GEOEXPO+, Membership with GEA, Bipartisan Natural Resources bill, DOE, and more

GEA Update Notes:

Ø  Geothermal EXPO+ Oct 1-4 in Salt Lake City.  Registration Going Strong, Reserve Your Space Now.  More at: http://geothermalexpo.org/ or contact Kathy@geo-energy.org.

Ø  Your support of GEA through membership is vital.  Your company should be a Member!  More info at: http://geo-energy.org/membership.aspx or contact Kathy@geo-energy.org.

 

Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations

  • Senators Murkowski and Cantwell Introduce Broad, Bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources Bill with Geothermal Sections
  • House Appropriations Committee Marks Up 2018 Funding for DOE
  • U.S. Geothermal Inc. Announces Successful Results From Three Wells Drilled at San Emidio II
  • Oncor to Join Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy
  • U.S. Geothermal Inc. Announces Results of Annual Meeting of Shareholders
  • Geothermal Startup, Dandelion, Raises $2 Million Seed Round, Led by Collaborative Fund
  • Energy Department Announces up to $4 Million for Geothermal Deep Direct-Use Feasibility Studies
  • GeoTermico – a new early stage geothermal investment fund launched by Renewable Energy Partner London, UK
  • ARANZ Geo renews geothermal focus, launches Leapfrog Geothermal 3.3
  • AU mobilizes fund to boost Africa’s geothermal energy development
  • BLM Requests Input for Future Planning Efforts and Environmental Reviews
  • GTO and FE Announce Joint FY17 SubTER Lab Call Selections

 

Headlines

 

GEA Update Notes:

GEA’s  GEOEXPO+ is being held Oct 1-4, 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT.  Registration Going Strong, Reserve Your Space Now.  Co-held with the GRC Annual Meeting, the biggest geothermal event of the year, convenes roughly 1,200 top energy, finance, ministry, embassy, agency, technology, academic, and policy experts.  A great turnout is expected with invitations submitted to top leaders in Utah and the western states for it’s opening plenary session, more paper submissions for the technical sessions than have been seen in years, and the geothermal industry trade hall selling fast. More at: http://geothermalexpo.org/ or email Kathy@geo-energy.org.

The Geothermal Energy Association represents over 100 companies in the geothermal power industry.  That industry supports a workforce of almost 12,000 full-time jobs in the United States.  We run 104 operating plants in nine (9) states with a capacity of 3,700 Megawatts, at a replacement value of over $20 billion.  This is only a fraction of what’s possible with geothermal power. Your support of the geothermal industry through membership with its trade association is vital.  Become a GEA member today. With any questions or to apply for membership, please email Kathy@geo-energy.org.

Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations

Senators Murkowski and Cantwell Introduce Broad, Bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources Bill with Geothermal Sections

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the committee’s ranking member, this week introduced S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 (ENRA). The bill is the successor to their broad, bipartisan legislation from the previous Congress and was placed directly on the Senate Calendar for expedited floor consideration.

Focused on a wide range of energy and natural resources opportunities and challenges, ENRA features eleven titles reflecting common ground on efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability, conservation, federal land management, National Park System management, sportsmen’s issues, water infrastructure, natural hazards, and Indian energy.

The new bill builds on recent technological breakthroughs to bring substantial benefits to American families and businesses while protecting the environment. Its provisions will save energy, expand supply, prioritize innovation, modernize and secure the electric grid, boost energy trade, protect sportsmen’s access, strengthen mineral security, bolster the energy workforce, reauthorize certain conservation programs, facilitate better management of federal lands, and minimize risks from natural hazards.

“It has now been a full decade since Congress has passed legislation to modernize and reform our nation’s energy and resource policies,” Murkowski said. “We came very close to achieving that goal last year, and have continued to work with our congressional colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders to write another strong bill. This stands not only as an opening for bipartisan accomplishment, but more importantly, as a significant opportunity to boost our economic growth, improve our infrastructure, enhance our security, and bolster our global competitiveness—results that we all support and should be working toward.”

“Our energy infrastructure is under attack and we need the tools to fix it right now,” Cantwell said. “Our bipartisan legislation will not only help modernize our energy infrastructure, but secure it from extreme weather, climate change, and serious cyber threats. I am looking forward to continuing to refine this legislation through robust debate and then sending it to the President’s desk.”

The new bill builds on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which included priorities from 80 Senators and passed the Senate with 85 votes. That bill fell just short in a bicameral conference with the House of Representatives at the end of last year, but provided an excellent starting point for Murkowski and Cantwell’s bipartisan efforts in this Congress.

As introduced, the bill does include a geothermal section largely based on S.2012.  In outline form it includes:

PART II—GEOTHERMAL

SEC. 3011. GEOTHERMAL ENERGY.

(a)     SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING NATIONAL GOALS FOR PRODUCTION AND SITE IDENTIFICATION

(b)     FACILITATION OF COPRODUCTION OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY ON OIL AND GAS LEASES

(c)     NONCOMPETITIVE LEASING OF ADJOINING AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES

(d)     REPORT TO CONGRESS

(e)     REAUTHORIZATION OF THE ADVANCED GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2007

(f)      AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

SEC. 3012. GEOTHERMAL EXPLORATION TEST PROJECTS

In a release Senator Murkowski pointed out how these provisions would benefit Alaska which said, “Geothermal Energy – Extends federal research efforts critical to the development of Alaska’s geothermal resources, which could benefit up to one-fourth of the communities in the state.”

https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/6/senators-murkowski-and-cantwell-introduce

https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/6/sen-murkowski-alaska-will-greatly-benefit-from

https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/bipartisan-energy-bill

 

House Appropriations Committee Marks Up 2018 Funding for DOE

 

Kicking off congressional action on FY 18 funding decisions, the full House Appropriations Committee marked up 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations which proposes a significant cut in DOE geothermal program.  The program was funded at $69 million in 2017, the budget request was for $12.5 million for 2018, and the House Bill as proposed approves $15 million.  (This does not include unexpended balances from prior years.)  The report has no language providing specific direction for DOE GTO but directs for all renewable efforts a move away from near term research to focus on long-term efforts.  Under Fossil Energy the report does add, “the Department is encouraged to examine the feasibility of utilizing geothermal energy from produced fluids for in-field energy requirements.”

 

In addition the bill directs EIS to provide a report on a Zero emissions energy credit.  It says:  “…the Energy Information Administration, shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act an analysis evaluating the effects of a Zero Emissions Energy Credit that replaces existing renewable energy subsidies, once they phase out, with a graduated tax credit that is apportioned based on the total emissions profile, including both airborne and solid waste byproduct emissions, of energy production sources. This analysis shall include: (1) estimated effects on utility rates paid by consumers in both rate-regulated and competitive access jurisdictions; (2) estimated impacts on the cost of zero-emissions-based purchased power agreements employed by investor-owned, cooperatively-owned, and municipal utilities; (3) estimated reductions in effective rates on the per-kilowatt-hour customer cost of qualifying sources, compared to current per-kilowatt-hour customer cost of those sources; (4) estimated impact on the need for state-implemented zero emissions credits being used to support existing baseload power sources; (5) predicted effects on federal government expenditures and revenues; and (6) estimated effects in driving the adoption and improvement of lower or zero emissions energy production technologies.”

 

For more information on the mark-up go to: https://appropriations.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=394963

 

U.S. Geothermal Inc. Announces Successful Results From Three Wells Drilled at San Emidio II

BOISE, Idaho, June 29, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — U.S. Geothermal Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE MKT:HTM), a leading and profitable renewable energy company focused on the development, production, and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, today announced that it has successfully intersected high temperature resource in the three additional wells drilled in the Southwest Zone of the resource area at its San Emidio II development project.

Drilling began on June 1st, 2017 and the three wells were deepened based on their high thermal gradient and bottom hole temperature.  Well 78-20 was drilled to 2,387 feet deep, intersected the geothermal resource at 2,314 feet, and has a measured flowing temperature of 324°F.  Well 18-21 was drilled to 2,177 feet deep, intersected the geothermal resource at 1,874 feet, and has a measured flowing temperature of 325°F.  The third well (28-21) was drilled to 2,799 feet deep, intersected the geothermal resource at 1,900 feet, and though less permeable than the other two, has a measured flowing temperature of 321°F.  For comparison purposes, the wellfield at our San Emidio I project is currently producing at an average temperature of 278°F.  All wells were completed with a 6 ¼ inch bottom hole diameter and a 4 ½ inch perforated casing liner.

The three newly completed wells extend the proven portion of the Southwest Zone approximately 1,000 feet further south and are expected to increase the P90 (90% probability) reservoir estimate of 18.7 net megawatts, announced in January, toward the 47 net megawatt P50 (50% probability) level.  This increased capacity is in addition to the 10 megawatts being produced by the San Emidio I plant from the Northwestern reservoir area.

A long-term flow test is in the planning stages. This test will provide more detailed information about the reservoir, so that an updated reservoir model can be developed to determine the maximum level of generation.  In addition, a Large Generator Interconnection agreement for 45 megawatts was filed with NV Energy on June 26th for the San Emidio II project.

“We are very pleased to report the excellent drilling results at our San Emidio II project, that have exceeded our expectations in terms of temperature and generation potential,” said Dennis Gilles, Chief Executive Officer.  “Having the ability to add a larger power plant to our San Emidio complex will help reduce capital and operating costs, and give us a very cost competitive project.  Additionally, it will allow us to deploy the previously acquired power plants, whose acquisition we had announced in early 2016.”

http://www.usgeothermal.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1031786

 

Oncor to Join Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy

DALLAS, Texas, and DES MOINES, Iowa – July 7, 2017 – Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., announced today it has executed a definitive merger agreement with Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH). Berkshire Hathaway Energy will acquire reorganized EFH, which will ultimately result in the acquisition of Oncor, an energy delivery company serving approximately 10 million Texans.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. already has a significant presence in Texas with multiple headquarters in the state, including BNSF Railway Company; Acme Brick Company; Justin Brands, Inc.; McLane Company, Inc.; Berkshire Hathaway Automotive; Star Furniture Company; TTI, Inc.; Charter Brokerage; LiquidPower Specialty Products Inc.; and Allie Beth Allman & Associates.

“Oncor is an excellent fit for Berkshire Hathaway, and we are pleased to make another long-term investment in Texas – when we invest in Texas, we invest big!” said Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. “Oncor is a great company with similar values and outstanding assets.”

The all-cash consideration for reorganized EFH is $9 billion implying an equity value of approximately $11.25 billion for 100% of Oncor and is subject to closing conditions, including the receipt of required state, federal and bankruptcy court approvals. The transaction is currently expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Greg Abel, Berkshire Hathaway Energy chairman, president and CEO, said, “This partnership combines the strengths of two companies that share a common goal of providing exceptional customer service and a commitment to invest in critical infrastructure that will make the Texas energy grid even stronger and more reliable.”

“By joining forces with Berkshire Hathaway Energy, we will gain access to additional operational and financial resources as we continue to position Oncor to support the evolving energy needs of our state,” said Bob Shapard, CEO of Oncor. “Being part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy is a great outcome for Oncor. Oncor will remain a locally managed Texas company headquartered in Dallas, committed to the communities we serve, and our customers will continue to receive the safe and reliable service they have come to expect from our dedicated team of employees.”

Effective upon closing of the transaction, Bob Shapard will assume the role of executive chairman of the Oncor Board, and Allen Nye will assume the role of CEO of Oncor.

“We are excited to begin the regulatory approval process as this transaction has significant support across our key stakeholders,” Nye said. “The stakeholders are eager to obtain a great outcome for Texas.”

“We are pleased to be working with Texas and stakeholders to ensure Oncor continues to be a strong electric transmission and distribution company. Oncor is an exceptional company with great employees and an excellent management team,” said Abel.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170706006280/en/Oncor-Join-Warren-Buffett%E2%80%99s-Berkshire-Hathaway-Energy

 

U.S. Geothermal Inc. Announces Results of Annual Meeting of Shareholders

BOISE, Idaho, July 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — U.S. Geothermal Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSEMKT:HTM), today announced shareholder voting results for its 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on July 6, 2017.  Approximately 85 percent of all outstanding shares were present or represented by proxy at the meeting.

Shareholders approved the election of Douglas J. Glaspey, Ali G. Hedayat, Randolph J. Hill, Paul A. Larkin, Leland L. Mink, James C. Pappas, and John H. Walker to the board of directors for one-year terms until the next Annual Meeting.  The Board of Directors has reappointed John H. Walker to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

On a non-binding and advisory basis, shareholders also approved future advisory votes on executive compensation to be every two years, and a resolution approving compensation of named executive officers.  In addition, the shareholders ratified the appointment of Moss Adams LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal 2017.

http://www.usgeothermal.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1032455

 

Geothermal Startup, Dandelion, Raises $2 Million Seed Round, Led by Collaborative Fund

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, home geothermal startup, Dandelion, announced it has raised a $2 million seed round to kick-off its sales and operations. The round was led by Collaborative Fund and includes ZhenFund and Borealis Ventures.

“There is a macro shift in the economy towards businesses that can align the self interest with the broader interest”

After two years in X, Alphabet’s “moonshot factory”, Dandelion has set up as an independent company (outside of Alphabet) to be led by Kathy Hannun and James Quazi. While at X, Kathy, now CEO of Dandelion, led a team that investigated how to make geothermal systems more affordable and accessible to homeowners. James, who formerly founded a home improvement company that was sold to SolarCity, will lead Dandelion’s technology development.

In the U.S., buildings account for 39% of all carbon emissions, and the majority of these emissions come from heating and cooling. Dandelion’s solution will cost consumers around half of what geothermal installations have cost to date and be less expensive than fuel oil or propane heating.

Home geothermal systems harness thermal energy from below the earth’s surface to heat and cool homes and produce hot water. The system pumps heat away from the home into the earth during summer to keep the home cool, and pumps heat from the earth into the home in winter to keep the place warm.

Kathy Hannun, CEO of Dandelion, says, “We started this project because we realized millions of homeowners are using expensive, truck-delivered fuels because they don’t have access to better options today. We knew if installing a geothermal heat pump was a simpler and more affordable process, these homeowners would have access to a better product that’s also better for the climate.”

“There is a macro shift in the economy towards businesses that can align the self interest with the broader interest,” says Craig Shapiro, Founder and Managing Partner at Collaborative Fund. “Dandelion’s business model enables homeowners to make the sustainable choice the most economic choice, which is a powerful combo.”

Dandelion’s low-cost geothermal installations are available for zero down for qualifying homeowners, enabling many homeowners to begin saving on monthly heating and cooling expenses immediately by switching to geothermal. The system will provide homeowners with renewable heating, cooling, and hot water and include monitoring and a smart thermostat. Dandelion is now operational in the New York Hudson Valley and Capital Region.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170706005986/en

 

Energy Department Announces up to $4 Million for Geothermal Deep Direct-Use Feasibility Studies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today up to $4 million in funding for six geothermal Deep Direct-Use (DDU) research projects to conduct feasibility studies of large scale, low-temperature deep-well geothermal systems and cascaded surface technologies. These projects will extend the reach of geothermal energy into previously untapped regions of the country: the Appalachian Basin, the Illinois Basin, the Wassuk Range, the Columbia River Basalt Group, the Walker Lake Valley, and the Gulf Coast region of Texas.

DDU is an emerging technology that has been underutilized in the U.S., and if feasible, could deliver direct geothermal energy from lower temperature resources across the U.S. It is expected to use low-temperature, thermal resources in subsurface reservoirs in U.S. regions lacking conventional hydrothermal resources. DDU wells used to directly power buildings would be deeper than ground source heat pump boreholes and shallower than wells used for enhanced geothermal systems used for electricity generation.

At a large scale, DDU applications can potentially be used to replace conventional district heating and cooling systems in military installations, hospital complexes, office buildings, hotels, and other large energy end-uses. For the purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), large-scale is defined as a space conditioning area greater than 10,000 square feet or having an annual thermal energy demand equal to or greater than 125 million British Thermal Units (MMBTU). The goal is to significantly expand the reach of geothermal energy into geologically distinct parts of the country. Using relatively low-temperature, direct geothermal energy has the potential to diversify the nation’s energy supply and help meet environmental goals.

Research funded under this FOA will evaluate the feasibility of harvesting heat from geothermal brines and using it directly to heat (or cool) buildings, as well as for other beneficial thermal processes. Pairing low-to-medium temperature geothermal fluids with low-to-medium temperature end-uses instead of using higher temperature power generation or fuels with high BTU content to heat and cool various applications with lower energy requirements can result in significant energy conservation gains. Direct-use geothermal applications have the potential to provide cost-effective, renewable thermal energy in large portions of the U.S.

A U.S. Geological Survey assessment estimates that 46,000 Megawatt thermal (MWth) of total beneficial heat is available from geothermal resources below 90°Celsius (~195°Farenheit) in the U.S. DDU promotes large scale, commercially viable systems that optimize the value stream of lower temperature resources through a cascade of uses.

The research teams selected represent a range of partners who will share the cost of performing the feasibility analysis with DOE. The organizations receiving awards today include:

Cornell University: Ithaca, New York

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Golden, Colorado

Portland State University: Portland, Oregon

Sandia National Laboratories: Albuquerque, New Mexico

University of Illinois: Champagne, Illinois

West Virginia University Energy Institute: Morgantown, West Virginia

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates the research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Visit geothermal.energy.gov to learn more about EERE’s Geothermal Technologies Office, including funding opportunities and efforts to develop innovative technologies capable of locating, accessing, and developing geothermal resource

https://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-announces-4-million-geothermal-deep-direct-use-feasibility-studies

 

GeoTermico – a new early stage geothermal investment fund launched by Renewable Energy Partner London, UK

GeoTermico is a new venture being launched by Renewable Energy Partner in partnership with a team of independent international geothermal experts from countries like Iceland, U.S., Turkey, New Zealand and Germany.

GeoTermico will invest between US$ 100-150 Million over 5 – 10 projects across the cycle of the fund at a rate of 2-3 projects per annum.

GeoTermico will enter geothermal projects, based on a phased approach, where initial exploration work has been conducted. It will take over and carry out all exploration and drilling activity based on the advice and experience of its team of experts. GeoTermico will require a clear exit strategy before entry. Exit will be based on required return and defined minimum proven resource.

Adel Baba-Aissa, Director of Renewable Energy Partner, said “We have been monitoring the geothermal sector worldwide for a while now and we feel that geothermal energy can compete with other renewable energy technologies especially since it is a highly reliable baseload source of power.

We are open for projects of all sizes in most major geothermal countries of the world. So we look forward to interested parties contacting us if they want to join the fund, work with us or bring new projects to our attention“.

For an opportunity to discuss this further with a member of our team please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Email: contact@rnepartner.com www.rnepartner.com/geotermico

Links: http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/geotermico-a-new-early-stage-geothermal-investment-fund-being-introduced/

 

ARANZ Geo renews geothermal focus, launches Leapfrog Geothermal 3.3

CHRISTCHURCH, NZ – 30 June, 2017 – ARANZ Geo, developer of 3D geological modelling software Leapfrog®, has released Leapfrog Geothermal 3.3, packed with bespoke functionality for the geothermal industry, including time based visualisation of geophysical data and connectivity to Leapfrog’s model management platform, Leapfrog Central. The release represents a major development programme for Leapfrog Geothermal, and is the first of a number of specific updates to come in 2017.

Shaun Maloney, CEO of ARANZ Geo says, “We are committed to bringing the best integrated 3D geological modelling solution to the geothermal industry, helping ensure that valuable natural resources are managed efficiently and that the renewable energy they produce is maintained for future generations. In addition to the geothermal industry, ARANZ Geo contribute technology and solutions to enable earth, environmental and energy projects around the world.”

Leapfrog Geothermal is the only purpose built 3D geothermal modelling solution on the market and integrates with leading reservoir engineering and geophysical software.  The workflow-based solution uses implicit modelling to build surfaces directly from data while subsurface professionals use their skills and interpretation to guide the process.

Leapfrog Geothermal is rapidly becoming a software of choice for the geothermal industry and has experienced significant growth globally with licences sold in Australia, Iceland, East Africa, the USA and across Asia Pacific.

Maloney says, “The growth of Leapfrog Geothermal includes working with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to add value in developing countries. We’ve upskilled geothermal professionals across East Africa so they can use Leapfrog software on the increasing number of renewable energy operations.  We’re also working with a relief group in Saharan Africa to enable groundwater evaluations for siting new wells in refugee and aide camps in the area.”

The on-going development for Geothermal will be fronted by ARANZ Geo’s new global Business Development Manager, Jeremy O’Brien and Product Manager, Brennan Williams. Appointed in October 2016, O’Brien has previous experience working for electricity generator and retailer Mighty River Power and global energy service company Halliburton.  Williams has been with ARANZ Geo since 2013 and has held senior software engineering roles in the UK and New Zealand.

O’Brien says, “We’re focused on augmenting Leapfrog Geothermal to meet the needs of our growing user base and the latest release signals the first stage in a major development programme. ARANZ Geo has an expert Geothermal Energy team working on Leapfrog Geothermal’s progress, and we have plans to expand over the coming months too.”

http://www.mining.com/web/aranz-geo-renews-geothermal-focus-launches-leapfrog-geothermal-3-3/

 

AU mobilizes fund to boost Africa’s geothermal energy development

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-02 21:18:17|Editor: Song Lifang

ADDIS ABABA, July 2 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) and partners have mobilized 150 million dollars for geothermal development in East African nations.

The figure was provided by Rashid Ali Abdallah, Principal Energy officer at the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the AU at a press conference on Sunday at the sidelines of the ongoing 29th African Union Ordinary Summit from June 27-July 4 in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

Djibouti, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya are the countries that are initially targeted with the funds from geothermal energy which is known for being a high financial risk in early exploration but very reliable energy source once built.

East Africa alone has up to 20,000 mega watts (MV) of geothermal potential, but Africa in total has 500 MW of installed geothermal energy capacity, with most concentrated in Kenya,” said Abdallah.

So far 87 million dollars of 150 million dollars fund for geothermal energy has been disbursed to the targeted nations, with the project aiming to help nations eventually be able to generate up to 2,000 MW of geothermal energy.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-07/02/c_136411481.htm

 

BLM Requests Input for Future Planning Efforts and Environmental Reviews

Agency Committed to Working Closely with Government Partners and Communities

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that it is requesting ideas and input on how the agency can make its land use planning procedures and environmental reviews timelier and less costly, as well as ensure its responsiveness to local needs.  This effort to improve the planning process comes after the President’s March 27 approval of House Joint Resolution 44, which nullified the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule.

“The decisions made in land use plans and environmental reviews are fundamental to how public lands and resources are used for the benefit of all Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “The Trump Administration and the Department of the Interior are committed to working with state and local governments, communities, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders as true partners to determine the best ways to accomplish this, now and into the future.”

Acting BLM Director Michael Nedd said the agency is already working with state and local elected officials and groups, including the Western Governors’ Association and the National Association of Counties, to engage and gather input. “We are doing this because Secretary Zinke and President Trump both strongly believe that public engagement, especially at the local level, is a critical component of federal land management,” Nedd said. “We need and want input from our state and local partners as well as from the general public in this effort.”

All can submit ideas and provide input during a 21-day period beginning July 3, 2017 and ending July 24, 2017 at this online form: goo.gl/CYxqM5.  The BLM will incorporate information from this effort in a report to Secretary Zinke due later this year.

The BLM manages more than 10 percent of the nation’s land and 30 percent of the nation’s subsurface minerals.  Resource management plans (RMPs) provide a framework for land use authorization decisions on BLM-managed public lands, including those relating to subsurface Federal minerals.  Most such land use authorization decisions are preceded by review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  Through the public NEPA process, the BLM analyzes the effects of proposed plans and land use authorization decisions and discloses them to the public.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask the BLM in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

https://www.blm.gov/node/12842

 

GTO and FE Announce Joint FY17 SubTER Lab Call Selections

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) and the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced the selection of 5 projects to receive up to $15 million in funding to investigate wellbore integrity research subjects via a Lab Call announcement. This funding opportunity will address two topic areas: 1) Wellbore Diagnostics and Integrity assessment in legacy wells, and 2) Sensors and Tools for Autonomous Completions and Long Term Monitoring of Wellbore Integrity.

The Lab Call is part of a larger effort to address technical challenges associated with operating in the subsurface. In response, DOE has established an integrated technology team that encompasses DOE offices involved in subsurface activities that are aligned with energy production/extraction, subsurface storage of energy and carbon dioxide, subsurface waste disposal and environmental remediation, as well as analysis associated with the subsurface.

GTO and FE partnered in response to a report published by FE in October 2016 titled, Ensuring Safe and Reliable Underground Natural Gas Storage. The report states that to lower the risk for wellbore failure, operators should prioritize integrity tests that provide hard data on well performance through monitoring, logging, and mechanical integrity testing. Well Integrity testing should also use multiple methodologies and not rely on a single diagnostics, and use continuous real time monitoring.

The selected awardees include: Sandia National Laboratories National Energy and Technology Laboratory Los Alamos National Laboratory Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/391516618/gto-and-fe-announce-joint-fy17-subter-lab-call-selections

 

Headlines

 

AU and New Zealand sign partner to provide geothermal energy

https://www.newsghana.com.gh/au-and-new-zealand-sign-partner-to-provide-geothermal-energy/

Hungary opens tender for geothermal concession in the Southeast of the country

http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/hungary-opens-tender-for-geothermal-concession-in-the-southeast-of-the-country/

Construction contract signed for Croatia’s first geothermal plant

http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/construction-contract-signed-for-croatias-first-geothermal-plant/

Four Green Technologies Growing Fast Enough To Achieve Zero-Emissions World, IEA Says

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2017/07/02/solar-and-wind-growth-on-track-for-a-zero-emissions-world-international-energy-agency-says/#2f81f9907779

GDC starts exploration works for Baringo-Silali geothermal project

http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/gdc-starts-exploration-works-for-baringo-silali-geothermal-project/

Cost of power to fall as Kenya begins to use high-capacity transmission line

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/07/04/cost-of-power-to-fall-as-kenya-begins-to-use-high-capacity_c1590148

Geothermal power line to be commissioned in Mombasa

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001246075/geothermal-power-line-to-be-commissioned-in-mombasa

KenGen and GDC looking at geothermal expansion beyond Olkaria and Menengai

http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/kengen-and-gdc-looking-at-geothermal-expansion-beyond-olkaria-and-menengai/

Japan’s Megabanks Vie for Top Role as Backers of Clean Energy

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-29/japan-s-megabanks-vie-for-top-role-as-backers-of-clean-energy

KenGen applies for further geothermal exploration licence

https://www.esi-africa.com/news/kengen-applies-geothermal-exploration-licence/

EO cuts red tape in issuance of permits for power projects

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/eo-cuts-red-tape-in-issuance-of-permits-for-power-projects/

The Philippines is aiming for an energy boom with Duterte’s latest reform

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/12/the-philippines-is-aiming-for-an-energy-boom-with-dutertes-latest-reform.html

Training on Advanced Remote Sensing for Geothermal Exploration

https://www.geocap.nl/index.php/news/148-training-on-advanced-remote-sensing-for-geothermal-exploration

Workshop to be held on deepening Newberry well in Oregon to reach over 450 °C

http://www.thinkgeoenergy.com/workshop-to-held-on-deepening-newberry-well-in-oregon-to-reach-over-450-c/

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