This post brings you geothermal headlines from Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Click below to read this week’s international geothermal roundup.
*Hawaii: UH Research to Begin at Hualalai
University of Hawaii researchers are looking to increase the number of survey sites included in a project to assess the potential for geothermal energy at Hualalai, a dormant volcano considered the “Middle Child” and third youngest of the volcanos on the Big Island. UH was granted permits in March for 9 sites, which it hopes to increase to 19 in order to help avoid costs of environmental assessments at some sites that would not be required at others. The “Geothermal Resources Exploration Plan for Hawaii” will begin as early as this summer as a non-invasive geophysical study using a magnetotelluric survey and is funded by the DLNR and U.S. Department of Energy.
*New York: Two GHP Incentives Pass Legislature
Two measures that bring the same benefits enjoyed by owners of solar installations to those who install geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) have passed the State Legislature and now move on for Governor Cuomo’s signature. A-2177a/S2905 grants GHP owners a tax credit of up to $5,000 for 25% of project costs to, while A-25508a/S4279 provides a state sales tax exemption for residential and commercial GHP installations.
*Oregon: Lawmakers Qualify Geothermal for Green Technology Contracts
In Oregon, lawmakers passed House Bill 3329 through the Oregon House and Senate to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk. The bill “modifies the standard by which geothermal energy qualifies as a type of green energy technology for which at least 1.5 percent of total contract price of certain public construction improvement contracts, reconstruction or major renovation of public school building must be spent” reported local news.
*Ethiopia: Aluta Langano Begins to Generate Power
The expansion at the existing Aluta Langano geothermal power station has started generating power, local news reports, with support from Japan and the World Bank. Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Alemayehu Tegenu was quoted that the Aluta Langano will play a crucial role in the second Growth and Transformation Period for Ethiopia. See also a post on the WordPress blog VolcanicDegassing for more on geothermal energy in Ethiopia.
*El Salvador: Development Begins at Chinameca Project
At a ceremony to open the development at the Chinameca 3 geothermal field in San Miguel, El Salvador, the Executive Hydroelectric Commission of Rio Lempa and company LaGeo discussed the plan to develop the geothermal project over the next few years. From pre-feasibility to implementation the costs are estimated at $330 million, and the company envisions a 50-MW capacity will be added to the grid in 2019.
Asia & The Pacific
*Indonesia: President Calls for More Geothermal at Kamojang Dedication
Indonesia President Joko Widodo instructed his economic ministers to prioritize environmental generation over fossil based generation and pointed to the nation’s geothermal resources. “There will be special incentives for investors who agree to develop environmentally friendly power plants,” President Joko said. His speech was at the dedication of 5th unit at the Kamojang geothermal plant in West Java. This new unit will provide 35 MW power capacity, adding to the existing combined capacity of 260 MW of geothermal energy that is produced by the plant’s four other pre-existing units.
*Indonesia: PGE to Increase Geothermal Capacity
Indonesia’s Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) is investing US$2.5 billion through 2019 in geothermal power plants. President Director of Pertamina Dwi Soetjipto said in a release that the funds will be used to increase the geothermal capacity from 505 MW to 907 MW, or by about 80% during that time frame. The geothermal capacity is expected to reduce the use of fuel oil 43,000 barrel oil equivalent per day, while the construction projects are expected to provide jobs for ~7,000 people.
Europe & Central Asia
*Azerbaijan and Georgia: Renewables Collaboration Planned
Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy and the Georgian Energy Ministry will establish a joint working group for alternative energy, officials from the two countries said following a meeting this week. Azerbaijan has been estimated to have an 800-MW potential for geothermal energy.