International roundup: Geothermal in Idaho, Canada, Mexico, The Philippines and more

This post brings you geothermal headlines from Idaho, Canada, Mexico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

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Click below for the full post.

U.S. States

*Idaho and Alaska: Chena Power Joins FORGE Team
Chena Power, LLC of Alaska has joined the Snake River Geothermal Consortium (SRGC) team, one of the five teams vying to go on to Phase 2 of the U.S. DOE’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) program. The SRGC team is led by Idaho National Laboratory. “The practical experience that Chena brings to the team will be instrumental if our team is selected to move into Phase 2,” stated Robert Podgorney, SRGC director and INL’s FORGE Initiative director. “We need the kind of ingenuity that has gone into developing the power plant in Alaska, especially when it comes to demonstrating power generation at the later stages of FORGE.”

The Americas

*Canada: Study Considers Geo Potential at Former Springhill Mines
The Cumberland Energy Authority and the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University have announced a partnership to study geothermal energy potential in the abandoned Springhill mines in Nova Scotia. They will also assess whether the project could make mine water management economically appealing. Research will be presented September 24.

*Mexico: Los Azufres III Moving Forward
The second phase of a geothermal project in Michoacán, Los Azufres III, was one of the major energy projects approved by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) this summer. Los Azufres III is planned for 25 MW and an average annual generation of 186.15 Gwh/year. See http://www.cfe.gob.mx/Licitaciones/Licitaciones/Documents/LosAzufresIII2afaseing.pdf

*St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Geo Site Chosen Near Orange Hill
Additional coverage has been released from a stakeholder briefing on the geothermal energy projects in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The optimal site for the project has been chosen on the windward side of St. Vincent, inward of Orange Hill. The country spends about $US26 million on imported diesel and sees geothermal as an answer to lower costs and increase reliability, among other things. Emera Caribbean is heading up the project with St. Vincent Electricity (VINLEC) which will own and operate transmission, and a 2018 completion date has been set.

Asia and the Pacific

*Indonesia: Task Force Works to Accelerate Renewables
William Sabandar, a senior advisor to the Indonesia ministry on renewable energy, spoke to press recently on the government’s new plan to move away from fossil fuels and increase geothermal and other renewables. “We need to make a breakthrough to achieve it. We can’t go on with business as usual. The breakthroughs are needed in policies, funding mechanisms, technology and capacity building.” William is heading a task force dedicated to accelerating renewables; plans include activating the geothermal site in Bedugul by next year.

*Japan: Ministry to Facilitate Geothermal Community Outreach
The Ministry of the Environment’s plan for the geothermal industry includes setting up consultative bodies for local residents and relevant companies to come together in areas that could host geothermal power generation facilities. The plan could decrease the estimated geothermal project timeline and could help address past concerns over drilling near hot spring onsens.

*The Philippines: Additional Geo Potential Identified at Maibarara
At the 20-MW Maibarara geothermal plant, where an expansion is adding another 10 MW currently, a technical review has shown potential output in adjacent fields outside the current development area. The additional potential is between 10 MW and 26 MW. The study was conducted by Sinclair Knight Merz of New Zealand. According to local news, Maibarara said its own simulation indicated proven reserves of 27.8 MW for 25 years while SKM calculated reserves at 44 MW.

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