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spacerApril 2003, Issue No. 5

Dr. Roy Mink Named New Director of DOE Geothermal Program

Indian Tribes Focus on Renewable Energy

BLM Report IDs Best Geothermal Sites for Development


What's Going On
A calendar of events of interest in the 19 states of GeoPowering the West, and across the U.S.A.

State Roundup
A summary of what is going on in the region as a whole, and the GeoPowering the West states

Current Solicitations
Money available from state and federal governments and private sources

Tell us what you think...
Send us your comments, story ideas, state news, etc.

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Dr. Roy Mink Named New Director of DOE Geothermal Program

Leland ("Roy") Mink became the new Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Geothermal Program in February. Dr. Mink replaced Peter Goldman who will direct R&D activities for DOE's wind and hydropower programs.

Dr. Roy Mink, DOE Geothermal Program DirectorDr. Mink has held a wide range of positions in the public and private sectors, academia, and industry. He began his career as an hydrogeologist with the Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology (1972-1975), and was associate professor of hydrogeology at Boise State University (1975, 1982-1985). Dr. Mink also served as a research geohydrologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Las Vegas (1976).

The new program director is no stranger to the Federal Government, having served with DOE as a geothermal energy project manager in Washington, D.C. and Idaho Falls (1977-1980). He also has industry experience, working as an hydrologist and project engineer for Morrison-Knudson in Boise for most of the 1980s. Prior to accepting the DOE directorship, Dr. Mink was professor of hydrogeology at the University of Idaho-Moscow, and director of the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute.

Dr. Mink has a B.S. in math and science from Idaho State University, and an M.S. in hydrology and Ph.D. in geology from the University of Idaho (Source: Geothermal Resources Council GRC Bulletin, January/February 2003).

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Indian Tribes Focus on Renewable Energy

Over 200 people—representing 39 Indian Tribes, U.S. and state governments, industry, and nonprofit organizations—gathered in New Mexico in mid-April to consider sustainable energy on Tribal Lands. The Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) and The Pueblo of Santa Ana, hosted the National Tribal Sustainability Conference 15-16 April at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in Bernalillo, New Mexico.

The conference opened with a general session featuring remarks by A. David Lester, CERT Executive Director; Glenn Tenorio, Lieutenant Governor of The Santa Ana Pueblo; Joanna Prukop, Secretary, New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department; David Garman, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), DOE; Rebecca Watson, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals, Department of the Interior (DOI); and Robert Middleton, Director of the White House Taskforce on Energy Project Streamlining.

The general session culminated with the "Monster's Ball," a provocative interactive discussion of critical issues driven by lively audience participation.

The "Monster Slayers"
The "Monster Slayers" at the "Monster's Ball"
From left to right: Patricia Limmerick Nelson, Chair to the Board of Directors, Center for the American West; LaDonna Harris, Founder, Americans for Indian Opportunities; A. David Lester, CERT Executive Director; and Peter Pino, Zia Tribal Administrator.

The remainder of the conference was composed of four tracks: Re-NEW-able Energy, How Tough is TUF (Tribal Utility Formation), Navigating Federal Waters, and Waste-to-Wealth.

CERT was founded by Indian Tribes out of necessity and a profound sense of collective self-confidence that they could chart a new course of prudent development that would address Tribal priorities and values while contributing to a more secure energy future for all Americans. CERT currently has 29 member Tribes. For more information, see the CERT website.

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BLM Report IDs Best Geothermal Sites for Development

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) report, “Opportunities for Near-Term Geothermal Development on Public Lands in the Western United States,” identifies 35 "top pick" sites in six western states for near-term development of geothermal energy for power generation. Of the 35 sites, 10 are in Nevada, 9 in California, 7 in Oregon, and 3 each in New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. The report was prepared for BLM and DOE's EERE Office by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and released on 14 April.


California (9)


Glass Mountain
Mono-Long Valley
Salton Sea
East Mesa
Lake City–Surprise Valley
Nevada (10)
Fish Lake
Salt Wells
Soda Lake
Dixie Valley
Rye Patch
San Emidio
New Mexico (3)
Lightning Dock
Radium Springs
Tortugas Mountain
Oregon (7)
Klamath Falls
Summer Lake
Malheur River
Newberry Crater
Utah (3)
Roosevelt Hot Springs
Thermo Hot Springs
Cove Fort-Sulphurdale
Washington (3)
Mt. Adams area
Mt. Baker area
Wind River area

DOE and DOI compiled the report to satisfy President Bush's recommendation made in his National Energy Policy that called for a revaluation of access limitation for public lands for renewable energy production. The federal government’s last comprehensive look at geothermal potential was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1978.

Assistant Interior Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson, who discussed the report in her remarks at the CERT conference, called the report "good news you can use" for the industry. She added that federal land managers will use the report in prioritizing the development and use of geothermal energy resources on public lands. Forty-eight percent of all geothermal power in the United States is produced on federal lands.

Click here to obtain copy of report

Written by Barbara C. Farhar and Donna M. Heimiller, the report is available online in PDF format from NREL's website, or by clicking on the graphic above. A 43-MB ZIP file or 168-MB ZIP file are both available. You may also obtain a copy of the report by writing Barbara Farhar at Email:

Also available is "Assessing the Potential for Renewable Energy on Public Lands," a report which studied all types of renewable resources on BLM, Tribal, and Forest Service lands. For more information on this report, see the DOI News Release. To obtain the report in PDF format, see the EERE FEMP Technical Assistance webpage.

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What's Going On

  • 7-9 May
    Tribal Consultation
    Duke University
    Durham, NC

  • 12-14 May
    National Geothermal Collaborative Steering Committee
    Denver, CO
    Email: Kathleen Rutherford, RESOLVE, Inc. at

  • 14-18 June
    American Public Power Association 2003 National Conference
    Nashville, TN

  • 22-24 June
    94th Annual International District Energy Association (IDEA) Conference & Trade Show
    Philadelphia, PA

  • 24-25 June
    Renewable Energy Summit
    San Francisco, CA

  • 12 July
    Sustainability Fair 2003
    Livingston, MT

  • 21-25 July
    National Conference of State Legislatures
    2003 Annual Meeting & Exhibition: Connecting America
    San Francisco, CA

  • 23-25 July
    Tribal Consultation - Montana
    The University of Montana School of Law
    Missoula, MT

  • 25-27 July
    Fifth Annual SolWest Renewable Energy Fair
    John Day, OR

  • 7-8 August
    Southwest Renewable Energy Conference
    Flagstaff, AZ
  • 8-10 August
    Southwest Renewable Energy Fair
    Flagstaff, AZ

  • 17-20 August
    Energy 2003: Real World, Real Solutions - An Energy Efficiency Workshop and Exposition
    Lake Buena Vista, FL

  • 26-28 August
    Nevada Energy Showcase
    Elko, NV

  • 3-4 September
    Indian Energy Solutions 2003
    The American Spirit Award Dinner
    San Diego, CA

  • 9 September
    GeoPowering the West State Summit
    Boise, ID
    Email: Gordon Bloomquist, Washington State University Energy Program, at

  • 10 September
    Direct Use Workshop
    Boise, ID
    Email: Bob Neilson, Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory, at

  • 11 September
    Idaho Geothermal Working Group Meeting
    Boise, ID
    Email: Gerry Galinato, Idaho Department of Water Resources, at

  • 13-16 September
    Western Governors' Association Annual Meeting
    Big Sky, MT

  • 15-19 September
    Preparing and Documenting Environmental Impact Analyses
    Duke University
    Durham, North Carolina

  • 18 September
    Arizona Geothermal Working Group Meeting
    Phoenix, AZ
    Email: Amanda Ormond, The Ormond Group, at

  • 1-3 October
    Sustainable Energy Expo & Conference
    Los Angeles, CA

  • 12-15 October
    Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) 2003 Annual Meeting
    Held in conjunction with the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE)
    Morelia, Mexico

  • 3-7 November
    Implementation of NEPA on Federal Lands and Facilities
    Duke University
    Durham, NC

  • 1-3 March 2004
    POWER-GEN Renewable Energy
    Las Vegas, NV

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State Roundup

Send your news, events, etc. to the Editor.

Select a state:

American Samoa

South Dakota


  • To facilitate new geothermal project development, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is publicizing information on U.S. geothermal projects on its website. Information listed will include project name and location; project type, e.g., electric power, direct use, or combined heat and power; project status; and contact information. You do not need to be a GEA member to have your project listed. For more information, or to have your project added, contact GEA at Tel: (202) 454-5261 or by Email:

  • U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced a bipartisan measure to spur energy production on Indian lands on 14 February. The "Tribal Energy Self-Sufficiency Act" (S. 424) would create a "Comprehensive Indian Energy Program" at DOE to help tribes develop their energy resources with grants and loans, cut governmental red tape, and provide incentives for the development of renewable energy on Indian lands. "Energy production on tribal lands holds great promise," Senator Bingaman stated, "It is my belief that we can help meet our future energy needs by tapping into those resources. At the same time, such a move would provide new economic development opportunities in Indian Country, where jobs are scarce." The bill has been referred to the Indian Affairs Committee.

  • BLM is requesting a fiscal year 2004 budget of $1.7 billion, an increase of $42.8 million over the Administration's 2003 budget proposal. The new budget request includes $3.6 million in funds to promote energy development on public lands and to monitor the effects of energy production over time. "The BLM is more committed than ever to our multiple use mission," said BLM Director Kathleen Clarke. "With this 2004 budget request, we will be better able to address issues that arise from diverse uses of BLM-managed public lands. This budget proposal will also strengthen the BLM's role as a manager of abundant and diverse energy resources, which will help America meet its energy needs both today and in the years to come." For more information, see the BLM Press Release.

  • "The Economics of Connecting Small Buildings to Geothermal District Heating Systems," written by Kevin Rafferty, is printed in the March 2003 Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin (Vol. 24, No. 1). Using HeatMap software developed by geothermal experts at the Energy Program at Washington State University, the author concludes that district heating in small sites identified in an earlier study are not economically attractive. The article is available in PDF format from the Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin website.

  • A study by Platts Research & Consulting (PR&C) conservatively estimates that generating
    electricity from renewable sources can ultimately save consumers more than $5.00/MWh by eliminating fuel price risk. The study, "Power Price Stability: What's It Worth?" comprehensively assesses the risks associated with possible natural gas price escalation
    and price volatility, along with the costs associated with guaranteeing gas delivery.

  • With support from the Energy Foundation, the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) is beginning work with the United Steelworkers of America, District 11 on a Manual exploring how Renewable Portfolio Standards can shape and deliver important economic benefits to organized labor and working families in general. The aim is to produce a Manual for a labor audience new to energy and environmental policy matters, and additionally useful to all parties involved with the development of RPS proposals. For more information, see the REPP website.

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  • The University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory (AETDL) is accepting pre-proposals to conduct projects to develop and deploy technologies for satisfying Alaska’s unique energy needs. Proposals on electrical power generation technologies for rural and remote regions and fossil energy will be accepted. Pre-proposals are due 30 May. For more information, see Current Solicitations.

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American Samoa

No news.

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For further information on the Arizona Geothermal Work Group (AzGeo), contact:

Amanda Ormond
The Ormond Group
Tel: (480) 491-3305

  • The Arizona Geothermal Working Group met in Phoenix on 30 January. Roger Hill, Technical Director for GeoPowering the West (GPW) of Sandia National Laboratories, reported on GPW organizational activities. Steve Munson of Vulcan Power, Paul Morgan of Northern Arizona University, and Jim Witcher of New Mexico State University reported on various Arizona geothermal resources and activities. An in-depth discussion was held on the Arizona Environmental Portfolio Standard (EPS) and what role, if any, the working group should have in the support of or action to modify the existing standard.

    The next meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held in the Clifton area in early May. Agenda items will include a tour of Vulcan's geothermal project site, progress on collecting resource information, the EPS, and State Energy Program funding. For more information, contact Amanda Ormond, Email:

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  • Geothermal developers—the Public Renewables Partnership (PRP) wants you! The PRP, a group that includes municipal utilities and electric cooperatives, is looking for more geothermal power to supply the California market. The group is preparing a portfolio of geothermal resources in California and western Nevada that are or will be capable of power generation. Utility members will use the information to get more geothermal megawatts on-line in the near future, potentially creating new business opportunities for geothermal companies. GeothermEx, Inc. is conducting the study for PRP, with funding from the California Energy Commission. For more information, contact Jim Lovekin, Tel: (510) 527-9876, Email: To complete the questionnaire (in PDF format), click here.

  • "The Geothermal Map of California," written by Susan F. Hodgson of the California Department of Conservation, is printed in the March 2003 Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin (Vol. 24, No. 1). The map is the "most comprehensive" geothermal map of California and lists direct use geothermal sites in the state. The article includes both a black-and-white version of the map and information about how to secure a copy of the inexpensive full-color version. The article is available in PDF format from the Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin website.

  • The California Energy Commission has published Notice of Awards for the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program (EISG). Of the total 12 grants, two are for geothermal-related projects. Thermochem, Inc. was awarded $74,940 for a project to consider dry steam scrubbing for impurity removal from geothermal steam. Two-Phase Engineering & Research received $75,000 for a geothermal reclaimed water turbine project. For information on the current cycle of EISG funding, see the Current Solicitations.

  • With energy in California continuing to be an issue of critical importance, and with the governor signing into law the requirement for the three publicly owned utilities in California to have 20% of their energy mix in renewable by 2017, there is renewed interest in leasing federal lands for geothermal energy. Since September 2000, 20 new noncompetitive lease applications covering a total of 30,400 acres have been submitted to BLM. Most of the applications are for federal lands in Imperial County. Rents and royalties associated with federal leases in California generated over $15 million in FY 2002 (Source: BLM California Issue Updates).

  • Calpine Corporation announced in March that it has signed a long-term power sales agreement to provide Southern California Edison with 200 MW of geothermal energy from The Geysers. Calpine signed a similar agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company for 110 MW of geothermal power, and has signed contracts for its geothermal plants to contribute to power reliability in northern California. For more information, see Calpine's press releases of 7 January, 26 February, and 17 March.

  • The Siskiyou County Air Pollution Control Board certified an Environmental Impact Report for the 49-MW Telephone Flat geothermal plant in late February. Certification is the last official hurdle to the plant's construction. Appeals have been filed against the decision by the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center and the Save Medicine Lake Coalition (Source: The Mount Shasta Archives).

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  • Two bills providing for renewable energy standards were defeated in the Colorado legislature in the 2003 session. House Bill 1295 called for the state’s two investor-owned utilities to provide a minimum of 500 MW of renewable energy by 2006, 900 MW by 2010, and 1,800 MW by 2020. It was defeated in the Colorado Senate Business Affairs & Labor Committee 12 March on a 4-3 vote.

    Senate Bill 151 called for Xcel Energy to provide a minimum of 400 MW of renewable energy by 2005, 800 MW by 2010, and 1,500 MW by 2020. The bill provided a 4.5¢ cost cap, establishment of a credit-trading system and triple credit for solar resources and a 150% credit for renewable energy generated in Colorado’s rural areas. In addition, it provided double credit for small (less than 5 MW) generators and for energy generated on Indian reservations. It was killed by a 4-6 party-line vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 11 April.

    Opponents of both bills argued against “government mandates,” claiming that the legislation would force them to pass “increased costs” along to their consumers. They called for the “market” to accommodate increased renewable power generation. For additional discussion of both bills, see the Colorado Coalition for New Energy Technologies Update (28 April 2003), and the Colorado General Assembly website.

  • Fort Collins leaders have adopted the first renewable-energy standard in the state, requiring that an additional 15% of the city's electricity come from renewable energy by 2017. The ordinance was approved 25 March. About 25% of the city's electricity comes from renewable energy, primarily from hydropower. Most of the additional renewable energy likely would come from wind power.

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  • Puna Geothermal Venture's (PGV) has a contract to deliver 30 MW to Hawai'i Electric Light Co. (HELCO) but is currently delivering only 5 MW, costing the power plant more than $10.5 million in lost revenue and penalties. The new KS-5 well, completed recently, is producing 25-30% steam, resulting in much lower output than expected.

    Managing owner, Constellation Energy Group, must decide whether to drill another production well or install new binary equipment. While expensive, PGV official Barry Mizuno said a binary system utilizing both steam and hot water would make the most of the available resource, especially since the trend is toward more water and less steam. The plant is currently reinjecting 400°F water. KS-5 replaces well KS-11 which failed last April and has been converted into a reinjection well. PGV is permitted to produce 60 MW.

    The Big Island's demand for electricity is growing by about 3% annually and peaks near 170 MW daily.

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For further information on the Idaho Geothermal Working Group, contact:

Gerry Galinato
Energy Division,
Idaho Department of Water Resources
Tel: (208) 327-7963
  • Idatherm, created in 2003 by father and son Carl and Richard Austin, plans to build a privately owned and financed 100 MW geothermal power plant at Willow Springs along Dan Creek Road. The basis of the project is the American Quesar King 2 #1 well. Drilled in 1978, it found 480°F-water at 12,800-12,900 feet with good production and a brine dissolved solids content of 30,000 ppm. Idatherm will initially drill three wells and expects to start in September 2003 with the first plant on the ground in two years. Idatherm is currently obtaining permits and looking at environmental issues. The site is close to power transmission lines from the Palisades Dam; power could be sold to Idaho Power and PacifiCorp. Idatherm has two other geothermal electric prospects in Idaho, both based on old mining prospects from the 1960s. One is expected to be dry steam. Carl Austin has been involved in geothermal development for over 40 years, and helped to develop the Coso Geothermal Project.

  • Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Karl Dreher, who oversees the state Energy Division, talked about the renewable energy gold rush underway when he addressed the Governor's Awards Luncheon at the Harvesting Clean Energy Conference/Idaho Ag Summit in Boise on 11 February. "I believe Idaho is entering into a golden era of renewable energy development," he stated, "A decade or so from now we will look back with amazement at how far we will have come and probably wonder why we didn't do it sooner." For more information, see the Harvesting Clean Energy website.

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No news.

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  • The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has compiled a list of all incentives—tax and otherwise—that the state offers for renewable energy development. Some are for individuals, some are for businesses, some are for both. Not all the non-tax incentives on the list are fully funded at this time. The incentives apply to most kinds of renewable energy. For more information, see DEQ's website.

  • You can track energy bills in the 2003 Montana Legislature Green Power Preference List. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Preference List Searching." To log on, the user name is "Montanagreenpower," the password is "montanagreen" (Source: Montana Green Power E-Newsletter, January 2003).

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No news.

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For further information on geothermal in Nevada, contact:

John Snow
Program Manager - Oil, Gas, and Geothermal
Nevada Division of Minerals
Tel: (775) 684-7045

  • The Nevada Division of Minerals issued the first Nevada Geothermal Update in March 2003. The monthly publication summarizes geothermal developments across the state, including current power operations, direct use operations, other active areas, and other news. It is supported by DOE's GPW program. To obtain a copy of Nevada Geothermal Update in PDF format, see the Nevada Division of Minerals website. To receive the newsletter via email, contact Linda Wells, Tel: (775) 684-7042, Email:

  • Geothermal developers—the Public Renewables Partnership (PRP) wants you! The PRP, a group that includes municipal utilities and electric cooperatives, is looking for more geothermal power to supply the California market. The group is preparing a portfolio of geothermal resources in California and western Nevada that are or will be capable of power generation. Utility members will use the information to get more geothermal megawatts on-line in the near future, potentially creating new business opportunities for geothermal companies. GeothermEx, Inc. is conducting the study for PRP, with funding from the California Energy Commission. For more information, contact Jim Lovekin, Tel: (510) 527-9876, Email: To complete the questionnaire (in PDF format), click here.

  • The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously approved Nevada's first six contracts under a renewable energy law on 6 March. The contracts would provide enough electricity in 2005 and 2006 for Nevada Power to comply with the non-solar portion of the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. The six contracts include four geothermal plants totaling 107 MW—25 MW at Desert Peak 2, 13 MW at Desert Peak 3 (ORMAT), 25 MW at Hot Sulphur Springs (Earth Power Resources), and 44 MW at Steamboat IV (Advanced Thermal Systems)—and two wind facilities totaling 130 MW. All projects are expected to become operational by Summer 2005. Under the contracts, Nevada Power will pay 4.2-5.2¢/kWh for electricity over the next 20 years. For more information, see the PUC Press Release in PDF format only.

  • Sierra and Nevada Power will issue another renewables Request For Proposals (RFP) in early summer 2003. For more information, see the Nevada Power website, or contact Colin Duncan, Staff Consultant for Resource Contracts, Sierra Pacific Power Company, Email:

  • The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) will use geothermal energy to supply all the energy needed by its new Redfield Campus. Under the terms of a 30-year agreement with UNR, Advanced Thermal Systems, Inc. (ATS) will build and operate an 11-MW geothermal power plant adjacent to the campus. The power plant will provide electricity and hot and chilled water to the university, using an absorption cooling system. ATS expects to sell excess electricity to Sierra Pacific. The new campus is expected to open next year. For more information, see the UNR Press Release.

  • The UNR-Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, in partnership with PRESCO Energy LLC and Apollo Gold Inc./Florida Canyon Mining Inc., has received $499,997 for the "Exploratory Drilling Program to Evaluate the Lifetime and Current Potential of the Florida Canyon Geothermal System, Pershing County Nevada." The program's objectives are to develop new methods of evaluating the lifetime and resource potential of geothermal systems in general, and to develop the geothermal resources within the Humboldt House Geothermal Area (HHGA), which may be the single largest geothermal production field in Nevada. For more information, contact Gina Tempel at Email:

  • The Nevada Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Task Force, established to administer the state's Trust Fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, released its first legislative report on 30 January. According to that report, the task force will work the Nevada State Energy Office to improve renewable energy resource assessment and examine solutions to power transmission constraints within the state. The task force will also examine credit trading systems for renewable power producers, evaluate market incentives, consider new energy codes for buildings, and expand the state's public outreach efforts. The task force's legislative report is available from the task force's webpage.

    According to a study commissioned by the task force, Nevada could realize nearly $21.5 billion in gross state product and grow thousands of jobs through the year 2035 by simply meeting the state's renewable portfolio standard. The study, conducted by Mary Riddel, Ph.D., and Keith Schwer, Ph.D., of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, examined the potential for energy generation using renewable energy sources within Nevada. It was released to the Nevada Legislature on 7 April. To obtain a copy of the report, entitled, "The Potential Economic Impact of Nevada's Renewable Energy Resources" contact Misty Young at Email:

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New Mexico

For further information on the New Mexico Geothermal Working Group, contact:

Christopher Wentz
Director, Energy Conservation and Management Division
New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources
Tel: (505) 476-3312

  • House Bill 949 passed during the New Mexico legislature's regular 2003 session. The bill, "Potable Water as Geothermal Resource Use," provides that the incidental use of heat from potable water is not a geothermal resource and therefore does not give rise to an obligation to pay royalties and is not subject to the Geothermal Resources Conservation Act. The bill was amended in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to include only those resources with a temperature of less than 250°F. It was signed into law 15 March (Source: Colorado Coalition for New Energy Technologies Update [28 April 2003]). For more information, see the New Mexico Legislature website.

  • “New Mexico Geothermal Resources & Utilization” is the title of the December 2002 issue of the Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin. The issue contains a wealth of information about a state that is rich in geothermal resources and is actively using them. There is an overview article about the entire state as well as articles about specific areas such as Valles Caldera, Fenton Hill, Gila Hot Springs, and others. To obtain a copy of the Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin on New Mexico (Vol. 23, No. 4) in PDF format, see the Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin webpage.

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North Dakota

No news.

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No news.

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For further information on geothermal activities in Oregon, contact:

Kevin Rafferty
Associate Director, Geo-Heat Center
Oregon Institute of Technology
Tel: (541) 885-1750

  • The Department of the Interior has been directed to double the amount of geothermal
    drilling permits that they approve this fiscal year, part of the Bush Administration's push to streamline domestic energy exploration in Western states. According to BLM, currently 80 applications for geothermal leases are pending on national forests in Oregon.

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South Dakota

No news.

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No news.

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For further information on the Utah Geothermal Working Group, contact:

Bob Blackett
Senior Geologist, Utah Geological Survey
Tel: (435) 865-8139

  • The first meeting of the Utah Geothermal Working Group (UGWG) was held at the Utah
    Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices in Salt Lake City on 4 March. Rick Allis of the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) chaired the meeting, supported by Christine Watson and Glade Sowards of the Utah Energy Office (UEO), and Bob Blackett also of UGS.
    Attendees introduced themselves, after which DNR staff provided background information on the purpose of the working group. Following a short break, the floor was opened for a discussion of general issues and perceived impediments to geothermal development in Utah. It was decided that the UGWG would continue if there were enough interest. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for August or September. For more information, contact Bob Blackett, Tel: (435) 865-8139, or Email at

  • In the 2003 session of the Utah legislature, a renewable energy standard bill, House Bill 89, was introduced. Calling for renewable energy generation by regulated utilities of 4% by 2005, 7% by 2010, and 10% by 2013, the bill went through several amendments. The final version removed all language regarding a renewable energy standard, leaving only the sales tax incentive. The incentive includes state tax exemption on purchases or leases of machinery or equipment after 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2008. The equipment must have an economic life of 10 or more years, be installed as a part of a renewable energy production facility (in Utah), and be built or expanded after 1 July 2003.

  • The Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) is a nonprofit group that is part of the University of Utah. EGI has been doing U.S. Department of Energy-funded geothermal R&D for the past 25 years. For more information, contact Pete Rose, Research Assistant Professor, Email:

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For further information on geothermal activities in Washington, contact:

Gordon Bloomquist
Geothermal, Hydrothermal & Integrated Energy Systems
Washington State University
Tel: (360) 956-2016

  • Revised House Bill 1544, which called for the establishment of an Energy Portfolio Standard (EPS), received narrow approval in early March from the House Technology, Telecommunications, and Energy (TTE) Committee but died in the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. The TTE-approved version of the bill required utilities to meet 5% of their retail loads with renewables and conservation by 2009, increasing to 10% by 2014. Most of the new generation would come from windpower and biomass. Washington has an estimated 300 MW of geothermal electricity generation potential. For more information, see the Con.WEB or Renew Washington websites.

  • Renewable energy and energy conservation resources could furnish all of Washington state's projected electric load growth over the next 12 years, according to study done by the Washington Public Interest Research Group (WashPIRG) Foundation, The assessment, Clean, Affordable, Reliable: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Washington, found "huge untapped potential" for renewables and efficiency in the Evergreen State, enough to meet the 2,000 average MW additional demand forecast by 2015. It also concluded that many geothermal projects can produce electricity at a lower cost than fossil fuels when external lifecycle costs of electricity generation are taken into account, and that widespread direct use of geothermal resources can greatly reduce electricity demand. The report is available in PDF format from WashPIRG's website.

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No news.

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Current Solicitations

The Seattle Regional Office (SRO) of the U.S. Department of Energy publishes a monthly funding opportunity newsletter which contains solicitations currently offered by foundations and public agencies to support research and implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable development, and related environmental activities. The April 2003 issue contains 39 Government- and nonprofit-sponsored solicitations and 88 foundation solicitations. To obtain current and past issues of the "Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Open Solicitations Summary" in PDF format, see the SRO-Solicitations Archive webpage. To sign up to receive the electronic funding newsletters via email, write to Laurie Brown at Include your email address in the body of the message.

The following solicitations and requests for proposals may be of interest to geothermal developers and entrepreneurs.

California Energy Commission
Energy Technology Export Program
International Energy Fund (IEF) Solicitation

Due 7 May 2003

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is pursuing a variety of activities to promote international exports of California products and services through its Energy Technology Export Program. Through the International Energy Fund (IEF), the Export Program is authorized to assist California energy firms by providing funds for international energy projects.

Proposals for energy technology export sales or projects are not limited to any country, as long as they do not involve work in countries for which the U.S. government has banned business activity by American firms as of 19 March 2003, the U.S. government prohibits U.S. companies or individuals from conducting business transactions with Cuba, Libya, Albania, North Korea, Iraq and Iran. The CEC has established a 5% scoring preferences for work in Mexico or South Korea.

Total funding for this solicitation is $250,000. The CEC anticipates making awards of up to $25,000 per pre-construction activity. Applicants are required to provide at least 50% of the total cost of the preconstruction activity to be eligible for this fund.

Proposals are due 7 May with awards expected to made in June.

For more information, see the CEC Requests for Funding website.

2003 State Energy Program (SEP) Special Projects
Geothermal Outreach Program

Due 9 May 2003

DOE's EERE Office is anticipating the availability of financial assistance to the States for a group of special project activities. States may apply to undertake any of the projects being offered by these programs. Financial Assistance will be awarded to the States separately for each special project, with activities to be carried out in conjunction with their efforts under SEP.

Under the SEP Geothermal Outreach Program, funding will be provided for outreach and information sharing with State-based agricultural or rural sectors in States with direct use geothermal resources. Additional funding will be provided for projects that update the inventory of geothermal resources in a given State. Estimated total funding is $300,000.

Eligible applicants under this solicitation are the 50 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands. Applications must be submitted by the State Energy Office or other agency responsible for administering the State Energy Program. States may, however, work in collaboration with non-State partners.

Applications are due 9 May 2003 by 8:00 PM EST.

Click here for the solicitation.

California Energy Commission (CEC)
Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program
Solicitation 03-01

Pre-proposal abstracts due 9 May 2003

The California Energy Commission announces their continuing interest in receiving proposals for the Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program. The EISG provides funding to small businesses, small nonprofits, individuals, and academic institutions for establishing the feasibility of new energy concepts. Qualifying entities outside of California are eligible.

Projects must develop innovative and original energy concepts that address a clear market need, provide benefit for California electricity ratepayers and target one or more areas of interest: industrial, agricultural, or water end-use efficiency; building end-use efficiency; advanced generation; renewable generation; energy-related environmental research; and strategic energy research.

A maximum of $80,000 is available per grant project and is allocated as follows: (a) up to $75,000 to Awardee for grant work; (b) up to $5,000 is reserved to Program Administrator for development of an independent feasibility analysis report and project management contingency. Approximately $2.4 million per year are allocated to EISG grants.

EISG has up to four cycles of grants a year. For the current Solicitation 03-01, pre-proposal abstracts are due 9 May; grant applications are due 30 May.

For more information on the current solicitation, see the CEC EISG website.

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory
Round 2

Pre-proposals due 30 May 2003

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory (AETDL) is accepting pre-proposals to conduct projects to develop and deploy technologies for satisfying Alaska’s unique energy needs. Proposals on electrical power generation technologies for rural and remote regions and fossil energy will be accepted.

Areas of interest include:

  1. Remote power generation technologies in arctic climates, including, but not limited to, fossil, wind, geothermal, fuel cells, and small hydroelectric facilities;
  2. Fossil energy areas including, but not limited to gas-to-liquids technology and liquefied natural gas (including associated transportation systems).

As a general rule, individual proposals are suggested not to exceed $350,000 per year from AETDL. Larger projects may be suitable for funding within other DOE funding streams, and submission to these programs will be encouraged where appropriate.

Project awards are dependent on available funding, and will be announced after the DOE review is completed, and the task is added to the AETDL cooperative agreement. Since AETDL has no guarantee of continued funding or any control over the timing of the DOE review and approval process, project funding start dates cannot be given.

One-page pre-proposals for consideration in FY 2004 funding cycle are due by close of business 30 May 2003.

For more information, see the AETDL Proposal Process webpage, or contact Dennis Witmer at

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS)
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grant Program

Due 6 June 2003

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) of the U.S. Department of Energy has $23 million in competitive grant funds for FY 2003 to help farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses develop renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. The solicitation is issued pursuant to Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill.

Applicants for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program must be agricultural producers or rural small businesses, U.S. citizens or legal residents, and have demonstrated financial need. Rural Development grant funds may be used to pay up to 25% of the eligible project costs. Eligible projects include those that derive energy from a wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal sources, or hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources. Awards will be made on a competitive basis for the purchase of renewable energy systems and to make energy improvements.

For additional information on the grant program, see the USDA Rural Development website, or the 8 April Federal Register notice.

Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate USDA State Rural Development Office, and postmarked no later than 6 June 2003.


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The Geothermal newsletter is produced for the U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program under Contract No. DE-FG03-01SF22365.

Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Government or any agency thereof.

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The Geothermal Newsletter is produced by:
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