Energy Policy Modernization Act, Geothermal Parity, Baseload Summit Countdown!

In this post:
*House-Senate Heading to Conference on S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act
*GEA Urges House Subcommittee to Support Geothermal Parity with Solar
*Thanks you to GEA Members New and Renewed!
*COUNTDOWN: Only 2 Weeks Until the Baseload RE Summit!
*Recently Released Global Geothermal Alliance Action Plan Paves Way for Future Market
*Global Growth of Geothermal Market Predicted to Ramp Up According to BCC Research Report
*DOE Release: Energy Department Awards Up to $4 Million for Projects to Recover Critical Materials from Geothermal Fluids
*Government of Grenada: Government Moving Forward With the Exploration of Grenada’s Geothermal Potential
*Caribbean Development Bank Press Release: St. Vincent and Grenadines Receives Funding for Geothermal Energy Development
*ThinkGeoEnergy Report: Canary Islands Continue Quest for Geothermal Energy Utilization
*Montserrat Weighs Financing Options for Phase Two of Island Geothermal Project
*Press Release – Ormat Technologies Secures $36 Million Supply & EPC Contracts for a Geothermal Power Plant in New Zealand
*Press Release: EXERGY’S ROT Proves Higher Efficiency in Umurlu 1 Geothermal Plant
*Philippines DOE Receptive to FIT Focusing on Low Enthalpy and Small Scale Projects
*Geothermal Institute of New Zealand Announces November Workshop

todd hirsch

Subsurface Temperature in Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

Image Credit: Ecocide Alert

House-Senate Heading to Conference on S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act

The House on Wednesday adopted a rule that put in on track to establish a Conference Committee with the Senate to resolve differences over their respective versions of an energy bill. Doing so, it amended S.2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, with an entirely new bill text. The new House bill was based largely on HR8, legislation passed earlier by the House, with additional provisions added by the House Science and Natural Resources Committees. Today’s House vote of 241-178 was largely along party lines with only 8 Democrats supporting the bill.

The Senate is expected to take up a motion to proceed to a Conference with the House next. The outlook for the Senate vote was unclear, with possible objections still outstanding. It will take 60 votes in the Senate to proceed. Notably the Senate passed S.2012 on a strong bi-partisan vote of 85-15.

If the Senate adopts the motion, a special Conference Committee would be created with representatives appointed by the House and Senate. The Conference Committee would review all House and Senate provisions and recommend a final set of provisions.

The Senate bill includes a geothermal Subpart. Sections 3005 through 3012 sets a national exploration goal, encourages co-production, expedites certain permits, and more.

The House bill does not contain a specific geothermal section, making the Senate provisions the likely base for consideration during the Conference. The House bill does, however, include a reduced authorization for DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs. The proposed 42% cut could have serious consequences for the Geothermal Technologies Office.

Conference Committee’s actions can be wide ranging on subjects germane to the original legislation. They can approve, disapprove, amend or revise the proposed legislation’s provisions. With over 800 pages and dozens of different energy provisions, a Conference on S.2012 is expected to be a substantial undertaking.

GEA Urges House Subcommittee to Support Geothermal Parity with Solar

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy has been holding hearings asking what issues and measures it should address in the remainder of this Congress. GEA submitted its views to the Committee asking for parity with the longer-term tax credit Congress recently provided solar energy.

GEA told the Subcommittee, “Geothermal power was left out when Congress passed longer-term tax incentive legislation as part of the PATH Act of 2015. This was an unfortunate oversight for the Nation’s energy future. Developing our Nation’s geothermal potential is an investment in learning how to tap an enormous resource. To achieve this, longer-term, predictable incentives are needed to spur innovation, allow fair competition and boost new geothermal power growth.”

GEA explained, “New geothermal power plants that commence construction by December 31, 2016 can qualify for the Production Tax Credit or a 30% Investment Tax Credit. Geothermal power seeks parity under Section 48 with solar whose 30% ITC was extended for beginning construction by 2019 and phasing out through 2023. Without a leveling of this playing field for renewables geothermal cannot compete fairly.”

Action on energy tax extenders is still a possibility this year, particularly to “fix” the widely reported mistakes and oversights in passing the late-night PATH Act.

Thanks you to GEA Members New and Renewed!

GEA works to put geothermal on the map in Washington, Sacramento, and elsewhere. We depend upon our members support to do so.   We work to make a difference so that the industry and your company can succeed.

This week we want to say thank you to following new/renewed GEA Members:

GeothermEx

POWER Engineers

Watch for more thank you’s in future editions of GEW! If you need information about membership go to: http://geo-energy.org/membership.aspx or contact Daniela@geo-energy.org.

COUNTDOWN: Only 2 Weeks Until the Baseload RE Summit!

As states move towards a low-carbon future, what is the role and outlook for geothermal technologies? Where do Biomass or Hydropower fit in?  Come join others interested professionals from a dozen different states and countries as they explore these questions in Reno.

The day long Baseload Renewable Energy Summit on June 8th will bring together experts, analysts industry executives, regulators and policy makers from across the U.S. and abroad to explore key questions about: the value to the power systems of baseload renewables, how to find the right mix of technologies, future state plans for cutting carbon emissions, current state and regional power initiatives, new technologies, and more.

GEA is honored to announce that Councilmember David Bobzien of the City of Reno, Nevada will deliver welcoming remarks followed by Rahm Orenstein of Ormat Technologies Inc. who serves as Ormat’s Vice President of Business Development and will give opening remarks.

Online Registration Ends June 6th. After that time, only on-site registration will take place.

Recently Released Global Geothermal Alliance Action Plan Paves Way for Future Market

Recently released by the Global Geothermal Alliance, a culmination of COP21 talks regarding geothermal, is a new Action Plan intended to guide the international geothermal industry, market and stakeholders in coming years:

Background

A global partnership between geothermal stakeholders has come together under the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA) to enhance dialogue, cooperation and coordination through international, regional and national actions related to the different phases of geothermal energy deployment. The Alliance draws upon an in-depth understanding of the technical, regulatory, policy and financial risks associated with geothermal energy by many of its members and seeks to share their common interest with others in addressing the challenges to promote wider penetration of geothermal energy in the global energy mix.

Proposed GGA actions

The following scope of priority actions developed in line with the GGA Joint Communique (Annex 1) endorsed by all members and partners of the GGA and upon which all members and partners have affirmed, provides the broader framework for specific GGA activities to be identified and annexed to this Action Plan. The GGA intends to attach due attention to unlocking specific geothermal projects that are facing policy, legal, regulatory, fiscal, funding or capacity building challenges, with priority given to the most mature projects or countries with transformative potential that would result in high impact on the energy mix, the access rate to energy and the economy of the country.

Action 1

– Resource and Market Assessment: Identification and mapping, where relevant, at the regional level, of:

1) Resources for development (e.g. enrichment of the geothermal datasets in the IRENA Global Atlas);

2) Existing and potential geothermal market status and near term projects in the pipeline.

Action 2

– Needs and Obstacles Assessment: Scoping of the needs for assistance to countries with transformative potential, including, where pilot projects1 have been identified and retained by the GGA (based on Action 1). The GGA action should primarily contribute to the removal of obstacles in their implementation, which can be of a policy, regulatory, funding or capacity building nature.

Action 3

– Enabling Frameworks: Supporting the development of effective enabling frameworks and associated mechanisms to achieve national objectives for geothermal energy deployment, in coordination with the existing governmental, donor and industry programmes, through the following tasks:

1) Assisting with the establishment of necessary policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks and development of relevant legal, fiscal and capacity building activities;

2) Providing timely information, raising awareness and proposing improvements of risk mitigation funds or targeted financing mechanisms;

3) Mapping the needs for training and capacity building, where possible at a regional level, and identifying available instruments to overcome possible gaps and develop regional or country specific initiatives to address them.

4) Facilitating access of projects to financing and risk mitigation instruments, including, through IRENA’s Sustainable Energy Marketplace and supporting project development tools (such as, IRENA’s Project Navigator), with specific facets dedicated to geothermal heating and cooling and to geothermal electricity.

Action 4 – Global Geothermal Network: Establishing and improving a robust global network of geothermal experts building upon existing networks. Such a network should also ensure a coordinated representation of the GGA at energy and climate related key events. Promoting geothermal energy’s role in supporting decarbonisation strategies in the countries and helping move forward with the implementation of their climate plans, including, Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’s (INDC).

An indicative list of activities under each Action area with their envisaged implementation schedule for the actions identified above are provided in Annex 2.

Activities and projects selection criteria

Proposals for GGA activities received from the GGA constituency and the projects that seek GGA support will go through a screening process taking into account the following criteria:

  • National Commitments: For projects that are seeking support (Action 2), clear indication of the interest of the Government or regional organisation in technical assistance and/or support for access to financing in the context of the objectives of the GGA2;
  • Near-term Impacts: The likelihood that supported measures will contribute to a near term improvement of framework conditions for the active development of markets for geothermal energy services;
  • Long-term Sustainability: The likelihood that the GGA assistance will lead to sustained impacts on fostering geothermal energy deployment;
  • Complementarity: The potential for GGA to complement relevant activities of other bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors and development partners, including activities by IRENA;
  • Replicability: The potential for GGA activities to be replicated in other regions or countries;

Projects in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will be given special attention.

Implementation modalities

This Action Plan is developed by GGA members, in consultation with GGA partners, as laid down by the GGA Joint Communique. GGA member countries and partners are not required to contribute a membership fee. IRENA will provide essential coordination and facilitation support to the GGA, as per the IRENA Work Programme. GGA members may support IRENA on this function by providing, if required, staffing either through loan of national experts or through voluntary contributions. GGA members and partners intend to bear the costs associated with GGA coordination activities, such as meetings of the committee governing the GGA. In this regard, GGA members and partners endeavour to select logistical options that lessen the financial burden (e.g. the meetings of the committee governing the GGA may not necessarily be held in the country of the committee chair, they can be held through electronic meeting place or can be co-located with relevant events, such as, the IRENA Assembly or other events which members may be attending).

For the proposals for national and regional activities received based on this Action Plan, which meet the selection criteria set above, members and partners express interest to support and fund the activities in question. Such proposed activities should be discussed, further developed, where necessary supplemented by thematic studies, and eventually implemented through dedicated smaller groups of committed members and partners. Implementation framework for a specific activity should be developed on a case by case basis among interested members and partners. The GGA activities are expected to focus on key issues impeding the development of geothermal resources e.g. policy and regulatory frameworks, in particular, concerning the creation of enabling framework for public and private sector participation, development of and access to adequate financial and risk mitigation mechanisms.

IRENA may also lead or contribute to regional or country specific geothermal activities, depending on staff and funding resources made available to IRENA by the GGA members and/or partners and/or other donors and in accordance with IRENA’s Work Programme. GGA activities led or contributed by IRENA are expected to be funded through voluntary contributions to IRENA. The resources received should be earmarked to support the implementation of specific GGA actions to allow a transparent reporting of expenses to the various donors.

Activity-oriented voluntary contributions should be sought from GGA member countries and partner institutions like international financial institutions (IFIs), intergovernmental organizations, and other initiatives, or from private companies. The breadth and depth of the GGA’s constituency should allow for a timely recognition of emerging topics and for a rapid response to address them. Hence, GGA’s management methods will need to be flexible. IRENA may facilitate the selection process of projects that seek support from GGA (as per Action 2 above) in consultations with the GGA constituency.

Global Growth of Geothermal Market Predicted to Ramp Up According to BCC Research Report

A newly released report from BCC Research predicts geothermal energy will grow rapidly globally from 2015 to 2020.

Internationally, in 2015, geothermal energy possessed a total installed capacity of 12.2 GW in 2014, with a market value of approximately $13 billion. North America heads installed capacity 41.8% of the global market, or 5.1 GW, followed by Asia-Pacific with 38.5% and, in third, Europe, with 17.5%.

The BCC study estimates geothermal energy will grow at a compound annual growth rate from 2015 to 2020 of 10%, indicating the value of geothermal energy globally will reach almost $20.8 billion in 2020.

“In the long term, increasing demand for renewable energy production and infrastructure development in developing regions along with the increasing demand for power transmission across long distances and increasing investments in geothermal energy generation, smart grids and power infrastructure will be key drivers of this market,” BCC Research analyst Aneesh Kumar was quoted in American Energy News.

Like other sources of renewable energy, geothermal energy production requires large capital investment costs, but unlike wind and solar power, geothermal does not require large amounts of space and can usually be constructed beneath the structures it powers. In addition, it generate consistent, not intermittent power. However, geothermal exploration and drilling is risky, without a guarantee of profitable results. Due to the exploratory risks and large initial investment requirements, much of the geothermal industry relies on government support to overcome these costs and risks.

A recent study by the Institute of Political Economy (IPE) at Utah State University, “Reliability of Renewable Energy: Geothermal,” pinpoints that the most important subsidy for geothermal energy came in the 2004 American New Jobs Creation Act, which gave geothermal energy producers a production tax credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour.

By comparison to other forms of energy, geothermal producers received relatively little in subsidies. Of the $13.2 billion in energy subsidies provided to energy producers in fiscal year 2013, wind power received $5.4 billion and solar power received to $5.3 billion in subsidies. Solar power was by far the largest recipient of subsidies on the basis of the amount of energy produce per dollar invested.

In 2013, the geothermal industry received $345 million in government subsidies. The IPE study reports that, if the subsidies are left out of the cost benefit analysis, geothermal plants are a cost efficient way to produce electricity due to low fuel, operations and maintenance costs, and because geothermal power, as a baseload technology, is reliable in a way solar and wind are not and can easily accommodate changes in electricity demand.

Link: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2016/05/20/dramatic-global-growth-predicted-geothermal-power
DOE Release: Energy Department Awards Up to $4 Million for Projects to Recover Critical Materials from Geothermal Fluids

The Energy Department today announced four research and development (R&D) projects in California, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming that will receive up to $4 million in total funding to assess the occurrence of rare-earth minerals and other critical materials that may be dissolved in higher-temperature fluids associated with energy extraction. Critical materials like rare-earth elements and lithium play a vital role in many clean energy technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting. More of these materials-which are of high value or critical to U.S. businesses and other national interests-may become available and economically recoverable through this research.

By validating methods for recovering and purifying critical materials, the economic and production benefits of geothermal energy projects can be improved, making them more cost-competitive at a wider range of locations. These valuable minerals could also be found in elevated temperature fluids produced by oil, gas, or mining operations. The selected projects will research breakthrough approaches for extracting these materials and quantifying this resource potential, which represents an opportunity to help meet America’s need for domestic critical materials while strengthening the economic viability of geothermal energy operations.

Examining how to economically recover these dissolved materials represents one of a range of R&D efforts the Department is pursuing to secure and diversify the supply of critical materials, identify substitute materials, and develop better ways to recycle these materials. Results from this work will enhance current applications of geothermal energy, support planned development, and potentially open additional U.S. regions for future projects.

The selected R&D projects are:

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, California-LLNL will use bioengineered microbes in the design and operation of a rare-earth enrichment and separation process to efficiently deliver high-purity products from geothermal fluids.
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, Washington-PNNL will demonstrate a magnetic nanofluid approach to recover rare-earth minerals and other high-value materials from geothermal fluids.
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah-University of Utah will perform a resource assessment of the western United States to identify high-value materials in geothermal fluids and other fluids produced from energy projects.
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming-University of Wyoming will assess rare-earth element concentrations in waters produced by geothermal and oil and gas projects.

Link: http://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-awards-4-million-projects-recover-critical-materials-geothermal
Government of Grenada: Government Moving Forward With the Exploration of Grenada’s Geothermal Potential

  1. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, Monday, May 23, 2016: In Keeping with the Geothermal Support Partnership Framework Agreement that was signed in 2014, between the Governments of Grenada and New Zealand, aimed at facilitating the exploration and eventual use of geothermal energy the following have now been completed:

The review of previous studies;

The undertaking of extensive geochemical, geophysics and geological surveys;

Analysis of the institutional, legislative and regulatory frameworks for undertaking environmental and social impacts relative to developments requiring such; and

Preliminary analysis of the infrastructural capacity relative to facilitating access of equipment, to the potential site.

In July 2015 at the Grenada Geothermal Partner’s Forum, the presence of a high temperature geothermal reservoir of about 4 – 8km2, located North of Mt. St. Catherine was confirmed. It was also stated that this reservoir has a potential temperature between 220-2400C or higher, which if correct, is of a capacity to generate between 15-20 megawatts (MW) of power.

Within the first quarter of 2016, experts from both Japan International Cooperation Agency
(JICA) and JACOBS (New Zealand), completed:

– a second Geoscience report on the status of the Geothermal resource;

– a Geothermal Resources Development Roadmap; and

– a preliminary civil engineering survey;

They also held consultations with officials from the Ministries of Finance and Energy; Works; Health; Agriculture and officials from the statutory bodies whose work involve environmental and social issues pertaining to the Geothermal process.

During the period April 4th – 8th, Mr. Aoki Issei – JICA’s Deputy Director for Central America and the Caribbean and his Deputy, Mr. Nakayama Shun visited Grenada and held meetings with environmental and social stakeholders and paid a courtesy calls to the Permanent Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, exploring the progress to date on Grenada’s geothermal initiative. It was agreed that the immediate next step in this process will be the hosting of broad based Geothermal Forum before the second half of 2016.

The Ministry takes this opportunity to record its appreciation to all who have participated in the process thus far.

The Government of Grenada welcomes the bilateral cooperation and the technical assistance provided by friendly Governments, and takes this opportunity to acknowledge its gratitude to the Governments of New Zealand and Japan through JACOBS New Zealand Ltd., and JICA respectively, for their demonstrated cooperation and collaboration in this initiative.

To date, in excess of US$1M has been spent to date by these Governments on the Grenada Geothermal process.

Link: http://www.gov.gd/egov/news/2016/may16/23_05_16/item_5/government-moving-exploration-grenada-geothermal-potential.html

Caribbean Development Bank Press Release: St. Vincent and Grenadines Receives Funding for Geothermal Energy Development

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has received a grant of GBP4m ($5.7 million) to support the development of geothermal energy. The grant was approved through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of the United Kingdom, through its Department for International Development (DfID).

The funding, contributed by DfID, complements an additional grant of USD9.7 mn, allocated from resources provided to CDB by IDB from its Clean Technology Fund. The grants will partially finance exploratory drilling in the vicinity of the La Soufrière volcano, and assess the feasibility of geothermal resource development for electricity production.

‘The transformation of the energy sector in our Borrowing Member Countries, to significantly increase energy security and sustainability, is a priority area of focus for CDB.Should this drilling project prove successful and the geothermal resources are proven sufficient to support a geothermal plant, it has the potential to significantly increase economic growth and development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,’ said Patricia McKenzie, VP, Operations at CDB.

The high costs of electricity in SVG, as well as countries across the Eastern Caribbean, have long been ranked as a major obstacle to facilitating private sector investment and growth. A 2010 World Bank Enterprise Survey ranked electricity costs as one of the biggest obstacles to doing business in SVG. The development of geothermal energy therefore, is expected to facilitate a more efficient electricity market, and underpin a more enabling business environment.

‘We are delighted to sign this agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank to provide support to geothermal development in St Vincent and the Grenadines as part of our £17m renewable energy programme in the Eastern Caribbean. The £4m grant funding will play a significant role in lowering the cost and risks of the drilling phase for the Government and will improve our understanding of the country’s geothermal potential. We look forward to the results of this drilling phase as a step towards improved energy security and lower cost generation in the future,’ said Colleen Wainwright, Head of Office of DFID.

As an active volcano, La Soufrière is expected to have excellent geothermal potential. Unlike other renewable energy sources, geothermal energy has the potential to supply base load power to meet electricity demand in St. Vincent. However, geothermal development has significant site-specific geological uncertainties, which make site selection, resource assessment, and even financing difficult. This exploratory drilling project will determine the feasibility of further geothermal development, and suitability for a proposed geothermal power plant.

The project will start on December 1, 2016 and is expected to end on October 31, 2017.

The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, deliver the Global Goals, and tackle global challenges in line with the government’s UK Aid Strategy.

Link: http://www.caribank.org/news/st-vincent-grenadines-receives-funding-geothermal-energy-development

ThinkGeoEnergy Report: Canary Islands Continue Quest for Geothermal Energy Utilization

By Alexander Richter

The Canary Islands are an island archipelago belonging to Spain, located on the coast of the northwestern tip of Africa. Being a volcanic island group, geothermal energy has been a topic for many many years, as we have reported before.

We have reported on the potential, but also on the interest of various private groups to develop geothermal power project, that could help move away from a dependency on diesel for power generation and help on the energy security situation of the archipelago.

This week, in the first worktable sector organized by the Ministry of Industry and Energy of the Government of the Canary Islands, many of the barriers for geothermal development in the Islands were discussed as well as the actions that could help push development.

The worktable of geothermal energy in the Canary Islands decided the creation of two groups. The first will develop high enthalpy deposits of high temperature (above 100-150 degrees Celsius) mainly for power generation. According to the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME) there are still no plants that take advantage of high temperature deposits for electricity generation in our country. The only large areas with the possibility of existence of high temperature deposits are located in the Canary Islands, given its volcanic morphology, and in the Southeast. The municipality of Güímar (Tenerife) plans to hold the first electric high temperature geothermal power plant in Spain, a proposal submitted to Tenerife Cabildo by the Slovak company Arllen Development.

The second group will drive low enthalpy geothermal energy or low temperature, for a heating and cooling, mainly in tourist facilities and shopping centers. The Canarian Government subsidized nine projects of geothermal energy which benefit mainly resorts that use energy for air conditioning and water heating with EUR 900,000 last year. At present there aresome 50 establishments in the Canary Islands using this energy.

To provide information on permits and licenses needed to undertake geothermal projects in the Canary Islands and also for local, island and regional administrations efforts are needed to coordinate and not paralyze investment. Therefore it was decided to publish two guides, one for high and one for low enthalpy. The ultimate goal is to have two simple, clear manual through which any producer or client know which frame can move within the geothermal energy in the Canary Islands, the regulator and financial.

On the worktable Geotermia in Canary participated all institutions, associations and companies involved in the development of geothermal energy in the Canary Islands, including town halls, the Canary Islands Technological Institute (ITC) , the Canary Association of Renewable Energies (ACER) , the Spanish Geothermal Technology Platform , the Wind Energy Association de Canarias (Aeolican) , the Institute for Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDAE) and the universities of La Laguna and Las Palmas , the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain , colleges of Engineering , School of Mines and entrepreneurs, both part of the research and production as well as consumption.

The island of Gran Canaria is actively participating in this workshop as the insular entity has been working on geothermal projects for quite some time, Lanzarote is the leading island with facilities that are important examples for the Canary Islands and Spain; the geothermal potential of Fuencaliente becomes cornerstone to expand the energy sovereignty of La Palma; Tenerife is preparing to receive the first central high temperature geothermal power; the project Geothercan (with a budget of EUR 1.7 million, of which EUR1 million has already been invested) seeks geothermal resources in the subsoil areas located in 6, 4 in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and 1 another in La Palma, covering an area of 800 km2.

So while talked about before, but things could finally see some action in the Canaries.

Link: http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/canary-islands-continue-quest-for-geothermal-energy-utilisation/

Montserrat Weighs Financing Options for Phase Two of Island Geothermal Project

Montserrat was recently represented at the Regional Geothermal Forum held in St. Kitts and Nevis from May 10-12. With this geothermal a pressing topic in the region particularly regarding the fund, prior to the Forum, local HMG Development for International Development (DFID) Rep Martin Dawson, said Montserrat is currently exploring several options for funding the subsequent phase of its geothermal project.

Discussing the financing options being considered for the next phase of the local geothermal project, Martin Dawson commented, “Obviously one of them will be grant financing by the U.K Government. One could be a build operate transfer public pro partnership model and I am sure there are many others but we will look at that very closely and look at the cost and benefits of those and then come up with what we think is the most sensible option for Montserrat and we will be prepared then to put forward to U.K. Ministers in particular.”

In December 2014, DFID publicized a Prior Information Notice: Geothermal Energy Project which stated: “The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) intends to fund the construction of a geothermal energy project on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean.”

Affirming their support, the Notice said: “Montserrat is a UK Overseas Territory and have a constitutional relationship with the UK, and their citizens have a right to British citizenship. The UK government is committed under the United Nations charter “to promote to the utmost the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories”.

DFID’s priorities for Montserrat is to meet the “reasonable assistance needs” of its citizens as cost effectively as possible, while aiding the island in becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Montserrat’s economy is currently 100% fossil fuel based.

The notice continues: “This is unsustainable position from an environmental, climate change and economic perspective. Electricity prices in Montserrat are some of the highest in the world and are significantly influenced by fluctuations in oil prices on the world market. To date exploratory drilling of the two wells was completed in late 2013, with the testing program completed in July 2014. These wells are able to produce a level of output, but currently not of the capacity to provide fully the required energy output to remove the requirement for fossil fuel based energy production.”

Minister Lewis went to the St. Kittt’s meeting with the knowledge that “A third well drilling program after proposal is about to begin. The well is to be used reportedly, as a reinjection/production well to allow the two existing wells to have a combined potential generation capacity of 3MW of power – moving to a projected 5MW.”

The three day geothermal forum was held under the theme: ‘Opportunities and Synergies for Collaboration’ from May 10-12.

For the next phase of Montserrat’s geothermal project, The Department for International Development has allocated $17.6 million for the subsequent step, structured to increase the potential yield of geothermal energy at the project site from 2MW to 5MW. It is hoped that drilling will commence in early 2016.

“This 3rd well will be drilled to a depth of between 2,000 and 2,500 Meters. The target area is sited on [the base] of St. George’s Hill, just inside Zone V. It is proposed that this area has both hot fluid and locally high permeability.

“Two previous wells that were successfully drilled in 2013/2014 under Phase 1 and 2 which cover the exploratory drilling for the 3rd well, will help to ascertain a suitable configuration for a geothermal plant.”

Link: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/financing-options-for-phase-two-of-local-geothermal-considered/
Press Release – Ormat Technologies Secures $36 Million Supply & EPC Contracts for a Geothermal Power Plant in New Zealand

Reno, Nev., May 19, 2016 — Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA) today announced that one of its subsidiaries has signed a $36 million Supply, Engineering, Procurement and Construction, (EPC) contracts, with Eastland Group for the Te Ahi O Maui geothermal project located near Kawerau, New Zealand. The construction of the project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Under the Supply & EPC contracts, Ormat will provide its air-cooled Ormat Energy Converter for the Te Ahi O Maui geothermal project. This project is a partnership between Eastland Generation and the Kawerau A8D Ahu Whenua Trust, who are the owners of the land on which the project will be constructed. Eastland Generation owns the geothermal power plant GDL, which was built by Ormat in 2008.

Isaac Angel, CEO of Ormat Technologies said, “New Zealand is an early pioneer in geothermal energy, and for the past forty years it has been the country with the most consistent policy support for geothermal energy. Ormat has been very active in New Zealand since the late 80’s, and we have installed our technology in 14 geothermal power plants covering over 350 MW. We are very pleased to partner with the Eastland Group, we look forward to share our technology, accumulated knowledge, and experience with our customer and to add to its portfolio another cost-effective and reliable power plant.”

Press Release: EXERGY’S ROT Proves Higher Efficiency in Umurlu 1 Geothermal Plant

Olgiate Olona, 17 May 2016 – EXERGY, the Italian technology leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of Organic Rankine Cycle power plants with the pioneering Radial Outflow Turbine technology, announces Umurlu I geothermal plant, commissioned in the late 2015 in Turkey for the client KARKEY Karadeniz Elektrik Uretimis successfully in operation producing clean power with higher efficiency than the expected results.

The performance test conducted with several measurements in the past week, validated by the third party company Power Engineers, confirmed the plant is running with over performances between 8 and 12% due to the Radial Outflow Turbine, and is therefore producing up to 1.5 MWe more than guaranteed value to the client.

This power increase over the guaranteed figure, combined with the increased FIT for made in Turkey production of the turbine and auxiliary equipment provides the customer with revenues approximately 25% greater than initially anticipated.

The Umurlu I plant represents a double achievement for EXERGY. It proves the positive performance and higher efficiency of the Radial Outflow Turbine technology on large size binary plant configuration. Also it confirms the quality and capability of the Turkish Exergy factory in Izmir to satisfy best the needs of the local market, supplying the first certified Made in Turkey turbine in the market.

Located in the geothermal area of Umurlu, near Denizli Umurlu I is the first of two 12 MW binary plants in EXERGY’s contract with Karkey. The second 12 MW plant will be operational in the second half of 2016 delivering the client a total power output of 24 MW. The solution provided by EXERGY utilizes an ORC module equipped with two Radial Outflow Turbines connected to a common generator and an air cooled system sized to maximize the efficiency of the plant.

Claudio Spadacini, EXERGY’s CEO and founder commented on this brilliant result: “Karkey project has been another challenging opportunity to test EXERGY’s capability in two key areas, using the ROT on a larger scale plant, and fulfilling the difficult criteria required to gain a higher Feed in Tariff by localling manufacturing this revolutionary technology. The success on both fronts helps confirming the ROT superior efficiency and cement Exergy’s position as a leader in the Turkish market”.

Link: http://exergy-orc.com/communication/news/exergys-rot-proves-higher-efficiency-in-umurlu-1-geothermal-plant
Philippines DOE Receptive to FIT Focusing on Low Enthalpy and Small Scale Projects

Last week, EDC requested a feed in tariff for geothermal projects in the Philippines, and the island nation’s Department of Energy has now replied.

According to the Manila Bulletin, DOE seems to be generally open to proposals “of including geothermal technology in the array of renewable energy (RE) projects that shall be incentivized under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system.”

However, Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada has qualified that these benefits may only be granted to project developers based on the recommendation of the National Renewable Energy Board.

Monsada said the NREB must perform extensive study on the proposal; and will, following its findings, lodge its policy recommendations to the DOE for approval.

“It (FIT for geothermal) can be considered… we will have to review it,” Monsada said. The FIT subsidy is typically extended to qualified projects at a fixed rate for 20 years.

Under current conditions, Monsada indicated that they may only be amenable to granting FIT incentives to low enthalpy geothermal resources and developments of smaller capacities.

“It (FIT) could be done for low enthalpy geothermal and smaller capacities… there should be special incentive to develop especially if we really want to improve geothermal share in the mix,” Monsada highlighted.

Monsada stressed that given propounded capacity limit on installations, the FIT system may no longer apply to big-ticket projects.

When questioned on what would be an ideal capacity cap to be underpinned by FIT subsidy, the energy chief asserted that “it should be part of the NREB study.”

Monsada elaborated that the NREB must also assess what could be a wiser policy approach – if the FIT will be based on steam temperature or the capacity or scale of the resource.

It was leading geothermal player Energy Development Corporation (EDC) that put forward the proposal on a FIT system for geothermal projects – seeking a FIT charge of P5.00 to P6.00 per kilowatt hour (kwh) for baseload type of development on the technology.

Several industry players are raising questions though on how that can be enforced without subverting the provisions of the Philippine’s Renewable Energy Law.

Link: http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/philippines-doe-open-to-fit-but-with-a-focus-on-low-enthalpy-and-small-scale-projects/

Geothermal Institute of New Zealand Announces November Workshop

The 38th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop will take place November 23-25, 2016 at the Geothermal Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand. It is the longest running energy conference in the country and the only fully peer-reviewed geothermal conference.

This year’s theme is Innovation. Innovation can mean changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas. It can also mean the process of translating an idea or invention into a product or service that creates value. It could be social innovation: creating alliances, joint venturing, changing the way employees work. The 38th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop invites you to share with your colleagues the multiple facets of innovation in the geothermal industry as well as explore the benefits and challenges faced and document the outcome.

Abstracts are now open. The Geothermal Institute welcome papers on all aspects of Geothermal Science, Engineering, Economics, Environment and Regulations.

To learn more, go to: www.geothermalworkshop.co.nz
For abstract submissions: http://www.geothermalworkshop.co.nz/abstract-submissions/
Contact: Andrea Ross, Geothermal Institute Manager, as.ross@auckland.ac.nz

 

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