Geothermal in Canada, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines

This post brings you geothermal headlines from Canada, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, and the Philippines.


Image Credit: Geoscience BC

The Americas

Canada – Calgary’s Borealis Geopower signs MOU for Valemount, B.C. geothermal park
Calgary-based Borealis Geopower has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Valemount Community Forest to develop a geothermal industrial park in Valemount.
According to the Rocky Mountain Goat, the Valemount Community Forest’s Cedarside property sits outside Valemount’s perimeter, meaning that it is zoned as M3 land and only needs a building permit to proceed with the development of a geopark, while the project itself would likely be run by the Community Forest or Valemount Geothermal Society (VGS).
Last month, non-profit Geoscience B.C. released its “Direct-Use Geothermal Roadmap”, a comprehensive guide for communities and businesses to help evaluate and develop local geothermal energy projects to stimulate economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Vice president of energy for Geoscience B.C. Carlos Salas told the Rocky Mountain Goat that Valemount is one of the top contenders among 63 “stand-out” communities with geothermal potential, adding, “I mean this in the nicest way possible. If Surrey can do it, anywhere in B.C. can do it.”
Surrey powers its city hall and adjacent buildings with direct-use geothermal energy despite being located in a less than ideal geothermal area.
The other sites with the highest weighted ranking included: Clarke Lake south of Fort Nelson, Sloquet Creek, 93 km northwest of Whistler, Lakelse Lake between Terrace and Kitimat, Canoe Creek, Valemount in the Cariboo, Jedney Creek north of Fort St. John, Meager Creek/Pebble Creek north of Whistler, Okanagan, Kootenay area, Lower Arrow Lake near Castlegar, Mt. Cayley, 45 km north of Squamish, and Mt. Garibaldi, 80 km north of Vancouver near Squamish.
The Valemount geothermal industrial park is currently in planning stages, with participation from Borealis Geopower, Valemount Community Forest (VCF), the Valemount Geothermal Society (VGS), the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the Village of Valemount.
Borealis Geopower was founded in 2007, with the stated aim of unlocking Canada’s geothermal energy potential, which it estimates should generate 310 MW of cumulative generation capacity of low cost, stable, reliable and dispatchable power.
Borealis was in Valemount in April pitching the idea of a “super fund”, or a joint program between Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, of Alberta.
Asia and the Pacific

Indonesia – Pertamina Geothermal Energy Nears Ulubelu Geothermal Plant Completion
Pertamina Geothermal Energy, a unit of state energy company Pertamina, is in the final phase of completing its geothermal power plant in Ulubelu, Lampung, a senior official said on Wednesday.
“The new unit will start operating in early 2017,” Pertamina corporate communication vice president Wianda Pusponegoro told the Jakarta Globe. According to her, the new unit – the fourth in the massive power plant complex – is now 80 percent ready.
The third unit in the complex had begun operations on July 15, a month ahead of schedule. The 110-megawatt Ulubelu plant is one of the largest geothermal power plants in the country and costs a total of $397 million.
To pay for it, the company secured a $300 million loan from the World Bank. Pertamina aims to boost its geothermal power capacity from the current 402 MW to 847 MW by 2018.
Japanese trading house Sumitomo helped Pertamina with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Ulubelu project, working together with local partner state-owned engineering firm Rekayasa Industri.
Indonesia wants renewable energy to make up 23 percent of Indonesia’s energy mix, with geothermal alone expected to contribute 12 percent to the total mix.
New Zealand – Press Release: Mighty River Power Quarterly Operational Update
Quarterly Highlights
* Record geothermal generation for FY16, up 2% on the previous year
* Energy price down 4% in Q4, reflecting the renewal price of commercial contracts
* LWAP/GWAP of 1.03 for FY16 reflected low wholesale price volatility and locational price differences
Geothermal generation for FY16 was the Company’s highest ever at 2,830GWh (up 2% on FY15) due to availability of 95.5% over the year and the impact of the turbine replacement at Nga Awa Purua. For the quarter, geothermal generation was down slightly on pcp to 702GWh, due to maintenance activity at Ngatamariki.
Total hydro generation for FY16 was up 16% from FY15 to 3,866GWh – this however was below the annual average of 4,000GWh due to inflows being 34th percentile for the year. During the quarter, national storage increased to 29% above average at 30 June, which contributed towards flat wholesale prices.
The LWAP/GWAP ratio for the 12 months ended 30 June was 1.03, with lower wholesale price volatility impacting both generation prices (GWAP) and purchase prices (LWAP). The relative difference between LWAP and GWAP is also impacted by locational price differences which are not expected to return to historic levels due to recent thermal plant closures in the upper North Island.
A lift in overall sales volumes reflected higher commercial contracting activity as prices temporarily improved from levels earlier in the year. However new sales contracts contributed to a fall in the average energy price to customers by 4% to $117.58/MWh as these new commercial contracts replaced those that matured. As previously communicated, a large proportion of these higher-priced contracts were signed between FY2011 and FY2013.
The Company’s focus on rewarding customer loyalty, with initiatives such as free electricity days (Good Energy Days), contributed towards higher customer satisfaction scores compared to other major retailers. The average percentage of Mercury customers rating as ‘highly satisfied’ over the last 12 months was 61%. Customer churn was favourably impacted by the proportion of Mercury residential customers on fixed price contracts increasing to 42% at year-end (up from 35% at the same time last year), as some customers took up the offer of a 2-year fixed-price offer in preference to an increase in energy pricing.
When adjusted for warmer temperatures, national demand for electricity was flat (-0.1%) for the quarter compared with pcp. Adjusted demand for the financial year was up 0.6% on FY15. This is the second consecutive financial year that demand has increased.
Mighty River Power will release its financial results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2016 on 23 August 2016. The analyst briefing will be held at 11am on the day – more details to come.
© 2016 Scoop Media
Philippines – Basic Energy to Completed Drilling of Batangas Geothermal Power Plant
The consortium of Basic Energy Corp. and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. is on track to complete the drilling of Mabini geothermal power project in Batangas by September.
Basic said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday once drilling reached a depth of 1,500 meters, testing at Mabini geothermal project would follow.
“Results are projected by mid-September assuming are all go according to plan,” Basic Energy senior vice president Anthony Cuaycong said.
Cuaycong said drilling was projected to reach 78 days from spud date of June 15.
“The anchor casing has been installed at a depth of 373 meters, allowing coring operations to commence at that depth, to reach a target depth of 1,500 meters,” Basic said.
Core drilling operation reached a depth of 409 meters as of July 20, 2016.
“The well is projected to validate the geothermal resource that would be capable of fueling a 25-MW power plant,” it said.
Basic is currently drilling the first well in geothermal service contract No. 8 located in  Calumpan Peninsula, covering 3,841 hectares.
Basic owns a 75-percent of the service contract, while Trans-Asia has the remaining 25 percent.
Aside from the Mabini project, the other projects are East Mankayan geothermal project in Benguet, Mt. Mariveles geothermal project, West Bulusan geothermal project and Mt. Iriga geothermal project. Desco Inc. has taken an 80-percent stake in the Iriga project.
Basic Energy president Oscar De Venecia Jr. earlier said the solar and geothermal projects still needed incentives such as the feed-in tariff to make the projects more viable.
The company also allocated P150 million for capital expenditure this year, bulk of which are for the geothermal drilling operations in Mabini, Batangas.
“Without FIT, it becomes very difficult for a project, such as solar or wind, to flourish…An FIT system for geothermal will always be advantageous… makes it easier to invite potential partners to come in. It becomes easy for us to calculate economics for the project,” he said.
De Venecia said the company wanted to develop renewable energy projects that could bring in important short-term revenue for the company.
“All of our projects right now are long term in gestation period,” he said, adding that the company was looking at projects to bring immediate impact on the bottomline of the company.

Italy – Enel Cuts Ribbon on 40-MW Geothermal Plant in Italy
Enel Green Power SpA on Monday inaugurated the 40-MW Bagnore 4 geothermal power plant in the Italian region of Tuscany, the company announced in a statement.
The facility was constructed for a total cost of EUR 130 million (USD 143m). It is located in the municipalities of Santa Fiora and Arcidosso, near Grosseto, and has the capacity to produce up to 310 million kWh of electricity per year and thus save 70,000 tonnes of oil equivalent.
The project was partially financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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