International roundup: Geothermal in California, the Caribbean, Chile, Mexico, Australia, The Philippines, Iran and Italy

Geothermal headlines from California, the Caribbean, Chile, Mexico, Australia, The Philippines, Iran and Italy.

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

Click below to read the international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*California: Featherstone Facility Highlighted
A great article by Peg Mitchell, SanDiego350, titled “Geothermal: The Other California Renewable” on sandiegofreepress.org provides some great details about the Featherstone geothermal facility. The plant uses a next-gen triple-flash process that “maximizes the amount of energy captured and used for direct generation thereby enhancing efficiency while dramatically minimizing the use of fresh water compared to other processes” among its many technical advancements and benefits.

The Americas

*Development Banks Sign Loan and Grant Package for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean
This week representatives of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) signed a new $71.5 million loan and grant package for sustainable energy development projects in the Eastern Caribbean. The Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF) will seek to help bring energy security, diversified energy and increased competitiveness to the six island countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines – several of which have geothermal potential or even current geothermal projects.

*Chile: Italian PM Visits for Geothermal Project Groundbreaking
The geothermal power plant project Cerro Pabellón, Chile has broken ground. It’s one of several renewable energy projects that Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visited this month for official inauguration; all by Italian group Enel Green Power.

*Mexico: Cooperation with Europe to Focus on EGS and “Super-Hot” Geothermal
Geothermal energy is the topic of a call for International Cooperation Research and Development made jointly by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico and the country’s Ministry of Energy (Sener) and asking for cooperation with the European Union. Mexico and the EU made previous steps toward supporting the commitments in November 2013 and October 2014, and after consideration, Mexico is is supporting moves on R&D methodologies and technologies in the fields of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) and Super-Hot geothermal systems.

Asia and the Pacific

*Australia: Hybrid Cooling Tower Considers Environment
A new hybrid (wet-dry) geothermal cooling tower from Australia can be engineered for site-specific environmental concerns including water supply. The technology comes from researchers at University of Queensland’s Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence and also includes new windbreak walls to increase efficiency.

*The Philippines: Engineering and Operations Secured for Mindoro Geothermal Plant
Engineering work, operation and maintenance at the 40-MW Mindoro geothermal plant in Naujan, Mindoro, The Philippines will be done by Tamoin Industrial Services Corp. (TISCO) under an agreement with Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) signed in September. European companies TSK and Turboden are also involved in the project. A renewable energy service contract with the Department of Energy is targeted to be commissioned by the first quarter of 2017 and to power more than 250,000 houses.

Europe and the Middle East

*Iran: Energy Minister Touts Geothermal
Regional news reports quote Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Falahatian saying there are 15 geothermal-reliable zones in Iran that could produce an estimated combined 800 MW of electricity. The Minister said that distribution of subsidized fossil fuels has masked the need for action on renewable energy in Iran.

*Italy and Norway: Simulation Brings Insight for Larderello Project
The geothermal development team at Larderello, Italy is looking at temperatures of the geothermal reservoir and considering possibilities for supercritical fluids. Scientists at SINTEF created a specially designed simulator for this purpose, and they believe the technology and know-how can become a key Norwegian export, physicist Roar Nybø at SINTEF Petroleum Research told press. “The simulator is able to visualise waves, fluid plugs, phase transitions and hydrate precipitation, and can contribute towards reducing the risk of these factors causing operational difficulties”, explains Bjørn Tore Løvfall at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry. “It also provides valuable information such as how much pressure support (gas injected into a reservoir) a well needs to deliver streamlined production. The simulator will now be used to provide a better insight into how supercritical water will behave”, he says.

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