Leading news: States and Industry Working to Engage Geothermal Possibilities

This post brings you upcoming GEA events, current regulatory considerations in several Western states, and more.


Above: The map shows public land with considerable amounts of geothermal potential in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California and Arizona. At a recent GEA event, John Ruhs, Acting State Director of the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada noted that most of the authorized federal leases for these lands are in Nevada, with 345 authorized leases. California has the second highest number of authorized federal geothermal leases, with 100. Additionally, almost 80% of the Geothermal Drilling Permits have been issued in Nevada over the last 11 years, Ruhs shared in his presentation. Join us at our annual GEA Geothermal Energy Expo this September 20-23 in Reno, Nevada alongside the GRC Annual Meeting.

Click below to read this week’s leading geothermal news.

*GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo to Convene World’s Largest Annual Geothermal Industry Gathering
*View Presentations from the 2015 Geothermal Technologies Office Peer Review
*GEA to be Part of Free Public Event on Capitol Hill, WDC
*GEA Memo Looks at Southern California Edison’s Renewable Integration Cost Study
*Idaho PUC Considers Modifying PURPA Terms
*Nevada PUC Investigates Exit Applications
*Oregon Planning for 2016 Integrated Resources
*Kenya Invites Bids for Lamu-Nairobi Transmission Line and Substation (due Aug. 11)
*U.S.-Brazil Agreement Foresees 20% Non-Hydro Renewables by 2030

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo to Convene World’s Largest Annual Geothermal Industry Gathering
Press Release (Reno, Nevada) June 30 – The international geothermal power market is booming and with a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5% and almost 700 projects currently under development in 76 countries, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo is expected to be an exciting international gathering of geothermal companies, academics, financiers, policy leaders, students, and other individuals. The international geothermal community is marking their calendars to attend or exhibit at the event, to be held from September 20-23, 2015 at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA.

This is the premier gathering to learn about the latest developments in geothermal energy. Last year, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo hosted more than 1,400 representatives from 39 countries. Participants from six continents were present. In 2015, an even broader attendance is anticipated.

The GRC Annual Meeting will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions, educational seminars, tours of geothermal and renewable energy projects, and numerous networking opportunities. Registration to the GRC Annual Meeting will open in July.

The GEA Expo will feature exhibits by leading companies featuring new technology from drillers, suppliers, developers and more.  Information on exhibitor registration is available at: http://geothermalenergy2015.org/registration.asp
“Nevada is home to numerous geothermal projects and other renewable energy” said Steve Ponder, Executive Director of the GRC. “Geothermal, in addition to generating electricity, generates jobs and property tax revenues for local counties.”

“The GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo offers a unique opportunity for leaders in the business to learn about latest market developments and showcase their projects, equipment, services and state of the art technology to the geothermal community,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director of GEA.

While still a few months away, GRC and GEA reminds international participants to plan early to have enough time for processing required visas or other travel documents. For information on U.S. State Department requirements for business travel, go to: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html.

Geothermal energy is a firm yet flexible renewable energy source that can bring the reliability of 24/7 baseload power or complement other energy technologies by firming up more intermittent power generation. It can also provide distributed power generation from small co-production projects, with one of the smallest environmental footprints of any technology. Geothermal has the potential to help meet many U.S. states’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals as an alternative to fossil fuels. Recent breakthroughs in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) technology for exploiting geothermal resources around the world raise bright prospects for the industry.

For more information about exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, please visit geothermal.org or geothermalenergy2015.org. Join the conversation on Twitter by following the GRC @GRC2001 and #GRCAM2015 or GEA at @geoenergist and #GEAExpo2015. 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.

View Presentations from the 2015 Geothermal Technologies Office Peer Review
Via DOE–The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) took a week this May to conduct its Peer Review, a rigorous public evaluation of its geothermal project portfolio. Peer Review provides a forum for independent, expert evaluation of the technical progress and merit of GTO’s technical portfolio.

This year, the four-day event in May brought together nearly 300 participants from eight countries —representing industry, national labs, government, and academia—to Westminster, CO, to review 110 GTO projects and an additional 21 posters on GTO-funded research. The event attracted a national and international audience in this sector, and opened a dialogue with other experts in geophysics, geochemistry, modeling, down-hole tools, and more. Presentations from the GTO 2015 Peer Review are now available here.

The Energy Department oversees nearly $500 million in total combined investments across 175 projects in the geothermal sector. More about this year’s Peer Review and past meetings can be found at the GTO website.

GEA to be Part of Free Public Event on Capitol Hill, WDC
The Geothermal Energy Association is on the committee, speaker list and exhibition floor at the upcoming Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo, July 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. This event showcases renewables and energy efficient technologies in a unified event on Capitol Hill. This is an event of the Sustainable Energy Coalition, with the U.S. House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus supporting as honorary hosts.

Several high-profile congressional and administrative representatives are scheduled to participate, including Senator Jack Reed (RI; Co-Chair, Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus); Representative Dave Reichert (WA; Co-Chair, House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus); Senator Martin Heinrich (NM); Representative John Delaney (MD); Miranda Ballantine, Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment, and Energy, U.S. Air Force; Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary for Energy, Installations & Environment, U.S. Navy; Kevin Kampschroer, Federal Director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, U.S. General Services Administration and Christopher McLean, Assistant Administrator of the Electric Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

GEA Executive Director Karl Gawell will speak in the accompanying policy forum, and GEA will staff a booth at the event with brochures and reports covering essential information on geothermal energy.

The event is on Thursday, July 9, 2015 frp, 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington DC. Exhibitions are in Caucus Room 345 and policy forum in Cannon Room 334. The all-day event is free to the public. Visit the event Web site: http://sustainableenergy.org/2015-expo/

GEA Memo Looks at Southern California Edison’s Renewable Integration Cost Study
Southern California Edison Company (SCE) released a report on May 29, 2015 regarding its renewable integration costs study for a 33% Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). GEA along with Calpine Corp. filed a memo for SCE to consider in its official path forward.

GEA noted that variable integration costs are likely to grow as penetrations of renewable energy increase; this will be relevant in SCE’s next step to analyze 40% RPS by the end of August. GEA also noted that variable integration costs are only one element of integration costs and urged greater attention to fixed and curtailment costs; a Least-Cost/Best-Fit (LCBF) valuation methodologies is included in the investor-owned utilities’ annual RPS procurement plans.

GEA’s memo notes that accommodating the intermittency of some renewables such as wind and solar has a relationship with added costs, while geothermal generally has low variable integration costs, “because it provides base load generation which does not vary significantly between or within hours.”

Reply Comments are due July 6, 2015. The Integration Cost Proceedings Schedule is:

  • SCE and Energy Division Staff Collaboration March-August
  • SCE Modeling Results of 40% RPS Cases for Party Comments 8/31/15
  • Party Comments/Replies on the 40% RPS Results 9/21/15 – 9/28/15

More information can be found at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M148/K824/148824405.PDF.

Idaho PUC Considers Modifying PURPA Terms
Idaho PUC is considering modifying the terms and conditions of prospective PURPA agreements from twenty years to two years. Anyone considering building or selling power to Idaho may file a letter with the Idaho PUC.

Nevada PUC Investigates Exit Applications
The Nevada PUC has opened a docket, 15-06015, to investigate issues with several large customers who have pending applications to exit. The customers would buy their energy supply wholesale direct and be responsible for meeting the Nevada RPS. The docket is on a fast track with a purpose to ensure that approval of 704B exit applications will not be contrary in the public interest. There are about 400 MW of load that have pending applications to exit.

Oregon Planning for 2016 Integrated Resources
Portland General Electric is holding a series of 2016 Integrated Resource Planning Stakeholder Meetings. Anyone with interest in energy resources in Oregon can attend:

  • July 6, 2015, Commission Workshop #1
  • July 16, 2015, Public Meeting #2
  • August 13, 2015, Public Meeting #3
  • September 24, 2015, Commission Workshop #2
  • September 25, 2015, Technical Workshop #2
  • October 21, 2015, Technical Workshop #3
  • October 22, 2015, Public Meeting #4
  • November 20, 2015, Public Meeting #5

Kenya Invites Bids for Lamu-Nairobi Transmission Line and Substation (due Aug. 11)
Via USTDA — Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. (KETRACO) and the Government of Kenya are inviting sealed bids from eligible bidders for the execution of the 400kV Lamu – Nairobi East transmission line and new 4x300MVA, 400/220kV Nairobi East substation. The project is divided into Lots A, B, and C, and interested firms may bid for any or all lots. Bidders will be responsible for mobilizing funds to finance the implementation of the lot(s) they bid for. KETRACO has noted that no Sovereign Guarantee shall be provided by the Government of Kenya for this project. The official Specific Procurement Notice/Invitation for Bids from KETRACO is available on USTDA’s Web site (http://www.ustda.gov/businessopps/tradeleads/SPNAdvertLamuNairobiEast.pdf) and at www.ketraco.co.ke. The deadline is 10:00 AM local Nairobi time on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.

U.S.-Brazil Agreement Foresees 20% Non-Hydro Renewables by 2030
The United States and Brazil will work to get a fifth of their electricity from non-hydro renewable sources by 2030, President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced this week. The U.S. will need to triple its renewables capacity, currently at about 100 GW. Brazil will need to double its current capacity. “The global scientific community has made clear that human activity is already changing the world’s climate system, causing serious impacts, putting ever larger numbers of people at risk, posing challenges to sustainable development, affecting particularly the poor and most vulnerable, and harming economies and societies around the world, including in the United States and Brazil,” the presidents said in a statement.

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