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spacerApril 2002, Issue No. 1

Welcome to the first issue of the Geothermal newsletter.

The purpose of the newsletter, as well as the Geothermal web site, is to help individuals, small businesses, and other groups develop geothermal direct use and small power generation projects in the western United States, Alaska, and Hawai'i as part of the U.S. Department of Energy-led GeoPowering the West program.

The newsletter provides information including:

State Roundup
A summary of what is going on in the region as a whole and the 19 states of GeoPowering the West

Current Solicitations
Money available from state and federal governments

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Send us your comments, story ideas, state news, etc.

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State Roundup

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  • 25 April 2002
    The Senate passed the energy bill (H.R. 4 in lieu of S. 517) with a vote of 88-11. The Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) Act of 2001 inter alia amends the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, directs the Secretary of Energy to publish an annual assessment of all renewable energy resources available within the United States, requires the Secretary of the Interior to issue final determinations on pending noncompetitive geothermal lease applications within 90 days of enactment of this Act, and opens public lands under military jurisdiction for geothermal steam and associated resources development and utilization without the need for further Federal action. In addition, the Senate bill extends the Production Tax Credit to geothermal energy, reauthorizes the Renewable Energy Production Incentive program, and contains a renewable portfolio standard that could result in 4-5% of electricity being generated from new renewable sources by 2020. The bill will next go into conference. For more information.

  • 25 April 2002
    Florida-based Cambridge Energy Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company, acquired North American Geo Power, Inc.

  • 21-22 June 2002
    Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, ReNew the Earth Institute, Custer, WI (web site)

  • 22-25 September 2002
    Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting
    Reno, NV
    Web site

  • A valuable new tool is available for geothermal developers and entrepreneurs. The Geo-Heat Center of the Oregon Institute of Technology has compiled a CD-ROM containing geothermal databases for 16 western states. The CD-ROM contains data on wells and springs, fluid chemistry, locations of existing direct-use projects and collocated sites, as well as background information on each state. The cost of the CD-ROM is $25.00 for all states or $10.00 for one state. For more information, see the Geo-Heat Center web site.


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  • Utilities across California are marketing "green" power alternatives in a number of creative ways. See The Energy Services Bulletin for more information (Volume 21, Number 2, April 2002).

  • Senate Bill 530, sponsored by state Senator Byron Sher (D-Palo Alto), has been amended and re-referred to the California Assembly's Utilities and Commerce Committee. If approved, the bill would require California's three investor-owned utilities to acquire approximately 20% of the electricity they supply to their customers from renewable sources, including geothermal by 2010. For more information.

  • The California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority is requesting applications for its Energy Financing Industrial Development Bond Program. One purpose of the program is to support the installation of renewable energy technologies and systems. The first round proposal deadline is 21 May 2002. For more information.

  • The California Energy Commission's Geothermal Program has issued a Program Opportunity Notice (PIER Program - Renewable Energy Program Area). There is up to $7.5 million available to fund geothermal research, development, demonstration, commercialization, environmental enhancement, mitigation or planning projects. Geothermal Program funding availability is based on estimated revenues and interest earnings from the Geothermal Resources Development Account (GRDA). Pre-applications are due 20 May 2002; final applications are due 22 July 2002, 4:00 PM. For more information.

  • The California Energy Commission extended funding awards for two geothermal projects (98 MW) under authority of AB 995. The two projects are owned by Calpine Siskiyou Geothermal Partners L.P. (48 MW) and California Energy General Corporation (49.9 MW). Provided they begin generating by 31 December 2005, the two projects will receive five full years of incentive payments (Source: Renewable Energy Program Quarterly Report to the Legislature, January 2002-March 2002).


  • 28-30 June 2002
    Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Renewable Energy Conference 2002, Colorado Springs, CO (web site)


No news


For further information on state activities, contact:

Gerry Galinato
Energy Division,
Idaho Department of Water Resources
Tel: (208) 327-7963
  • 25 April 2002
    The Idaho Geothermal Energy Working Group (IGEWG) Steering Committee met in Boise. IGEWG Facilitator, Gerry Galinato of the Energy Division of the Idaho Department of Water Resources, convened the meeting to discuss IGEWG's structure and operations, review the responsibilities of the Subcommittee chairpersons and action plans, and distribute the final draft of the IGEWG Strategic Plan.

    The IGEWG has made remarkable progress. Since Senator Craig hosted the Idaho Geothermal Development Stakeholders Meeting last May, the IGEWG has coalesced, completed its draft Strategic Plan, and developed action plans for geothermal development in the State of Idaho. For more information on the IGEWG, email Gerry Galinato or Bob Neilson, Manager of the Renewable Energy and Power Technologies of the Idaho National Engineering and and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL).

  • 10-11 May 2002
    Teacher Education Workshop, Twin Falls, ID
    Sponsored by GeoPowering the West and organized by Julie Scanlon, the University of Idaho

    The workshop will provide information and teaching materials on geothermal energy and its applications. Teachers will receive graduate education credits. Email Julie Scanlon, or (208) 422-0737.

  • 24-25 May 2002
    Teacher Education Workshop, Boise, ID
    See description above

  • A geothermal developer announced plans to build a geothermal binary electric generation plant at Raft River, ID. Rights have been obtained for private lands in the vicinity and the company is in the process of working with the Bureau of Land Management to lease federal land at Raft River. Raft River was the site of the first binary geothermal electric plant in the United States. The 60 kW plant, a prototype funded by DOE, demonstrated the feasibility of generating electricity from lower temperature geothermal resources using a secondary (lower boiling point) working fluid. DOE also funded a larger 5 MW binary demonstration plant that was subsequently built on the Raft River site.


No news


  • 12-13 July 2002
    Sustainability Fair, Livingston, MT (web site)


No news


  • 29 April 2002
    The Nevada Renewable Energy and Conservation Task Force met in Winnemucca to discuss what to do with $250,000 in state funds.

  • 29 April 2002
    Comments due on the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) Renewable Portfolio Standard rule.

  • 6 May 2002
    PUCN Hearing, docket number 01-7029. Contact: Dick Burdett, Tel: (775) 687-6007

  • 13-15 May 2002
    Oregon Institute of Technology Utility Forum
    Incline Village, NV
    Email John Lund

  • 12-13 June 2002
    Great Basin Center Technical Workshop
    Reno, NV
    Email Jim Taranik

  • Canadian company, Continental Ridge Resources Inc., is developing the Blue Mountain geothermal project in Nevada. Blue Mountain has the potential to generate 100 MW of energy—enough to supply over 100,000 households. The project is expected to generate revenues of about US$75 million annually. DOE recently granted funding of US$360,000 in support of the energy project.

New Mexico

For further information on state activities, contact:

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

  • 4 April 2002
    Led by Senator Jeff Bingaman, 140 key policymakers, industry members, and stakeholders met in Albuquerque at the "Geothermal Energy in the Land of Enchantment: New Energy Opportunities for New Mexico" conference to discuss the future of geothermal energy in the state.

    Keynote Speaker Senator Jeff Bingaman outlined a five-part approach to energy: 1) market incentives including a renewable portfolio standard, 2) renewable fuels, 3) facilitating the use of distributed generation, 4) taking inventory of land resources and making them available, and 5) increasing R&D.

    Senator Jeff Bingaman speaks at NM Geothermal Conference

    Senator Bingaman speaks at the New Mexico Geothermal Conference
    Senator Bingaman also mentioned that the Finance Committee had extended the renewable tax credit, enabling geothermal facilities to claim the credit for the first time.

    Dr. Robert Dixon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Power Technologies, DOE, announced that about $3 million would be available over the next three years to help companies develop new sources of geothermal energy. DOE will support up to four new projects from New Mexico and other western states will be funded by the Geothermal Resource and Exploration Definition II program.

    New Mexico is home to the country's largest geothermal greenhouses. Conference participants received geothermally-grown roses and enjoyed geothermally-bred and raised tilapia for lunch. The featured lunch speaker was Damon Seawright of AmeriCulture, Inc., which breeds and raises tilapia.

    A geothermal resources map of the New Mexico was distributed at the conference (INEEL/MISC-2002-395). To obtain a copy of the map, email Bob Neilson, INEEL.

    For more information on the New Mexico Geothermal Working Group, email Christopher Wentz, Director of the Energy Conservation and Management Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources.

North Dakota

No news


No news


For further information on state activities, contact:

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

  • 20 June 2002
    First Oregon-Washington Geothermal Working Group Meeting, Portland, OR

    Email Gordon Bloomquist or contact Shannon Kelley at (360) 956-2049.

  • Oregon's two largest electric utilities, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, have annnounced plans to offer their customers the opportunity to purchase 100% of their power from environmentally friendly sources. The two companies will produce the majority of the renewable power from geothermal or wind resources. (Refocus, March/April 2002, p. 12)

South Dakota

No news


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For further information on state activities, contact:

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

  • 20 June 2002
    First Oregon-Washington Geothermal Working Group Meeting, Portland, OR

    Email Gordon Bloomquist or contact Shannon Kelley at (360) 956-2049.


No news

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Current Solicitations

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

Name Due
Funding to Develop Essential Community Facilities in Rural Communities with Severe Economic Depression 3 May,
16 August
Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands 6 May
Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program 17 May
FY 2002 EERE Broad-based Solicitation, Office of Power Technologies: Geothermal Energy Program: Information Dissemination and Outreach 20 May
Geothermal Resource and Exploration Definition II (GRED) 4 June
Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program 21 June
Rural Community Development Initiative 2 July








Due 3 May, 16 August 2002

Funding to Develop Essential Community Facilities in Rural Communities with Severe Economic Depression. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service requests proposals for projects that develop essential community facilities in rural communities for eligible public entities, nonprofit corporations, and tribal governments with extreme high unemployment and severe economic depression.

Projects must serve the community as a whole and be needed for the orderly development of the community such as providing an essential service to the residents. There is no set maximum loan limits with the Community Facilities direct and guaranteed loan programs. Projects cannot be private, commercial or business undertakings.

Pre-applications are due 3 May and 16 August 2002. All preapplications selected for funding consideration will be notified by the State or field office. Applications are accepted on a continual basis until the $19 million in funding is exhausted.

For more information, see the USDA Rural Housing Service web site, or contact Joseph Ben-Israel at (202) 720-1490.

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Due 6 May 2002, 4:00 PM MT

Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands (DE-PS36-02GO92006). DOE's Tribal Energy Program promotes tribal energy self-sufficiency and fosters employment and economic development on Tribal Lands. Under this solicitation, DOE will solicit applications from Federally recognized Tribes or Alaskan Native Corporations, on whose Tribal Lands the project will be located, to either: 1) conduct feasibility studies for the development of economically sustainable renewable energy installations on Tribal Lands; or 2) implement sustainable renewable energy development projects. Electrical generation and direct use geothermal projects are eligible.

Subject to funding availability, total DOE funding available under this solicitation is approximately $2.5 million. DOE anticipates selecting 10-15 feasibility study applications and 3-5 development project applications. Awards will be from one to three years. A minimum cost share of 20% is required for development projects.

The solicitation is available through the DOE Golden Field Office Home Page under "Solicitations," or through the DOE Industry Interactive Procurement System (IIPS) web site. Responses are due 6 May 2002, 4:00 PM, Mountain Time.

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Due 17 May 2002

USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program. The USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service requests applications for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG).

The primary objective of the RCDG is to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development. Approximately $5.3 million is available of which about $1.5 million will be reserved for pre-applications which focus on assistance to small, minority producers through their cooperative businesses.

For more info, see the USDA Rural Development web site, or contact James Haskell at (202) 720-8460. Pre-applications are due 17 May 2002 and should be sent to the Rural Development State offices.

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Due 20 May 2002, 11:30 PM ET

FY 2002 EERE Broad-based Solicitation, Office of Power
Technologies: Geothermal Energy Program: Information
Dissemination and Outreach (DE-PS01-02EE10846-1J).
The mission of the Geothermal Energy Program is to work in partnership with US industry to establish geothermal energy as an economically competitive contributor to the US energy supply.

Applications should address either or both of the following activities:

  • Develop or collect data on progress in the geothermal industry, including planned and operating projects, industry participants, new technologies. Characterize benefits and impacts of geothermal energy deployment. Provide identification and analysis of critical issues limiting use of geothermal energy in the US, including measures to mitigate their impacts.

  • Disseminate information to key stakeholder groups, such as electric utilities, state regulatory agencies and consumer organizations. Facilitate participation by constituents and other key stakeholder groups in national and regional forums designed to foster responsible development of geothermal energy in the US and removal of market barriers.

DOE anticipates awarding two to four awards of $25,000-$200,000 for FY02 for project periods of 6 to 36 months.

The solicitation is available through the DOE IIPS web site. Applications must be received by 20 May 2002, 11:30 PM, Eastern Time.

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Due 4 June 2002, 3:00 PM MT

Geothermal Resource and Exploration Definition II (DE-SC04-02AL67912). The Geothermal Resource Exploration and Definition (GRED) program is a cooperative effort by DOE and the US geothermal industry to evaluate additional geothermal resources throughout the western United States, and to promote their development and increase geothermal electrical power generation.

Projects may consist of up to three phases: I. Resource Evaluation, II. Drilling and Characterization, and III. Testing and Assessment. Applications must be cost shared with the applicant providing a minimum of 20% of the cost. DOE funding will be used to help mitigate a portion of the initial risk. Up to $600,000 will be awarded to one to two Phase I projects. Additional funds for Phases II and III are dependent on congressional authorization.

The solicitation is available through the DOE IIPS web site. Applications must be received by 4 June 2002, 3:00 PM, Mountain Time.

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Due 21 June 2002

Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program. The California Energy Commission's EISG Program provides up to $75,000 to small businesses, non-profits, individuals, and academic institutions to conduct research that establishes the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts. Research projects must target one of the six PIER program areas (which includes geothermal energy), address a California energy problem, and provide a potential benefit to California electric rate payers Up to four solicitations per year are planned.

The solicitation is available from the EISG Program web site.

Grant applications must be received by 21 June 2002.

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Due 2 July 2002

USDA Rural Community Development Initiative. The USDA requests applications for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) to develop the capacity and ability of nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas.

Eligible activities include but are not limited to: projects that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development; pre-development professional services (i.e., architectural, engineering, or legal); and projects that provide the financial and technical assistance components for essential community facilities projects.

The RCDI has $12 million available for grants. The minimum grant request will be $50,000 and the maximum will be $1 million. Matching funds must be in the form of cash or confirmed funding commitments and be at least equal to the grant amount. In-kind contributions cannot be used as matching funds.

For more information, see the USDA RCDI web site, or contact Beth Jones at (202) 720-1498. Applications are due 2 July 2002.

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The Geothermal newsletter is produced for the US Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Wind and Geothermal Technologies under Contract No. DE-PS01-01EE10781-1J.

Neither the US 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 US Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the US Government or any agency thereof.

© 2002 All rights reserved.

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