This post brings you geothermal headlines from Kenya, Canada, Honduras, the Philippines, Germany, and more.
Mt. Apo, the new site for prospective geothermal development in the Philippines by Aboitiz Power
Image Credit: Pinoy Practical Backpackers
Click below for this week’s international geothermal roundup.
Kenya – Funding for Kenyan Geothermal 70-MW Unit Under Consideration
The European Investment Bank (EIB) may finance the extension of a geothermal plant in southwestern Kenya with a pledge of $78 million. Based in Luxembourg, EIB released a statement on their website saying the Olkaria I power station add-on was under appraisal. Olkaria I was built in 1981, forming Africa’s first geothermal power plant. Kenya Electricity Generating Co Ltd. who owns and operates the station, and the possible extension would raise Olkaria I’s capacity from 140 MW to 210 MW. The total projected cost is approximately $310,000,000.
Canada – SaskPower to Invest in Geothermal Development to Meet 50% Renewable Target
SaskPower recently announced that it would double the amount of renewable energy generation capacity in snowy Saskatchewan by 2030, investing in a combination of geothermal, biomass, solar, and hydropower. Currently SaskPower generates 20% of its energy from wind and 5% from solar, totaling a quarter of all electricity production for the company.
Nova Scotia Town Moves Forward With Project to Harness Geothermal Energy from Abandoned Mine Shafts
In Nova Scotia, the Cumberland Energy Authority announced a partnership with the Verschuren Center for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment to perform a joint investigation of the commercial potential for geothermal energy usage in Springhill. The Cumberland Energy Authority is also working with students from Dalhousie University to develop an analysis and communications plan for the creation of a Springhill Geothermal Green Industrial Park. They are studying the potential of abandoned mine shafts to produce geothermal energy, whose previous operations created a large geothermal reservoir filled with groundwater heated from the Earth.
Honduras – ORMAT Will Initiate Construction of 35 MW Platanares Geothermal Project
GEA member ORMAT announced on Jan. 12 that its subsidiary has begun the construction of a 35 MW geothermal project, Geotérmica Platanares, that will sell geothermal power to ENEE, the national utility of Honduras, primarily under 30-year power purchase agreements. The geothermal project is projected to go online by the end of 2017 and produce an average annual revenue of approximately $33 million.
USA – Department of Energy to Conduct Drill Tests in North Dakota to Explore Geothermal Development Potential and Nuclear Disposal Capabilities
The Department of Energy is investigating a rock formation outside of Rugby, N.D. as a potential site for nuclear waste storage and geothermal development, with boreholes that would service both. This is an innovative undertaking that combines two energy technology goals into one mission.
Asia and Pacific
Philippines – Aboitiz Power Taking First Steps Towards Geothermal Power Exploration at Mt. Apo and Mt. Sibulan
After receiving unanimous support from IP communities and local governments in the wake of an exploration permit issued in October 2014, Aboitiz Power is preparing to survey Mt. Apo and Mt. Sibulan for geothermal development. Aboitiz Power issued the announcement during the operational start of its 300 MW Davao clean coal power plant located in Mindanao, Philippines.
The facility will be constructed in a 20,000 hectare portion of the Mt. Apo reservation, part of the Kapatagan and Sibulan villages. Aboitiz Power’s vice president or Mindanao, Manuel M. Orig, stated that his company will only develop the geothermal plant after a potential minimum output of 50 MW is confirmed. The operation will fall under the jurisdiction of Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc., and the target installed capacity will be 200 MW.
Germany – Italy’s Enel Green Purchases Major Stake in German Geothermal Power Firm
On Jan. 13, Italy’s Enel Green Power (EGP announced it was entering the German market by purchasing a 78.6% stake in geothermal power firm Erdwaerme Oberland GmbH. The majority stake, obtained from Erdwaerme Bayern GmbH & Co, had a value of $23.8 million. This covers the initial investment needs for a maximum 26 MW geothermal project Erdwaerme Oberland is currently developing in southern Germany.
Erdwaerme Oberland will initiate geological explorations this upcoming year. The German firm will progress with the project under a mineral exploration concession given by the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology. The concession in question is valid for three years from December 2015.
Francesco Venturini, CEO of EGP, stated that EGP “intend[s] to build a solid platform for future investment opportunities in the country, both in geothermal power and in other sectors, contributing to achieving the target for the share of renewables in the European energy mix.”
Turkey – Drawn by Turkey’s Geothermal Energy Potential, Italian Renewable Energy Company Thrives
Exergy, an Italian engineering company, has made an investment that has paid off, funding a turbine production plant in Izmir that has made it the highest supplier of geothermal power generation equipment in Turkey. The turbines are designed for usage in combined-cycle geothermal power plants, comprising over 60% of Turkey’s online plants. Exergy continues to invest in Turkey due to its large geothermal potential with its 2000 MW power generation capacity.