department of Energy’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) program. House Joint Memorial 19 urges the U.S. Secretary of Energy and Congress to site FORGE at the Newberry Geothermal Project. “This is a great opportunity for us to urge Congress to bring a state-of-the-art geothermal lab to Oregon,” State Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) was quoted. “There is an opportunity to bring $30 million to Oregon. … I think it’s a great fit for Oregon.”

*Wyoming: Grants Awarded for Stability Studies and Fluid-Rock Interactions
Two winning teams will move forward on research under University of Wyoming’s first Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) Competitive Graduate Assistantship Program grants. Assistant Professors Kam Ng and Gang Tan of UW’s Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering along with Robert Podgorney of INL will research thermal-hydro-mechanical interaction for geothermal energy and well-bore stability studies. Also, Associate Professor John Kaszuba and Ph.D. candidate Quinn Miller in UW’s Department of Geology and Geophysics with Professor Darryl Butt of Boise State University’s College of Engineering will study fluid-rock interactions in the evolution of pore networks in unconventional reservoirs.


*Comoros: Karthala Geothermal Prospect Gets Grant
A press release from the African Union ( states, “The African Union Commission (AUC) represented by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy, and the Geological Bureau of Comoros signed a grant contract totaling USD 844,680, on 15 May 2015. The grant representing 80% of the total cost to conduct surface study in Karthala Geothermal Prospect located in GRANDE COMORE – main island of Comoros.” According to the press release, at the signing, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim “expressed her gratitude towards this achievement in geothermal energy development, which will in turn improve the quality of life of the people of Comoros.” and “urged the government of the Union of Comoros to maintain the momentum of the project and apply for GRMF grant for drilling programme in the coming application round.”

The Americas

*Mexico: U.S. Ambassador Supports Working Together on Geothermal
At a Mexico Renewable Energy Conference this month, U.S. Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne spoke about cooperation on sustainability. Speaking about geothermal energy he said: “2014 was also a notable year for the geothermal industry in Mexico, as new regulations were signed by President Peña Nieto. A framework is now in place to facilitate the issuance of permits for site study, as well as concessions for exploration and development of geothermal resources. In addition, SENER recently announced that it has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank to provide risk mitigation and financing to private geothermal energy projects.”

*Mexico: Mexican Firm Wants More Geothermal Business
CEO Jose Pablo Fernandez told local press his firm Grupo Dragon is interested in associations with state-run power utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) on geothermal projects and is also looking to compete on its own for permits. Grupo Dragon also has a 5-MW geothermal plant in San Pedro Lagunillas, Nayarit state that it expects to expand.

Asia and the Pacific

*Japan: Geothermal Exploration Authorized in Kumamoto Prefecture
This month Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) received authorization to proceed on investigating the potential for a geothermal power plant in Minamiaso Village, Kumamoto Prefecture. A press release states, “MC and KEPCO plan to conduct surface investigation (including gravitational and electromagnetic methods) in order to better comprehend the subsurface structure, the actual conditions of surrounding hot springs, and how they have changed over time.”

*New Zealand: Contact Drops Offshore Geothermal Plans
While Contact Energy had previously said it was looking at possibilities for offshore geothermal development investments, the company has dropped those plans.


*Germany: Geothermal System Wins District Energy Award
Germany’s Deep Geothermal Energy System in Kirchweidach won a 2015 Global District Energy Climate Award at the Euroheat & Power Congress. According to the announcement (PDF), “This remarkable project delivers a sustainable energy solution that has strengthened the local economy! It harnesses heat and power from deep geothermal energy for growing vegetables that would otherwise be imported (creating 150 jobs), while also supplying residents with renewable heat and electricity.”

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