International roundup: Geothermal in Tennessee, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Kenya, Portugal and Switzerland

Geothermal headlines from Tennessee, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Kenya, Portugal and Switzerland.


Click below for the international geothermal roundup.

U.S. States

*Tennessee: Nashville Airport Getting Innovative Geo System
In Tennessee, ground has been broken on a geothermal heating and cooling system that will repurpose a rock quarry as a power resource to service the Nashville International Airport. The geothermal heat exchangers will be submerged in the quarry. The project is expected to be the largest geothermal lake plate cooling system in North America and to save 30 million gallons of potable water per year as well as $430,000 per year on Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority utility bills.

The Americas

*El Salvador: Female Farmers Utilizing Geothermal Surplus 
A post on the United Nations’ Framework on Climate Change site describes how geothermal energy is providing income for female farmers through an initiative in El Salvador. Under the program the women use waste heat from geothermal plants to dehydrate fruit for themselves and commercial sale. The program also protects wildlife and deforestation through a park established within the geothermal field. Four women are employed as rangers in the park and are in charge of conservation activities, caring for rescued animals and guiding visitors. The protected forest has an area of 111,824 m2 and water services are also provided by surplus steam condensates.

*Nicaragua: Drilling Underway at San Jacinto
Polaris Energy Nicaragua, S.A. has begun drilling the first of three new production wells for the San Jacinto geothermal project. A press release states SJ 6-3, is expected to be complete in early December 2015, and once all three wells are complete, production
testing will begin in early January 2016.


*Kenya: Wellhead Technique Generating Extra Power
Engineers at Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen) are using temporary wellheads to generate an extra 56 MW to the national grid. “The wellhead technique was just but an experiment and it turned out to be a very good way of generating power from wells that would otherwise have remained idle for years,” Chief engineer Johnson Ndege told local press.


*Portugal: Azores Getting 4-MW Geo Plant
The Pico Alto geothermal project in the Azores, Portugal broke ground this month. EXERGY and EDA Renováveis have signed a contract to construct a 4-MW geothermal binary plant that seeks to use existing wells in the most efficient way. The plant is planned to be fully operational in 2017.

*Switzerland: Geo Exploration in Geneva Area Extended
The Services Industriels de Genève (SIG) in Switzerland will extend exploration for geothermal energy in the Geneva area after initial tests showed positive results. The project is part of the GEothermie 2020.

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