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spacerApril 2006, Issue No. 22

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Federal Update
Bureau of Land Management News
Geopowering the West Announces Project Awards
Geothermal power production poised to increase
DOE Geothermal Legacy Project archives thousands of old documents on website for easy access—You can help
Geothermal Calendar of Events
Current Solicitations
National News
State Roundup

Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Hawai'i
Idaho

Oregon
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wyoming


Capitol Building
Federal Update
  • President Bush's Fiscal Year 2007 budget closed out the Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Program, including the award-winning GeoPowering the West Program, as of 1 October 2006; removed the dedicated five-year fund created to implement the Geothermal Steam Act amendments; and eliminated the 25% royalty share for counties. According to the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) in a letter to the House and Senate Budget Committees, the administration's proposed budget undermines the clear intent of Congress expressed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) to expand geothermal energy production, and threatens U.S. technological leadership.

  • The House and Senate are preparing to act on their FY07 Energy and Water Appropriations bills. The House Energy and Water Subcommittee could mark-up its bill as early as the week of 8 May. The Senate is expected to act shortly thereafter.

    Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated that there will be a fully funded geothermal program when the Energy and Water Subcommittee completes its work on the bill.

  • On 13 March 2006, Senators Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT), the Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation that would extend the federal production tax credit (PTC) for geothermal and other renewable technologies. S. 2401, the Alternative Energy Extender Act, would extend the placed in service date to 1 January 2011. "It makes sense to use the tax code to develop alternative energy,” Senator Grassley said. Senator Baucus said, “...we simply need to do more to encourage investment and clean energy use." The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • On 24 March 2006, a bipartisan coalition of 22 Senators led by Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) sent a letter to Senate appropriators requesting a minimum of $23 million in funding for the Section 9006 Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program for FY07. The letter notes that over the past three years, Section 9006 programs have invested nearly $62 million in 270 projects resulting in an estimated return of nearly $834 million, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. For more information.

  • On 29 March 2006, Representatives Tom Udall (D-NM) and Tom Petri (R-WI) introduced H.R. 5049, the "Keep America Competitive Global Warming Policy Act of 2006," a bill that would establish a market-based system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and promote advanced energy research and technology development and deployment. "We believe it is time for America to take steps to address global warming, and we have structured a policy that will not put America's jobs at risk," Senator Udall said.

  • On 6 April 2006, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) introduced S. 2571, the "Breaking Our Long-term Dependence" (BOLD) Energy Act, which includes extending the production tax credit for renewables including geothermal through 2012. "Our dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security and our economy," Senator Conrad said. "It is time to do more than talk about this threat. It is time for a bold plan to end our nation's addiction to foreign sources of energy." The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • Also on 6 April 2006, the House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee of the Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on "The Role of the Federal Government and Federal Lands in Fueling Renewable and Alternative Energy in America." Witnesses included Wayne Arny, U.S. Navy; Roy Mink, Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Program; Marcia Patton-Mallory, U.S. Forest Service; and Brenda Aird, Department of the Interior. Public lands administered by the Department of the Interior produce approximately 50% of the electricity generated from geothermal energy. For more information.

  • Fifty-two (52) Democrats in the House and Senate, including Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NM) and House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), called on President Bush to convene an emergency bipartisan national energy summit to move the United States more quickly toward greater energy independence and security. In their 6 April letter, they wrote: "Given the rapidly evolving global economy and the national security-related challenges we face at the dawn of the 21st Century, it is abundantly clear that a 19th Century approach to our national energy strategy will simply not suffice." For more information.

Source: GEA Update, Geothermal Energy Association (GEA).

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Bureau of Land Management News
  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently drafting geothermal regulations as a result of the EPAct of 2005. The proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register this summer.

  • BLM and the U.S. Forest Service have completed the Geothermal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) called for in the 2005 EPAct, further coordinating geothermal leasing and permitting on Federal lands. The MOU establishes administrative procedures for processing geothermal lease applications, a five-year program of leasing within National Forest System lands and a process for updating the program every five years, and a program for reducing the backlog of geothermal lease applications pending on 8 August 2005 by 90% within the same five-year time period.

    Kermit Witherbee
    Kermit Witherbee, BLM National Geothermal Program Manager, at Yellowstone National Park, September 2005.
    • With the retirement of John Bebout, Kermit Witherbee has become the BLM’s National Geothermal Program Manager.

    Witherbee previously served as Deputy Division Chief in the Fluid Minerals Division at BLM-Washington, D.C.; Fluid Minerals Group Manager and Reservoir Management Branch Chief in the Colorado State

    Office; and District Petroleum Geologist in Craig, Colorado. His career with BLM has included staff and supervisory responsibilities in the oil and gas leasing and management, reservoir management, evaluations, and national level policy development, strategic planning, and budget.

    Prior to joining BLM, Witherbee was an exploration geologist and project manager in private industry in the Rocky Mountains. He also worked for the House of Representatives Resources Committee as a Congressional Fellow during the 107th Congress. Witherbee has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Geology from the State University of New York at Oneonta.


  • As of February 2006, three popular BLM databases are back online: (1) GeoCommunicator, (2) Legacy Rehost 2000 System reports, and (3) Public eForms. The three were temporarily shut down due to ongoing litigation regarding cyber security. The LR2000 System contains applicant and land use data on leases, permits, contracts, agreements, un-patented mining claims, and other use authorizations issued or recorded by the BLM. GeoCommunicator is an interactive map viewer that permits users to search and display LR2000 records on geothermal leases, and download and dynamically map Public Land Survey System (PLSS) data. Public eForms provides customer forms.

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Geopowering the West Announces Project Awards

GeoPowering the West logo

In FY06, DOE's GeoPowering the West is focusing on fostering geothermal projects through 11 state geothermal working groups in the Western U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. The ultimate goal is getting projects on the ground and considering the states' specific needs and energy situations. The projects selected for technical assistance will reduce energy usage, cut costs, enhance productivity, and create or maintain jobs.

The projects will benefit from the engineering talents of the Geo-Heat Center and Millennium Energy, which specialize in feasibility and engineering development of geothermal systems. GeoPowering the West is proud to announce the first of two batches of awards as follows:

  1. Geothermal feasibility study for a greenhouse operation in Wilcox, Arizona;
  2. Mammoth Lakes District Heat/Direct Use Project Review and Feasibility Assessment for Mammoth Lakes, California;
  3. Feasibility study for Myrtle Tree Geothermal Development Project in Canby, California;
  4. Feasibility Study of Direct Use Enterprises in the County of Hawaii on the Big Island, Hawaii;
  5. Nez Perce (Tribe) Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) Feasibility Study ; Idaho
  6. Life Cycle Analysis for Geo-exchange System for the Winnebago Tribe, Nebraska;
  7. Evaluation of New Mexico State University Geothermal District Heating System in Las Cruces, New Mexico;
  8. Feasibility of Geothermal Heat for Sunnyland Farms Tomato Greenhouse and Planned Greenhouse Expansion in Grants County, New Mexico;
  9. Feasibility study of Geothermal Industrial Park in Elko, Nevada;
  10. Feasibility study of Mt. Grant General Hospital Heating System Replacement, Nevada;
  11. Feasibility study of Williston Agriculture Processing Plant/Geothermal, North Dakota;
  12. Feasibility study of Herald and News Building Heating and Cooling in Klamath Falls, Oregon; and
  13. A Template for the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2002 Farm bill Initiative: The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program USDA Farm Bill Section 9006.

For more information, contact Roger Hill, Sandia National Laboratories, Tel: (505) 844-6111, or rrhill@sandia.gov.

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Geothermal power production poised to increase

According to the 2006 Update on US Geothermal Power Production and Development issued by GEA in mid-March, up to 1,455 MW of new geothermal power plant capacity are currently under development in nine states; 157 MW are currently under construction. The survey identified new power projects in nine states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah. The table below lists the projects which are in various developmental phases, from site identification to construction.

State

Geothermal power projects in development
(MWe)

Alaska
20
Arizona
20
California
753
Hawaii
38
Idaho
30
New Mexico
20
Nevada
365
Oregon
140
Utah
69
Total
1,455

"New federal and state initiatives to promote geothermal energy are paying off," commented Karl Gawell, GEA Executive Director. "State renewable standards coupled with the federal production tax credit (PTC) are creating a renaissance in U.S. geothermal power production."

According to the GEA, the most significant catalyst behind this new industry activity was passage of the EPAct in 2005 which extended the PTC to geothermal projects. The FY07 Budget could severely undermine several EPAct initiatives and be a major set-back to the industry's progress.

For more information.

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DOE Geothermal Legacy Project archives thousands of old documents on website for easy access—You can help

The DOE Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP), in partnership with the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) and Princeton Energy Resources International, LLC, is sponsoring a project to collect DOE-sponsored reports and other documents important to the history of the program.

Thousands of Geothermal Legacy documents, many previously available in print only in a handful of archives, are being converted to PDF and electronically stored in a searchable database. To date, the project has archived 3,200 documents, and plans to archive an additional 4,100 in FY06.

To locate geothermal-related citations:

  • Go to OSTI’s DOE Energy Citations Database (ECD).
  • Select Advanced Search (top of page).
  • Set the Field to "Subject" and enter the Value as "Geothermal" (quotation marks not required).
  • To see all Geothermal Legacy publications, return to Advanced Search, set the Field to "Bibliographic Info," and enter the Value as "Geothermal Legacy" (quotation marks required for phrases).

Energy Citations Database

The ECD contains bibliographic records for scientific and technical information from DOE and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research and Development Administration, and the Atomic Energy Commission dating from 1948 through the present. The ECD provides access to nearly 16,000 citations for geothermal-subject technical reports, journal articles, conference reports, and patent filings.

You can help by identifying and locating historical geothermal documents. To inquire or share information regarding the location of documents not yet archived, contact Lynn Davis, OSTI Project Manager of the Geothermal Legacy Collection, at Tel: (865) 241-6435, or davisl@osti.gov.

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National News
  • The Utility Geothermal Working Group (UGWG) will hold its first onsite meeting 3 May 2006 in Tahoe City, California, coinciding with the 26th Annual Utility Energy Forum. The meeting will include a general discussion followed by three break-out sessions to discuss best utility practices, renewable energy technologies, and green buildings. The second UGWG onsite meeting will coincide with the Geothermal Resource Council Annual Meeting in San Diego on 10-13 September 2006. For more information, contact Guy Nelson, UGWG Team Lead at Tel: (541) 994-4670, or GNelson181@aol.com.

  • A geothermal exhibit may be coming to a city near you. The GeoPowering the West booth will be on display at the American Public Power Association (APPA) National Conference in Chicago, Illinois on 10-13 June; and at the APPA Customer Connections Conference in San Antonio, Texas on 5-8 November. The Geothermal Education Office booth will be at the 26th Utility Energy Forum in North Lake Tahoe, California on 3-5 May; at the Northwest Public Power Association Annual Conference in South Lake Tahoe, California on 22-25 May; and at the National Association of Counties meeting in Chicago, Illinois on 4-8 August. For more information, contact Randy Manion, Western Area Power Administration, at MANION@wapa.gov.

• Alexander “Andy” Karsner was sworn in as DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) on 23 March 2006, following unanimous consent of the Senate. Assistant Secretary Karsner will manage DOE's $1.17-billion
EERE office, which promotes the development of domestic, renewable, and environmentally sound energy

Assistant Secretary Karsner's swearing in
Energy Secretary Bodman administers the oath of office to Andy Karsner, as Karsner's wife, Maria looks on.
(Photo: U.S. Department of Energy)
technologies, and efficient use of the country's energy resources; and leads the Energy Department's efforts to carry out President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative). Mr. Karsner previously served as managing director for Enercorp LLC. For more information.
  • On 16 March 2006, President Bush nominated Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne to replace Gale A. Norton as Secretary of the Interior. After five years of service, Norton's last day as Interior Secretary was 31 March. Prior to first being elected governor in 1998, Kempthorne was Mayor of Boise for seven years, and served a six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Pete V. Domenici, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which will hold confirmation hearings, expressed strong support for Kempthorne.

  • A record crowd of almost 600 people attended the sixth Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Spokane on 27-28 February 2006. The annual conference is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere event bringing together the agricultural and energy industries. For more information. The next Harvesting Clean Energy Conference will be held at the Doubletree Inn-Riverside in Boise, Idaho, 29-30 January 2007.

  • On 28 February 2006, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed an agreement launching the Southwest Climate Change Initiative, which establishes a framework for the two states to collaborate on strategies to address the effects of climate change in the Southwest and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region. Under the Initiative, the two states will collaborate on several actions, e.g., the development of consistent approaches for measuring, forecasting and reporting greenhouse gas emissions; giving credit for greenhouse gas reduction actions; identifying options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and promoting clean and renewable energy sources. For more information.

  • A nationwide survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation found that 77% of Americans think that "developing alternative or renewable energy sources and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil should be President Bush's top priority for the balance of his term in office." Entitled "Global Warming and Alternative Energy: A Leadership Survey," the poll also found that 58% of Americans (57% of independents and 42% of conservatives) are more concerned about global warming today than they were two years ago. The poll of 1,029 adults was conducted in February 2006 by the Civil Society Institute and 40mpg.org. For more information.

  • The global market for renewable energies will expand 400% in the next decade, reaching $167 billion, predicts research firm Clean Edge in "Clean Energy Trends 2006." The sale of renewables will expand if oil prices stay high and the cost of technology falls, states lead author Joel Makower. The March 2006 study does not mention geothermal.

  • The Carlyle Group will increase its investment in the renewable energy sector. Founder and Managing Director David Rubenstein stated that "We intend to be much more active in the wind, power, solar energy, biomass and geothermal areas." "We think it's an extremely attractive area in which to invest, particularly because many states in the U.S. now require that utilities buy a certain percentage of their energy from solar, biomass, geothermal or wind power sources," he told Reuters at a private equity conference in Frankfurt in late February. The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, with more than $39 billion under management.

    Wells Fargo & Company invested $5 million in the Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I, L.P. The Fund will invest in a variety of renewable energy projects around the world, including geothermal, and will be managed by a joint venture of the Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings.

  • Cornell Capital Partners plans to invest $150 million in clean technology and renewable energy companies worldwide over the next 12 months, according to Mark Angelo, Cornell's Portfolio Manager. Launched in 2001, Cornell Capital Partners, a sponsor of POWER-GEN Renewable Energy 2006, provides innovative financing solutions to growing companies in the small-cap sector, worldwide (Source: "Cornell Capital Commits $150 Million to Renewable Energy," RenewableEnergyAccess.com, 13 April 2006).

  • The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and New Energy Finance Limited have begun publishing a newsletter to track investment activity in the U.S. clean energy sector. According to New Energy Finance, investment in renewables and clean technology worldwide totaled $42 billion in 2005. The twice-monthly "ACORE New Energy Finance Briefing USA" will report on issues ranging from seed and start-up investment, to IPOs, M&A activity, and project finance. A one-year subscription costs $1,290. Discounts are available to registered ACORE members. For more information.

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State Roundup

Alaska

For further information on geothermal activities in Alaska, contact:

David Lockard
Alaska Energy Authority
Tel: (907) 269-4541
Email: DLockard@aidea.org

No news.

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Arizona

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

Amanda Ormond
The Ormond Group
Tel: (480) 491-3305
Email: asormond@msn.com

  • 18 May 2006 - The Arizona Geothermal Working Group, with support from DOE's GeoPowering the West, will hold the first-ever statewide conference on direct use geothermal energy development, "Using the Earth's Energy - Arizona Geothermal Direct Use" in Tempe. For more information.

    Arizona Geothermal Direct Use Conference

  • 6-8 September 2006 - The Second International Conference and Road-mapping Workshop on Mineral Extraction from Geothermal Brines will take place in Tucson. The conference is sponsored by the World Bank, Russian Geothermal Society, DOE, and the International Geothermal Association.

  • An underground hot spring the City of Chandler's newest well has tapped has some residents complaining about 100°F tap water and shrinking laundry. But, according to Assistant Public Works Director Bob Mulvey, the water is of very high quality, tastes good, is less damaging to household plumbing than most Valley water, and has low mineral and arsenic content. The well produces 3 million gallons a day, three times the quantity produced by an average city well. It results in a $4-million benefit to taxpayers because the city won't have to drill two more wells to meet the demands of a growing population, Mulvey said. Chandler could potentially tap the geothermal spring for energy (Source: "Chandler's in hot water, and lovin' it" by Edythe Jensen, The Arizona Republic, 16 March 2006).

  • On 28 February 2006, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted to increase the state's Renewable Energy Standards, requiring regulated electric utilities to generate 1.25% of retail energy sold from renewable resources in 2006, and 15% by 2025. The Commissioners also voted to require a greater percentage of the total resource portfolio come from distributed generation. Before taking effect, the rules must go through a review by the Attorney General's Office and a formal rulemaking process with the Arizona Secretary of State's office. It could be late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2006 before the regulations are binding. For more information.

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California

For further information on geothermal activities in California, contact:

Elaine Sison-Lebrilla
Geothermal Program Manager
California Energy Commission

Tel: (916) 653-0363
Email: esisonle@energy.state.ca.us


CGEC Summit 23-24 May 2006 - The California Geothermal Energy Collaborative (CGEC) will convene the 2006 California Geothermal Summit at the University of California-Davis Alumni Center on 23 May. The following day, CGEC will hold a half-day workshop on "California’s RPS Program–—A Geothermal Viewpoint." For more information.
  • The U.S Forest Service will evaluate 11 pending geothermal lease applications in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest this year. The applications, which cover approximately 18,000 acres, were filed in 1992 by Vulcan Power. Vulcan Power CEO Steve Munson said the company is only interested in developing the Northwest Military Pass Project in Hotlum, where a 30 MW plant is planned. The Forest Service will make a recommendation to the BLM to either consent to leasing, consent to leasing with stipulations, or not consent to leasing (Source: "USFS to review geothermal leases near Mt. Shasta" by Paul Boerger, Mt Shasta Herald, 8 March 2006). For more information.

  • According to a March 2006 report prepared for the California Energy Commission (CEC) by the California Wind Energy Collaborative, at 108% to 109%, geothermal power plants had the highest capacity rate of all the renewables from 2002 through 2004, exceeding the conventional medium gas benchmark. In 2004, the biomass rate relative to reported nameplate capacity was 98%; wind's rates ranged from 25% to 30%; solar's was 79%. Geothermal had the lowest regulation cost in 2004, followed by biomass. The California Renewables Portfolio Standard requires a "least-cost, best-fit" strategy for selecting new generation projects to fulfill its renewable energy supply goals. California Renewables Portfolio Standard Renewable Generation Integration Cost Analysis (CEC-500-2006-024).

  • Calpine Corporation announced in early April that it will sell about 20 of its power plants in a bid to reemerge from bankruptcy a leaner company centered on its profitable operations. The sale will not include The Geysers which is valued at $2.5 billion to $3 billion. Calpine plans to close offices in Atlanta, Boston, and Dublin, and cut about 775 jobs from a workforce of 3,300. The company said all of its announced restructuring initiatives should reduce its annual costs by about $150 million. For more information.

  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stated his intent to use the Salton Sea to bring energy to Los Angeles and even the Coachella Valley in an interview with KESQ NewsChannel 3 in late February. Under his Green Path Project, the mayor plans to bring more geothermal power from the Salton Sea to the market by 2010. According to the Imperial Irrigation District, energy demand in the Coachella Valley alone is growing 9% per year (Source: "L.A. Mayor wants to use the Salton Sea for energy," KESQ NewsChannel 3, 20 February 2006).

  • San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced the proposed route for the $1.4-billion, 120-mile "Sunrise Powerlink," a new electric-transmission line from Imperial Valley to San Diego County that will deliver 1,000 MW, including geothermal resources from the Salton Sea, to the region by 2010. "We have an obligation from the state to get to 20% renewables," said Jim Avery, SDG&E's senior vice president of electric operations. "Without this line, we can't get to it." Opponents charge that the line will harm the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (through which a low-voltage line currently runs) and is really intended to move imported power from Sempra Energy's power plants in Mexico and Arizona to San Diego (SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra). SDG&E hopes to start building the line in 2008. For more information.

  • On 24 March 2006, SDG&E announced that it had signed a 15-year contract to purchase 20 MW of geothermal electricity from Esmeralda Truckhaven Geothermal LLC starting in 2010. "This contract is another step in our aggressive efforts to meet our goal of supplying 20% of our customers' electricity needs by 2010 with renewable energy," said Terry Farrelly, vice president of electric and gas procurement for SDG&E. The Esmeralda facility, at its Juan Bautista de Anza Geothermal Project, will be located in Imperial County west of the Salton Sea. For more information.

  • On 6 March 2006, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) entered into a renewable power purchase contract with the Military Pass-Newberry Volcano Project LLC for 120 MW of geothermal energy. Newberry Volcano in Oregon is about about 20 miles southeast of Bend. The contract is the last originating from PG&E's 2004 renewable solicitation. PG&E will issue its fourth renewable solicitation in 2006. It has entered into contracts for 563 MW of renewable power since 2002. PG&E currently supplies 30% of its customer load from renewable resources. For more information.

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Colorado

For further information on geothermal activities in Colorado, contact:

Angela Crooks
Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation
Tel: (303) 866-2309
Email: angela.crooks@state.co.us

  • In March 2006, Angela Crooks, Program Manager in the Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation replaced Paul Bony of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association as the GeoPowering the West State Lead. She will be the key contact for geothermal activities in Colorado. Welcome Angela!

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Hawai'i

For further information on geothermal activities in Hawai'i, contact:

Priscilla C. Thompson
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Energy, Resources, and Technology Division
Tel: (808) 586-2353
Email: PThompso@dbedt.hawaii.gov

No news.

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Idaho

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

Gerry Galinato
Energy Division,
Idaho Department of Water Resources
Tel: (208) 287-4897
Email: Gerry.Galinato@idwr.idaho.gov
  • U.S. Geothermal entered into an agreement with Ormat Nevada, Inc., for engineering, procurement, and construction on its first 10-MW power plant at Raft River, with an option to build two more plants at the site. With financing complete, construction on the $38-million Phase One of the Raft River project will begin this summer with delivery of commercial power by Fall 2007. Assuming the drilling of successful production and injection wells, Phase Two is anticipated to result in the construction and operation of an additional 20 MW. U.S. Geothermal has signed power sales contracts for three 10-MW power plants with the Idaho Power Company, and has secured transmission for up to 36 MW with the Bonneville Power Administration. For more information.

  • Icelanders Magnús Jóhannesson, CEO of Iceland America Energy, and Ásgeir Margeirsson, Reykjavik Energy, visited Boise on 8-9 March to look at some of the state's direct use applications and discuss geothermal power production. Hosted by the Energy Division of the Idaho Department of Water Resources, the group toured the Veterans Administration, Capital Mall, and Boise's geothermal systems.

    Iceland America Energy is a new company, based in Los Angeles. It is working on several major geothermal development projects in California, Germany, and Hungary and will soon be developing a geothermal district heating system in China. Reykjavik Energy, operates the world’s largest geothermal district heating system (Source: Waterline, in-house newsletter of the Idaho Department of Water Resources, 24 March 2006).


    While touring the Capital Mall geothermal production well house, the group stopped for a picture. From left are Ken Neely, IDWR; Bill Hudson, Capital Mall HVAC controls specialist; Scotty Davenport, McCall; Ásgeir Margeirsson, Reykjavik Energy; Mike Stewart, Cascade; Magnús Jóhannesson, Iceland America Energy; and Gerald Fleischman, Energy Division. (Photo: Jim Szatkowski, Idaho Department of Administration)

  • Other news from the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) Energy Division:

    • The Energy Division hosted the Utility Geothermal Working Group webcasts on 14 March and 18 April. A brief Idaho Geothermal Energy Working Group meeting was held before the April webcast.

    • IDWR organized and facilitated the fifth Geothermal Energy Steering Committee Team meeting in Cascade on 16 March; nine people attended.

    • Staff participated in the Geothermal Resources Council Pacific Northwest Section meeting in Portland, Oregon, on 7 March to discuss potential impacts of the zeroing out of DOE's Geothermal Energy Program budget and the geothermal lease provisions of EPAct 2005.

    • The Energy Division submitted five geothermal Task Order Agreement requests to GeoPowering the West.

  • In March 2006, the Idaho Legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 62 requesting that the Council Interim Committee on Energy, Environment. and Technology develop an integrated state energy plan that provides for the state s power generation needs and protects the health and safety of the citizens of Idaho, and report back to the Governor and the Legislature on its findings and recommendations.

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Kansas

No news.

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Montana

For further information on geothermal activities in Montana, contact:

Kathi Montgomery
Air, Energy and Pollution Prevention Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Tel: (406) 841-5243
Email: kmontgomery@mt.gov

  • 18 May 2006 - Off to a fast start, the Montana Geothermal Working Group, with the support of DOE's GeoPowering the West, will hold its first annual meeting at the Fairmont Montana Hot Springs and Resort. For more information, contact Kathi Montgomery of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality at Tel: (406) 841-5243, or kmontgomery@mt.gov.

  • The Montana Geothermal Working Group held its first meeting on 22 March 2006 in Butte. Participants at the strategy session assessed the state of the geothermal industry in Montana and planned for future growth. Montana has shallow and deep geothermal resources that could be developed for applications ranging from recreation, direct heat, and aquaculture to power generation.

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Nebraska

No news.

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Nevada

For further information on geothermal activities in Nevada, contact:

Christy Morris
Program Manager - Oil, Gas, and Geothermal
Nevada Division of Minerals
Tel: (775) 684-7045
Email:clmorris@govmail.state.nv.us

  • DOE, through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has selected three proposals for work to further understand and develop renewable energy in a power plant environment. The proposals were submitted in October 2005 by College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno faculty in response to an expression of interest that was issued by the UNR-Renewable Energy Center, an element of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.

    Dr. Kwang Kim received funding for two projects, "Surface Treatment for Enhanced Geothermal Power Plant/Condenser Performance," and "Geothermal Derived Hydrogen Production and Compression." Dr. Tzahi Cath received funding for his project titled, "Zero-Liquid Discharge Systems for the Recovery of Cooling Tower Water in Geothermal Power Plants." Awards will be for 14 months from contract execution.

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New Mexico

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

Michael McDiarmid
New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources
Tel: (505) 476-3319
Email: michael.mcdiarmid@state.nm.us

  • The New Mexico Geothermal Energy Working Group Annual Meeting scheduled for 16-17 May in Albuquerque has been cancelled.

  • According to a report prepared for Governor Bill Richardson, unchecked greenhouse gas emissions will lead to hotter days and more smog, wildfires, and dust storms across the state. Sandra Ely, energy and environment policy coordinator with the New Mexico Environment Department, estimates that the state government emits about 100,000 tons a year of greenhouse gases annually. The entire state emits about 81 million metric tons a year, 40% of which comes from power plants. By December, the New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group will present a report suggesting how New Mexico can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

    New Mexico became the first state to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in March 2006. Membership means state government must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by set amounts or buy its way into compliance. The governor wants state emissions in 2012 to come in at 2000 levels (Source: "N.M. bets on cleaner climate" by Mike Tumolillo, Albuquerque Tribune, 7 March 2006).

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North Dakota

No news.

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Oklahoma

No news.

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Oregon

For further information on geothermal activities in Oregon, contact:

Carel C. DeWinkel
Conservation Division,
Oregon Department of Energy
Tel: (503) 378-6099
Email: carel.dewinkel@state.or.us

  • 17 May 2006 - With support from DOE's GeoPowering the West, the Oregon Department of Energy is hosting the Sixth Oregon Geothermal Working Group Meeting in Burns. The meeting will include a workshop on geothermal direct heat applications particularly in the agricultural sector, such as greenhouses and aquaculture. Speakers will discuss technical details about the resource and the technologies. A representative from the South Central Oregon Economic Development District will speak about the economic development aspects of promoting geothermal resources. For more information.

  • In his 24 February 2006 State of the State address, Governor Ted Kulongoski called for accelerating the development of renewable energy resources. He wants to ensure that renewable resources meet 25% of Oregon's energy needs by 2025. The governor has directed the Oregon Department of Energy's Renewable Energy Work Group to develop a "renewable portfolio standard" which he will propose to the Legislature in 2007. One thousand new jobs are created in Oregon for every $100 million invested in clean energy. For more information.

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South Dakota

  • The Midland School District didn't feel the pinch of high heating costs this past winter, or any winter. Geothermal water has heated Midland Elementary and High Schools for over 30 years. According to Principal Denise Fox, the school district pays about $10,000 a year for phone, light, and electricity. Fox said, "I tell people that we heat this way [with geothermal] and again it's a funding issue right now. It's been discussed during legislation how are we going to afford to heat the schools. So I say hey, come to Midland. We have a nice way to heat." The geothermal well also provides water (Source: "Geothermal Water Keeps School Warm" by Andy Harvey, Keloland TV, 3 March 2006). For more information.

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Texas

For further information on geothermal activities in Texas, contact:

David Blackwell
Southern Methodist University
Tel: (214) 768-2745
Email: blackwel@smu.edu


Maria Richards
Southern Methodist University
Tel: (214) 768-2749
Email: mrichard@smu.edu

  • Over 100 people from the U.S., Europe, and New Zealand attended the first-ever conference on "Geothermal Energy Generation in Oil and Gas Settings" held 13-14 March 2006 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. David Blackwell and Maria Richards of the Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab hosted the event with support from DOE's GeoPowering the West. "With a conference goal of stimulating the development of geothermal energy into new areas utilizing existing oil and gas infrastructure," Blackwell deemed the conference a success.


    From left to right: Dave Blackwell, SMU Geothermal Lab; Dick Benoit, Sustainable Solutions; Chris Harris, Shell Exploration and Production. (Photo: SMU Geothermal Lab)

    Richard Erdlac, of the University Texas Permian Basin-Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, summed up the conference's importance: "The development of Texas geothermal energy will change the future of both the Oil and Gas and the Geothermal Industries." Five locations in Wyoming, Louisiana, and Texas are currently being reviewed for geothermal energy generation in oil and gas settings.

    Speaker abstracts and presentations and a conference summary are available. A recording of the conference on DVD is available for purchase. For more information.

     

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Utah

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

Bob Blackett
Senior Geologist, Utah Geological Survey
Tel: (435) 865-9035
Email: robertblackett@utah.gov

  • PacifiCorp Energy, parent company of Utah Power, has signed a contract to expand the 23-MW Blundell geothermal electric generating plant by approximately 11 MW. The $19-million contract, with CEntry Constructors & Engineers of Salt Lake City, calls for installation of an Ormat Energy Converter, supplied by Ormat Nevada Inc., of Sparks, Nevada. The Blundell Geothermal Power Plant near Milford in Beaver County has been operating since 1984. The new addition is expected to be operational by November 2007. In a statement, PacifiCorp Energy President Bill Fehrman said the additional renewable power will come "at a very attractive price for our customers." For more information.

  • PacifiCorp signed a 20-year agreement to purchase the output of a 42-MW geothermal electric plant near Cove Fort. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2007. The Cove Fort project was selected as part of a request for proposals PacifiCorp issued in February 2004 to acquire up to 1,100 MW of renewable resources.

  • Over 60 people attended the two-day Ground Source Heat Pumps and Geothermal Direct Use Workshop in Salt Lake City, 22-23 March 2006. Hosted by the Utah Geological Survey with support from DOE's GeoPowering the West, the workshop covered geothermal heat pump technology and its cost-effectiveness compared with traditional fuel sources, and direct use applications. The workshop ended with a field trip to an aquaculture facility.

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Washington

For further information on geothermal activities in Washington, contact:

Gordon Bloomquist
Geothermal, Hydrothermal and Integrated Energy Systems
Washington State University
Tel: (360) 956-2016
Email: bloomquistr@energy.wsu.edu

No news.

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Wyoming

For further information on geothermal activities in Wyoming, contact:

Ed Werner
Business Development Director,
Converse Area New Development Organization
Tel: (307) 358-2000
Email: ewerner@candowyoming.com

No news.

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