In this post:
*EPA Clean Power Plan Focus Turns to States
*GEA Urges EPA to Include Geothermal in Clean Energy Incentive Program
*Senators Ask FERC to Update PURPA
*IRENA and ADFD Open New Funding for Renewables in Developing Countries
*Mexico Issues Guidelines for Auction in 2016
*Apply to Montserrat Geothermal Project Manager by December 9
*Ormat Technologies Announces New Director and Chairman
The image above shows how funding from the Department of Energy Loan Programs Office fits in to help overcome market barriers. Up to $40 billion remains in loan authority, and geothermal is eligible. Eligible projects must utilize a new or significantly improved technology, avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases, be located in the United States, and have reasonable prospect of repayment. Deadlines for the Advanced Fossil and REEE solicitations extend into 2016. For more about the Loan Programs go to www.energy.gov/lpo/loan-programs-office. To apply go to apply.loanprograms.energy.gov/.
Click below to read the leading news this week for geothermal energy and GEA.
EPA Clean Power Plan Focus Turns to States
Karl Gawell, GEA Executive Director–Now that the EPA has issued rules for states to develop Clean Power Plans, the focus is shifting to implementation. While lawsuits pro and con may dominate the headlines, in the background the states are moving forward with their planning process – whether or not they support the EPA rule. Several Western states have already held or announced preliminary hearings.
GEA has contacted each of the Western State’s chief Energy Official providing some basic information including links to information on geothermal power potential, economic benefits, benefits to the grid and emissions/environmental values.
GEA told the state officials: “As your state proceeds with plans for expanding renewable energy production, the Geothermal Energy Association hopes to assist your efforts with providing up-to-date information on geothermal power potential, benefits, and related questions. We believe that geothermal power can be an important part of meeting environmental and economic goals of your state.”
Get more information on state hearings and submit written comments through January 21, 2016 by going to http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/forms/public-hearings-proposed-federal-plan-clean-power-plan.
GEA Urges EPA to Include Geothermal in Clean Energy Incentive Program
As part of the Clean Power Plan, EPA has proposed an early incentive program to reward investments in renewable energy generation (PDF). The proposal, however, only includes some renewable technologies and while wind and solar are included, geothermal is not. GEA’s Executive Director, Karl Gawell made in-person comments at a recent Clean Air Advisory Committee meeting urging that geothermal should be included in the early incentive program.
A fact sheet distributed by Gawell said, in part: “There are a significant amount of geothermal projects under development that, if provided market incentives, could help states meet their Clean Power Plan goals. Including these projects in eligibility for the Clean Energy Incentive Plan (CEIP) would spur continued geothermal development, result in emissions reductions that would not otherwise occur, and provide a sustained market for geothermal power development.”
Gawell noted that the proposal’s emphasis to provide double credits for efficiency investments aimed at low-income households might also be re-considered. He pointed out to the Committee that one of the largest undeveloped geothermal resources in the U.S is the Salton Sea, located in Imperial County that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. But, ironically, expansion of this resource that would benefit a community with income needs would not be able to qualify. “The program needs some re-thinking,” Gawell said.
EPA is expected to complete the public comments process in mid-December and then publish any changes. EPA has invited written responses to the non-regulatory docket established for this purpose, and will accept input, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0734 through December 15, 2015. To submit a response, use one of the following methods:
• Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
• Send comments by e-mail to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
• Fax your comments to: (202) 566-9744.
• Mail your comments to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460.
For more information go to http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/clean-energy-incentive-program.
Senators Ask FERC to Update PURPA
A letter from Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan and Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asks for changes to certain aspects of Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) legislation, which mandates that electric power utilities purchase energy from small renewable and cogeneration sources.
An article on quotes Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s VP of legislative and regulatory affairs, Jonathan Weisgall about mandatory purchase rules: “Electricity markets have changed significantly since 2005 when PURPA Section 210 was last amended,” Weisgall wrote, referring to part of the legislation that includes the mandatory purchase obligations.
“However, not all utilities operate in states where there is an organized market and not all state utility regulators require competitive bidding when a utility is looking to secure new or replacement power. In those states, PURPA and its mandatory purchase obligation still serve a useful public purpose. However, the changes in many other electricity markets since the 2005 PURPA amendments make a compelling argument for repealing a purchase mandate that was enacted 37 years ago.”
IRENA and ADFD Open New Funding for Renewables in Developing Countries
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development are supporting renewable energy projects, including geothermal energy, in developing countries through seven total funding cycles for a total of USD 350 million (AED 1.285 billion) commitment. Applications are now open for a fourth round of funding with up to USD 50 million available in this round. Applications for this cycle will be accepted until February 15, 2016. Visit: www.irena.org/adfd.
Mexico Issues Guidelines for Auction in 2016
Mexico is issuing guidelines for bidding for geothermal and other energy sources in preparation for an auction, expected in the second quarter of 2016. The guidelines cover bidding rules for 15-year contracts to sell capacity and electricity from clean energy sources. An alert from Chadbourne.com notes, “Anyone interested in participating in the auctions will be required to post commitment guaranties, but will not need a permit to participate in the auctions and, in the case of a generator, it is not required to have built its power plant before the bid is submitted.”
Most contracts awarded through the auction will include a CFE subsidiary as an offtaker, notes the Chadbourne.com alert, since the main goal for the auction is for CFE the state utility to satisfy its requirements. The long-term contracts are meant to help encourage investments especially in renewables projects. Guidelines being released also cover 20-year contracts for clean energy certificates, which must represent at least 5% of the aggregate power consumption for certain market participants beginning on January 1, 2018. See also the Official Federal Gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federacion), http://www.dof.gob.mx/.
Apply to Montserrat Geothermal Project Manager by December 9
The Government of Montserrat is seeking a Project Manager for the Montserrat Geothermal Energy Project. The plan is to build a small-scale geothermal power plant with an initial stage of 2 to 5 MW in operation in 2018. The Scope of Works includes drilling operations and power plant planning and execution, with the Project Manager based in the Ministry of Communications and Works and working closely with GoM staff.
Via the Official Terms (PDF), “The ideal candidate would be a professionally qualified charted engineer (or similar discipline) and have at least 10 years post graduate experience (ideally in geothermal energy) including project engineering/management skills and knowledge in civil works at the early stages of a geothermal project. The candidate should be motivated in the area of contract and project management in particular geothermal energy and include knowledge of drilling operations to optimise geothermal energy production.”
The proposal should be addressed to: Chief Human Resources Officer (Ag) Human Resources Management Unit Office of the Deputy Governor P.O Box 292 Brades MSR1110 Montserrat B.W.I, on or before 4:00 pm Wednesday December 9, 2015. See also http://www.mnialive.com/jobs/pro/expressions-of-interest-project-manager-montserrat-geothermal-energy-unit.
Ormat Technologies Announces New Director and Chairman
Press Release (RENO, Nev.) Nov. 17 — Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:ORA) announced today that Mr. Yoram Bronicki has resigned from his position as the Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective November 16, 2015.
“Yoram Bronicki has managed and contributed to the Company’s growth in his roles as chief operating officer and president, and has been extensively involved with the Company’s missions in his role as Director and Chairman of the Board,” noted Isaac Angel, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank Yoram for his longstanding contributions to the Company.
“I have had the privilege of being involved in every aspect of the Company’s operations,” noted Mr. Bronicki. “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to lead the Company in my role as President, and to contribute to its missions in my role as a Director and Chairman of the Board,” he added.
Acting upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors’ Nominating and Governance Committee, the Board of Directors appointed Mr. Stanley Stern as a director to fill the vacancy on the Board, and appointed current director Mr. Gillon Beck as the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Beck served as our Chairman from May 2012 until June 2014. Both appointments are effective upon Mr. Bronicki’s resignation.
Mr. Stern holds a BA in Economics (1978) from Queens College and an MBA in Finance (1980) from Harvard University. He will join the Board as an independent director. Mr. Stern currently serves on several boards of directors including the boards of SodaStream, Audiocodes Inc, Foamix, Ltd. and Ekso Bionics and currently serves as Managing Partner of Alnitak Capital Partners. Prior to these positions, Mr. Stern served on the boards of directors of Given Imaging and Fundtech Inc. and as a Managing Director and head of investment banking and technology banking at Oppenheimer & Co.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we welcome Mr. Stern to the Company,” noted Mr. Beck. “With his investment banking and related experience in the financial sector, and his experience serving as a director and chairman of the board of other publicly listed companies, he will bring a valuable perspective to the Company and its Board of Directors,” he added.