In this post:
*GEOEXPO+ : A Dynamic Geothermal Event
*Thanks you to GEA Members New and Renewed!
*SFNF Holding Public Meetings on Geothermal Energy Development Draft EA
*Diablo Canyon Closure Demonstrates California’s Power Grid is Rapidly Shifting
*Press Release: Ormat Announces Closing of Acquisition of the Bouillante Geothermal Power Plant in the Island of Guadeloupe
*Energy Companies Share Wish List for Filipino Department of Energy Chief, Geothermal FiT
*According to EBRD, Turkey is Booming Geothermal Market
*ThinkGeoEnergy: Medco Eyes the Salak and Darajat Geothermal Assets of Chevron in Indonesia
*Press Release: Thermal Energy Partners Begins Final Design for its Nevis Geothermal Project
GEOEXPO+ : A Dynamic Geothermal Event
From October 23-26, 2016 in Sacramento, a new twist on GEA’s annual Expo will play out under the theme Leading Innovation, Fostering Cooperation. The “plus” signifies not only a national focus but also an international geothermal market focus, further boosted by a dynamic Marketing Forum. Over 1,200+ industry leaders will be in attendance. Providing a chance to forge professional connections, feel the pulse of the geothermal market, view exhibitors, and hear from key players and industry experts on various panels, theGEOEXPO+
will constitute one of the penultimate geothermal events of the year. Exhibitor spaces are still available. Visit the new website at www.geothermalexpo.org
to learn more.
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:
Geologica Geothermal Group, Inc.
SFNF Holding Public Meetings on Geothermal Energy Development Draft EA
The Santa Fe National Forest today announced that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the potential effects of geothermal energy development on land within Forest boundaries is available on the Forest website here
The Forest will hold three public meetings to provide a brief overview of the proposed project and the analysis of effects. The first meeting is 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 7, 2016, at the Forest Headquarters, 11 Forest Lane in Santa Fe. Additional meetings will be scheduled in Abiquiu and Jemez Springs. The times and locations will be announced as soon as they are finalized.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has identified approximately 195,000 acres within the boundaries of the SFNF with “significant geothermal potential.” The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has received expressions of interest in leasing approximately 46,000 acres of SFNF land for geothermal exploration and development. The BLM manages the subsurface resources on all federal land.
Of the project area identified by USGS, approximately 30,000 acres, including the Jemez National Recreation Area and the East Fork of the Jemez River, which has been designated a federal Wild and Scenic River, are closed to leasing by statute. The Forest Service also has discretionary authority to prohibit leasing to protect special resources.
In the proposed project area, that would include the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway, the Jemez Historic Site National Landmark and the Monument Canyon Research Natural Area, as well as SFNF administrative sites in the area.
Analysis of the effects of geothermal leasing began in June 2015 with a series of public meetings and a public comment period. The DEIS assesses both the physical and social impacts of any proposed leasing.
In addition to the upcoming public meetings, the Forest is soliciting public comment on the DEIS. Comments may be sent by email to email@example.com or mailed to Comments, Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87508.
The Notice of Availability will be published in the Federal Register July 8, 2016, and the formal comment period will close Aug. 22, 2016.
Diablo Canyon Closure Demonstrates California’s Power Grid is Rapidly Shifting
California’s system for producing, moving and using electricity is rapidly shifting, with little room left for a nuclear plant.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s recent decision to shut down Diablo Canyon, the sole remaining nuclear plant in the state, reveals the company’s shifting energy priorities.
At the beginning of Diablo Canyon’s opening, energy was typically generated by large plants and provided onto the grid directly to the customer. With the green energy revolution, many buildings now generate their own electricity using technology like solar arrays, with both solar and wind power fluctuating at certain times over the course of the day.
An increasing number of cities and counties like San Francisco, PG&E’s hometown are purchasing electricity for their citizens through a system called community choice aggregation, in part bypassing the utilities.
In a sense, California is moving away from nuclear baseload technology to flexible intermittents.
“We’re transitioning, clearly, to a distributed system where you rely less and less on those big resources and more on distributed resources,” said CEO of the California Independent System Operator Stephen Berberich to David Baker of the SF Chronicle. The California Independent System Operator manages the grid.
“You need a flexible fleet that can start and stop quickly,” Berberich continued. “The way California is headed, big, baseload power isn’t as valuable as it was.”
Shifting energy needs are impacting utilities’ roles in the state. Nowadays, separate companies own the majority of California’s power plants, while the utilities manage the transmission and distribution wires, as opposed to owning the plants themselves.
As cities and counties enter the power-buying business, PG&E and others come under the circumstances delivering power produced and purchased by others, which is less desirable.
“A lot of their customers could eventually choose to opt out, and that would tend to shift the utility’s business model to being a distribution service provider, along with their hydro(electric) assets,” said Charles Goldman to SF Chronicle, division director of energy analysis at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The majority of these changes have been driven by policy choices that California officials made as part of the battle against climate change.
The new California RPS guidelines require utilities to derive half the electricity they sell from renewable sources by 2030. PG&E last year attempted to convince state legislators to let nuclear power count toward that goal, as nuclear plants don’t generate greenhouse gases. But the lobbying effort failed – which helped seal Diablo’s fate.
PG&E CEO Tony Earley cited multiple factors like the previously mentioned and building power self-generation as justification for closing Diablo Canyon in 2025, when its federal operating licenses expire.
“As we’ve looked at it, a number of policy changes here in California and changes in the overall energy outlook suggested to us that by the mid-2020s, Diablo Canyon just will not operate very much,” Earley said to SF Chronicle. “There are going to be many days in the spring and fall when you’re just not going to need that power.”
Community choice is also a factor in the Diablo Canyon shut-down:
Until last month, PG&E executives often argued that community choice wouldn’t have a major impact on the utility. Now the idea is catching like wildfire, with the potential to cover a high number of communities, that it contributed to PG&E’s decision to close Diablo – not something Weisz, a former county planner, ever expected.
Weisz laughed: “Gosh, no, we did not anticipate the closing of a nuclear plant from our launch at all.”
Press Release: Ormat Announces Closing of Acquisition of the Bouillante Geothermal Power Plant in the Island of Guadeloupe
Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced today it has closed its previously announced acquisition of Geothermie Bouillante SA (GB). GB owns and operates the 14.75 MW Bouillante geothermal power plant located in Guadeloupe Island, a French territory in the Caribbean. The Bouillante plants currently generate approximately 10 MW with an expansion potential to up to 45 MW of capacity.
Ormat has signed an Amended and Restated Investment Agreement (the “Investment Agreement”) and Shareholders Agreement with Sageos holding (Sageos), a fully owned subsidiary of Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM). Under the agreements, Ormat together with Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), a French state-owned financial organization, acquired approximately 80% interest in GB in the proportion of 75% to Ormat and 25% to CDC (i.e., approximately 60% acquired by Ormat and approximately 20% acquired by CDC). Given the deal structure Ormat and CDC will gradually increase their combined interest in GB to 85% and Sageos will hold the remaining balance.
Pursuant to the above agreements, Ormat paid approximately €16.7 million (approximately $18.6 million, based on current foreign currency exchange rates) to Sageos for approximately 60% interest in GB. In addition, Ormat is committed to further invest €7.5 million in the next two years, which will increase its interest to 63.75%. The cash will be used mainly for the enhancement of the power plant.
Ormat plans modifications to the existing equipment as well as to further develop the asset, with a potential of reaching a total of 45 MW in phased development, by 2021. Under the Investment Agreement, Ormat will pay Sageos an additional amount of up to €12 million subject to the achievement of agreed production thresholds and capacity expansion within a defined time period.
Bouillante power plant sells its electricity under a new 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that was entered into force in February 2016 with Électricité de France S.A. (EDF) the French electric utility. Ormat plans to optimize the use of the resource at the existing facilities and recover its current production to its design capacity of 14.75 MW by mid-2017. Upon completion of the enhancement, the plant is expected to generate approximately €20 million of annual revenues.
“This acquisition marks another achievement in our strategic plan to expand our business to new geographies,” noted Isaac Angel, Chief Executive Officer. “CDC is an ideal partner for Ormat, as CDC is proficient with the French regulation and experienced in investments that serve the economic development of France. Together with BRGM and its commitment to the geothermal development, and with Ormat’s experience in the geothermal industry, we can empower the local economy by generating direct and indirect jobs and provide Guadeloupe residents renewable, dependable, and cost-effective electricity.”
Energy Companies Share Wish List for Filipino Department of Energy Chief, Geothermal FiT
Companies in the energy industry shared their wish list for new Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, who will formally take over the reins of the agency in a ceremony on Monday.
Oscar L. de Venecia, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Basic Energy Corp., said a guaranteed feed-in-tariff (FiT) for developers of small geothermal power plants would be welcome, considering the long gestation period for these projects.
“A FiT system for geothermal will always be advantageous… It makes it easier for us to invite other potential partners to come in if there’s a FiT. It becomes easy for us to calculate the economics of a project,” he said in a recent interview.
He said renewable energy technology has caught up with making it a baseload plant, or power sources that can consistently generate the needed electricity to respond to minimum demand.
“The closest that can come to that is biomass. [For] solar you need batteries to make it a baseload type,” he said, referring to solar power’s intermittency that can be addressed only through battery storage.
“If you’re looking at environmental issues… geothermal will probably be the closest that can come to fitting within that,” he said.
Salvador Antonio R. Castro, Jr., president and chief executive officer of CleanTech Global Renewables, Inc., said the release of a circular on renewable portfolio standards (RPS) would help in guiding the decision of developers on what technology to pursue. He also suggested a third round of feed-in-tariff for solar energy projects.
“We have moved and progressed in the right direction since the EPIRA [Electric Power Industry Reform Act] law came in 2001, and since the Renewable Energy Law came out in 2008 and the implementing rules came in 2013,” he said, adding a lot of things have happened since then.
“We need the framework there for investors to come in. So, that means… higher quotas for feed-in-tariffs and the definitiveness of the mechanisms so that the investors and developers can continue to plan,” he said.
“Part of the regulatory framework, of course, is if the renewable portfolio standards come out and if they say 30% of a DU’s [distribution utility’s] requirement has to be sourced from renewable energy, that would really get us off the ground,” he said.
Don Mario Y. Dia, director and treasurer of Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc., has proposed a “win-win” solution to the controversy that arose after the DoE’s release of the solar developers that it endorsed to received the guaranteed FiT rate.
“The best scenario, a win-win solution is allow those who really made it on March 15… and give them all FiT,” he said, adding the government should accommodate every developer that made it to the deadline.
He said there was a precedent case when the DoE allowed all developers when it first set an installation target of 50 megawatts and a FiT rate of P9.68 per kilowatt-hour, resulting in an excess when the total installed capacity hit 108.90 MW.
According to EBRD, Turkey is Booming Geothermal Market
Thanks to private sector investment in the geothermal sector, and with solid support from the government, Turkey is considered the hottest geothermal market in the world, according to Natalia Khanjenkova, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) managing director for Turkey and Central Asia on Monday.
Izmir is host to the International Geothermal Congress, IGC Turkey 2016, which is running from June 6-8. Speaking at the three-day geothermal congress at the SwissOtel Buyuk Efes Izmir, sponsored by Anadolu Agency, Khanjenkova discussed the geothermal sector’s development in Turkey.
“Turkey right now is a country we would say is the hottest geothermal market in the world. Perhaps it is not due to the temperature of the geothermal resources but it is reattributed to the vibrancy of the private sector that we see in Turkey. This is combined with very strong regulatory support that has been put in place by the government,” she said.
According to Khanjenkova, the government has done an outstanding job in catalyzing private sector investment to accelerate investments in geothermal energy.
“To a great degree, this was achieved by a combination of amendments to renewable energy in 2010, the adoption of geothermal law in 2007 and more recently the new electricity market law,” she explained.
Khanjenkova also underlined the role of low drilling costs in Turkey, which are the world’s lowest. She said that these are attributable to the high competition between service providers in the Turkish market which currently is priced below a million dollars per kilometer.
“This is extremely impressive in the industry,” she explained, adding “thanks to this, the installed capacity has increased more than six fold only in the last five years. So it has grown from 95 megawatts (MW) at the beginning of 2011 to 648 mw as of today. We, as EBRD, are extremely proud to contribute to this increasing capacity because, through our financing, we contributed 280 MW of this capacity, nearly 40 percent.”
The EBRD is a leading investor in Turkey to date. It has invested over €7 billion ($7.89 billion) in the country through 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance.
“Indeed, we expect that looking at the pace of geothermal development in the country, that Turkey will reach the target of 1 thousand megawatts by 2018, so five years ahead of the objective of the national renewable action plan” she said.
Turkey’s geothermal sector has experienced an incredible rise in recent years with a growth in power generation capacity from 30 MW in 2008 to the current 648 MW. For this reason, Turkey is attracting a lot of interest from the global geothermal energy community both as a market for products and services and as an example on how to stimulate geothermal project development.
ThinkGeoEnergy: Medco Eyes the Salak and Darajat Geothermal Assets of Chevron in Indonesia
PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk (Medco) is interested in the acquisition of at least parts of the geothermal assets of Chevron in Indonesia.
The company has now announced a particular interest in the Geothermal Work Area (WK) of Salak and Darajat, which is still managed by PT Chevron Geothermal Indonesia.
Medco Energi now announces it will examine the data and information belonging to Chevron. Hilmi Panigoro, Director of Medco Energi, said the company has signed confidentiality agreement with Chevron related to the opening of the data. Companies continue to show interest in acquiring the working areas given the current low price of oil.
“If the oil price continues to be like it is today, then yes through an acquisition we can quickly increase cash flow. That’s why we are attracted to the assets by Chevron,” he said in an interview with CNN Indonesia last week.
The data now shared with Medco Energi, is also open to other potential bidders for the assets and a decision will be made by Chevron on the best offer. Further Hilmi said, the the acquisition would be very expensive for the comapny, in line with the company’s deteriorated financial performance last year. For information, the company posted a loss of US $ 186.17 million or dropped compared to last year’s profit of US $ 8.84 million as a result of falling oil prices. “But still, we consider this option, because if the oil company revenue shortfalls, we are looking for cash flow . Whereas, if the high price of oil again, then we will multiply the exploration, “he said.
If nothing goes wrong, the company will launch the acquisition and look for external funds, one of which is derived from the issuance of debt securities Rp1.5 trillion ($88 million) in the first phase were carried out some time ago. From the issuance of the bonds, 30 per cent planned to be allocated for acquisitions. “And the allocation of this acquisition are beyond our capital expenditures with a value of US $ 120 million to $ 140 million. We emphasize, this year’s acquisition is becoming a focus of our company,” said Hilmi.
In addition to the proposed acquisition of WK Chevron, the company will complete the geothermal power project in Sarulla with a capacity of 110 MW, which is planned to be completed at the end of this year. In addition, the company will also conduct geothermal exploration in Ijen, East Java.
Press Release: Thermal Energy Partners Begins Final Design for its Nevis Geothermal Project
Thermal Energy Partners, LLC (TEP) announced through its affiliate, NRE International (NREI), that it has begun a series of final design reviews, and analysis of utility interconnection points for its Nevis geothermal power plant. TEP also announced that Clemessy, a subsidiary of Eiffage, has joined Turboden in a Joint Venture to provide EPC services for the project.
Technical teams from Turboden, Clemessy and TEP were on-hand this week to make final preparations with Nevis Electric Utility (NEVLEC) officials and tour the port facility prior to the mobilization of the drilling and construction equipment. This latest announcement comes after TEP previously conducted well testing and monitoring of the geothermal resource back in March and selected Turboden as its ORC technology vendor.
“The coordination of the final design element of the geothermal ORC plant is important for the future production of geothermal power here in Nevis. Our visit this week keeps progress on schedule and we are on-track to have a fully completed geothermal plant by the end of 2017 that will generate electric power from a high enthalpy geothermal resource”, said Bruce Cutright, CEO of Thermal Energy Partners.
Deputy Premier Mark Brantley stated, “Nevis’ has a commitment to achieving our climate change goals that includes significantly cutting energy costs to our citizens and to transitioning our Island to a totally independent renewable energy source. We will soon be able to produce zero-emission electricity and export geothermal power to nearby islands”.
Thermal Energy Partners, Turboden, Clemessy and its Nevisian partners represent a transformative team that is setting the standard for creating an entirely green economy with substantial economic benefits for the Island and for the region.
Thermal Energy Partners (TEP) is a Geothermal Energy company that provides resilient, renewable and base-load power to utilities, industrial and critical infrastructure clients worldwide. Founded in 2010 TEP’s primary focus ison development of both traditional magmatic and deep sedimentary basin geothermal resources through project design, finance, permitting, construction and operation.