International roundup: Geothermal in Illinois, Missouri, South Africa, India and more

Geothermal headlines from Illinois, Missouri, Kenya, South Africa, India, The Philippines and Iceland.

Geothermal photos from the Twitter community
Geothermal photos from the Twitter community

Click below: international geothermal roundup

U.S. States

*Geothermal and Coproduction Potential Seen in CO, IL, MI and ND
Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota are named as states where geothermal energy is highly usable on a wide scale, according to a new paper written by Anna Crowell and Will Gosnold and published in Geosphere. The authors used free-access GIS data to identify geothermal conditions. “Of particular interest is the under-exploited industry of co-produced fluids and low-temperature formation waters in oil- and gas-producing basins,” according to the abstract.

*Illinois: West Aurora Schools Get Geothermal
A West Aurora, Illinois School Board has awarded three contracts totaling $6,230,329 that include drilling for geothermal systems at 10 schools. Agreements with the city of Aurora and with Kane County enable lower interest rates to fund the projects.

*Missouri: University Heating System Exceeds Expectations
The geothermal heating and cooling system at Missouri University of Science and Technology is reaching the end of its first year of operation. The system has reduced energy use by 57% and lowered the carbon footprint by 25,000 tons per year, exceeding expectations. “The results confirm that the system works as designed and will pay for itself over time from budgeted savings,” James Packard, director of facilities operations at Missouri S&T is quoted on the campus news site. “This project and follow-on projects eliminated over $60 million in deferred maintenance, a more than 25 percent reduction in the $220 million deferred maintenance backlog the campus had before the project began.”


*Kenya: Special Economic Zones Planned
Kenya plans to roll out Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the first quarter of 2016. The law provides lower taxes as incentives for industries to operate in designated zones. Naivasha, near Olkaria geothermal fields are included.

*Kenya: Company Involved in Akiira One Looks at Regional Opportunities
Centum has been focused in Kenya and is expected to invest $37 million in Akiira One Geothermal. The company is now also looking at opportunities in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.

*South Africa: Geothermal Highlighted at Conference
Marietta Sander, executive director of the International Geothermal Association spoke about geothermal energy at a renewable energy conference in South Africa, local news reports. She described how barriers such as credit risk, currency instability, institutional barriers and political uncertainty have meant the main source of financing for these projects in emerging markets has been multinational institutions, including: the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank Group, European Bank for Reconstruction, the African Development Bank, and even the Nordic Development Fund as well as the OPEC Fund for International Development. The projects are about the “development of bankable projects that enable capacity building and engage investors at an early stage,” Sander is quoted. Markos Melaku, an Independent Geothermal Consultant from Ethiopia is quoted that the potential for geothermal energy can even be seen in South Africa where there are natural thermal springs.

Asia and the Pacific

*India: Geothermal Survey Uses 3D Imaging Technology
Gandhinagar-based Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) is researching the best place for geothermal energy in Gujarat using latest 3D Magentotelluric (MT) imaging technology. ISR plans to build a 2-MW geothermal plant, the first in the country. “Normal thermal power plants heat water using coal or gas to generate steam, which runs turbines. Now, we want to find pre-heated water stored beneath the earth, so that we don’t have to rely on other energy sources. As of now, we are aiming to find out spots where we get water with atleast 80 degrees Centigrade temperature,” ISR director Dr BK Rastogi told press.

*The Philippines: Geothermal Operator Launches Tree-Growing Program
The 10M in 10 project by geothermal operators Energy Development Corporation (EDC) aims to grow ten million native trees and increase the dwindling forest cover of Negros island over a period of ten years. The project launching took place on October 10 and was attended by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary Marcial Amaro Jr. At the launch, stakeholders and EDC signed an agreement to promote the program and advocate to preserve the island’s forest covers.


*Iceland: Theistareykir Project Updated posted an update on the Theistareykir Geothermal Power Station, Iceland. Construction began in April 2015 and operations will be rolled out in two 45-MW phases, with the first in October 2017 and the second in 2018. LNS Saga, Fuji Electric and Balcke Dürr and Mannvit and Verkís are among the contractors to the project. Theistareykir plant is expected to generate approximately 145 jobs and to have an annual output of 738 GWh.

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