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spacerAugust 2004, Issue No. 12

Join us in Palm Springs!
GRC Annual MeetingGEA Trade Show

DOE announces GRED III & SEP awards
Enhanced Geothermal Systems webcast
Susan Norwood: Baghdad Journal
Geothermal Calendar of Events
Current Solicitations
National News
State Roundup

American Samoa

South Dakota

DOE announces GRED III & SEP awards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the grant awardees for two geothermal programs: Geothermal Resource Exploration and Definition (GRED) III and the State Energy Program (SEP).

The GRED III awardees include:

  • ORMAT Nevada, Inc.;
  • Earth Power Resources, Inc.;
  • Esmeralda Energy Company;
  • Noramex Corporation;
  • AMP Resources;
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology;
  • Fort Bidwell Indian Community;
  • Western Geothermal Partners;
  • NGP Power Corporation;
  • Arizona Public Service; and
  • Chena Hot Springs Resort, LLC.

The GRED III program will ultimately lead to more electrical generation and direct use applications from geothermal resources. DOE requested approximately $2 million in FY 2004 for the GRED III program.

The SEP awardees include the following states and state programs:

  • Alaska Energy Authority;
  • Arizona;
  • California Energy Commission;
  • Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation;
  • Hawai'i;
  • Idaho;
  • Montana;
  • Nevada;
  • New Mexico Energy Minerals and Natural Resources;
  • Oregon Department of Energy;
  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts;
  • Utah;
  • Washington Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development; and
  • Wyoming.

For more information.

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Enhanced Geothermal Systems webcast

With support from DOE's Geothermal Technologies Program, as part of the Ge0Powering the West (GPW) effort, held a webcast on Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on 29 July 2004. Allan Jelacic, DOE Geothermal Technologies Program; Joel Renner, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory; and Jay Nathwani, DOE, made presentations. About 50 people attended the 86-minute webcast.

The presenters covered the following topics:

  • Temperatures at 6 kilometers,
  • Present and near-term capacity,
  • Geothermal domains,
  • EGS benefits,
  • Geothermal Technologies Program,
  • Strategic program goals,
  • Program organization,
  • Geothermal budget,
  • Enhanced Geothermal Systems Program,
  • EGS R&D,
  • EGS site types and projects,
  • EGS Program Proposed Management Organization, and
  • EGS Program: Near-term milestones.

Allan Jelacic began the webcast with the new geothermal heat flow map done by Southern Methodist University that shows heat at a depth of 6 kilometers. The map shows that geothermal is a national resource. The difficulty with tapping geothermal resources is that you need to have all three variables: high temperature, permeability, and saturation. This limits the useable resource. EGS increases the target area. Allan read the definition of EGS from 2002 and asked for comments. The benefits of EGS are expanded resource, increased productivity, extended lifetime, siting flexibility, sizing flexibility, and environment.

Three cost-shared EGS projects are currently underway: Coso, Desert Peak East, and Geysers/Glass Mountain. DOE awarded new EGS research grants earlier this year. Awards went to Duke University, Pinnacle Technologies, SAIC, The Pennsylvania State University, University of California at San Diego, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and University of Utah–Energy and Geoscience Institute.

The webcast presentation is available in PDF format (1.06 MB).

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Susan Norwood: Baghdad Journal

In July 2004, Susan Norwood, returned to her role as Department of Energy GeoPowering the West National Coordinator following a six-month detail to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer's staff at the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, Iraq.

Susan received service citations from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Ambassador Bremer, and was awarded the Department of Defense Joint Civilian Service Commendation Medal.

Three days and a wake-up. That's about the point when it hit me how mixed my emotions would be to leave Baghdad. We had been talking for weeks about that first restaurant stateside we would visit upon our return. In fact, it had really been a topic since we arrived, especially during our conversations over iceberg lettuce, tuna salad, and other culinary treats in the mess hall. It was a toss-up between Five Guys for a burger or Le Refuge for salmon en crue. The burger won.

Three days and a wake-up. I completed my final report for the Ambassador and the transition to my successor. Other than attending the daily senior advisor meetings and getting all the signatures approving my departure, there was really little more to do except enjoy my last day or two in 120°F-plus sunshine. That's also when I realized I hadn't seen a drop of rain since the day I flew in from Kuwait. It made our time spent in the gray, damp days of northern Europe on the way home a welcome change—never thought I would say that.

Just as I expected, the day we left was filled with tears, mostly mine, as I said good-bye to my friends, including Methala. One of the thousands of Iraqi workers supporting Coalition efforts, she literally risked her life seven days a week passing through the Green Zone gates to come to work. She gave me pictures of her and her family, a phone number and email address, and a lovely ring with a note written in pencil (and in English) reading "God bless you."

I know it's her dream to come to America, just as it has been to millions of others like her who gave up everything they had or knew to build a life here. Perhaps one day she'll have that opportunity or life in Iraq will improve and she'll want to stay. Either way, I hope that our paths will cross again but under much better circumstances.

The emotions we felt as we bid our good-byes were only exacerbated by the tension surrounding the trip to the airport, also known as BIAP. In the last several weeks of our deployment, insurgents had stepped up their attacks on coalition forces and civilians, particularly on the four-mile stretch leading from the Green Zone to BIAP. It is often called the most dangerous road in all of Iraq and also known as "Route Irish." The concern wasn't so much about clearing Iraqi airspace as it was just getting to the airport.

The instructions from the force protection guys—"if we're hit, we'll move you into the other vehicle, that is of course if you're still alive"—never failed to get my heart pounding. My prayers were answered as we made it there without incident. Much to our sadness, when we arrived in Kuwait we heard that five of our colleagues had been killed just an hour before our departure on that same road. In fact, the Ambassador had closed the road, and it remained closed for the next four or five days.

As I've said before, my detail to the CPA was the experience of a lifetime, and I would do it all over again—trailer life, mortar and RPG attacks, car bombs, gunfire from AK-47s, bad food, and all. After all, I lived in a palace, even if it was in a room with 200 bunk beds. I learned to deal with a more streamlined approach to daily life. Simplicity is easy, but it's also pure elegance.

It was the chance to be part of history, however small that part may have been. It was the chance to meet hundreds of wonderful people, all there if not for the same reason, at least for the same mission. And it was the chance to develop an even greater appreciation to live in this wonderful country, to be an American.

After reporting for months on a myriad of democracy-building activities, in just a few weeks from now, I get to do the most powerful thing any one individual can do to support democracy anywhere:—vote. According to plan, in January all Iraqis will have that same power. And hopefully, despite the turmoil and violence they continue to endure, they will realize it is worthwhile and how valuable freedom is and that it will always come at some price. Freedom is not free.

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National News
  • The Third Annual GeoPowering the West 2004 State Working Group
    Summit will take place on 1-2 September 2004 at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Indian Wells, CA. The summit, which follows the Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting, will feature updates on state geothermal working group activities and accomplishments, policies, tribal issues, and financing. It will also include an "ask the experts" session during which state representatives can address state-specific issues. For more information: Registration / Agenda.

  • The 7th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and Ice Cream Social will take place from 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM on 7 September 2004 in the Cannon House Office Building, Room 345, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. Previous EXPOs have drawn nearly 3,000 visitors including members of Congress, congressional staff, Executive Branch officials, the media, and interested members of the general public. Free ice cream and soft drinks will be available. The event is free-of-charge and open to the public. No reservations or RSVPs are required.

  • DOE has changed the closing date of the Geothermal Electrical Power System Validation, Solicitation Number DE-PS36-04GO94014, from 6 August to 5 October 2004. Under the solicitation, DOE is seeking financial assistance applications that demonstrate innovation in: (1) Technology for generation of electricity from a greater number of lower temperature (< 300°F) geothermal resources; and (2) Components and processes of the geothermal power plants that result in economical, reliable and efficient electrical power generating systems for geothermal application. For more information.

  • With support from DOE, GEA is conducting an employment survey of the geothermal sector. The only extensive survey of the geothermal sector was conducted in 1977. The survey is available online at GEA's website. For more information, contact Nathanael Hance at (202) 454-5241, or

  • Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry announced a $20-billion energy plan that dramatically increases the United States' use of renewable energy sources. To increase renewable energy production, the Kerry-Edwards Energy Plan will provide incentives for producers and investment, and funding and support for more research. The Kerry-Edwards energy plan's goal is to generate 20% of the country's electricity from renewable energy by 2020. For more information.

    In a 6 August 2004 policy memo on Kerry's energy plan, President Bush stated that the Kerry-Edwards energy plan mirrors the administration's stalled energy bill which Kerry blocked.

  • Congress adjourned for its summer recess on 22 July, leaving the corporate tax bill conference negotiation incomplete. The Senate version of the "Jumpstart our Business Strength" Act (JOBS) bill, which is considered "must pass" legislation, contains $19.4 billion in tax breaks including a production tax credit (PTC) for geothermal. The House version only extends the PTC for wind. It appears likely that informal discussions will occur over the August recess, with appointment of Conferees to occur as soon as the House returns in September with the hopes of a final agreement by the end of the month (Source: GEA Washington Update, July-August 2004). For more information, email Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), at

    Governors George Pataki (NY), Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Rick Perry (TX), and Jeb Bush Perry (FL) sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders stating that "The energy tax provisions included in the Senate legislation are of great importance to our states."

  • New York City and eight states—California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin—filed a landmark lawsuit against the country's five largest electric utilities on 21 July 2004. The complaint calls on American Electric Power Company, Southern Company, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy Inc., and Cinergy Corporation to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 3% per year for the next decade. The utilities, which produce about 25% of the U.S. electric power sector's CO2 emissions, say they are already working to reduce emissions. For more information.

  • Dr. Bob Lawrence, President of Bob Lawrence & Associates, testified before the House of Representative's Committee on Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on 15 July 2004 on behalf of the geothermal industry and as a member of Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) Board of Directors. The written testimony was prepared in association with Karl Gawell and Diana Bates of GEA (Source: GEA Washington Update, July-August 2004). For more information: Dr. Lawrence's testimony.

  • In its "Policy Proposal for Power Supply Role for Fiscal Years 2007-2011" released on 7 July 2004, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to facilitate renewable resource development by moving away from large-scale renewables acquisition toward a greater focus on reducing the barriers and costs customers face in developing and acquiring renewables. The renewables program will have a net cost of $15 million per year. BPA is seeking public comment on its proposal through 22 September; six public meetings have been scheduled. For more information.

  • Small and medium municipal utilities trying to add more renewable energy to their power mixes will soon have a new tool to answer questions and aid in the planning process. An Implementation Guidebook to Expand the Role of Renewables in an Energy Supply Portfolio lays out the process for considering renewable resources—especially wind and geothermal—in smaller public power system resource portfolios. It was jointly developed by the American Public Power Association's Demonstration of Energy-Efficient Developments Program, Gila Resources, Western Area Power Administration, the DOE GeoPowering the West Program, the DOE Wind Powering America Program , and the Public Renewables Partnership. For more information.

  • Government and multilateral agencies are increasingly seeking to buy renewable energy credits (RECs) to meet their renewable energy goals. Recent solicitations have been issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. General Services Administration, and the World Bank Group. Also known as green certificates, green tags, or tradable renewable certificates, RECs represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separately from commodity electricity.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has received 237 applications, —including five for geothermal—totaling $36.6 million in response to the 2004 Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grant program solicitation. Applications for the $22.8-million FY 2004 program were up 30% from last year. The five-year program, funded under Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill, helps farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. USDA will announce the grant awards in September. For more information.

  • A new report published by Harvesting Clean Energy shows that agricultural organizations across the country are joining a growing trend to support renewable energy standards. More than 20 state and national farming organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, support renewable energy standards (Source: Harvesting Clean Energy Issue Brief, Farm Groups Pushing for Renewable Energy Standards by Patrick Mazza, August 2004).

  • According to "Renewable Energy Trends 2003 With Preliminary Data For 2003" issued in July 2004 by DOE's Energy Information Administration, while renewable energy consumption in the United States grew 3% in 2003, geothermal output has remained static. "Geothermal energy consumption has remained largely unchanged for five years, as very little new generating capacity has come on line. During 2000, nearly 600 net megawatts of geothermal capacity were retired, and little new capacity has come on line since. Non-electric applications represent only a tiny fraction of total geothermal energy consumption." EIA also publishes the "Survey of Geothermal Heat Pump Shipments" report.

  • According to a 2004 study conducted by the International Energy Agency (IEA), funding for renewables RD&D should be increased. Renewable Energy—Market and Policy Trends in IEA Countries found that research in renewable energies dropped by 40% since 1970s oil crisis. The annual growth rate of geothermal was 8.3% per year from 1970-80, 9.4% from 1980-90, and 0.4% from 1990-2001. For more information.

  • Can a facility with access to a geothermal spring effectively recover and use that energy for heating and hot water? The short answer is yes. The Energy Services, Energy Solutions website created by Western Area Power Administration provides additional details. For more information.

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State Roundup


For further information on geothermal activities in Alaska, contact:

Bernie Smith
Project Manager
Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority/
Alaska Energy Authority
Tel: (907) 269-4643

  • Over 60 people from 10 states and the District of Columbia attended the Alaska Geothermal Summit at Chena Hot Springs Resort on 10-11 August 2004. The group included Federal and State officials, geothermal industry representatives (e.g., consultants, developers, and equipment manufacturers), entrepreneurs, university representatives, utility officers, Native Tribal representatives, lawyers, and economists. The Alaska Energy Authority and DOE's GPW program co-sponsored the meeting.

    Bernie Smith, Alaska Energy Authority, opened the meeting with welcoming remarks and introductions. Jim Clough, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological and
    Geophysical (DGGS), while praising the geothermal assessments of the 1980s, stressed the need for renewed efforts to initiate Alaskan geothermal projects.

    Speakers included Roy Mink, DOE Geothermal Technologies Program ; Curtis Framel, DOE-Western Regional Office (Seattle); Steve Gilbert, Chugach Electric Association; Shirley Liss, retired DGGS; Gerry Huttrer, Geothermal Management Company, Inc.; David Blackwell, Southern Methodist University; Mike Menge, Office of Governor Frank Murkowski; Bob Linden, Barber-Nichols; Gene Culver, Geo-Heat Center; Jack Wood , Wood Family Trust; Dan Fraser, University of Manitoba; Craig Dorman, University of Alaska-Fairbanks; Bernie Karl and Gwen Holdmann, Chena Hot Springs Resort; Dave Faulder, SAIC; Steve Haagenson, Golden Valley Electric Association; Chris Rose, Renewable Energy Alaska Project; Carol Bruton, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory; Laurel Burns, DGGS; Gene Wescott, University of Alaska-Fairbanks; Maver Carey, Kuskoquim Corporation; Tal Finney, Dongell, Lawrence, and Finney; Bob Merrill, Bureau of Land Management; and Roger Hill, Sandia National Laboratories.

    For more information, or to obtain a copy of the presentations on CD-ROM, email Bernie Smith, Alaska Energy Authority, at

  • The off-grid Chena Hot Springs Resort (CHSR), located about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, may be the first site in the state to generate electricity using geothermal energy with plans to build a 400 kW binary geothermal power plant. Switching from diesel to geothermal power would save over $200,000 a year. Chena's six shallow wells with temperatures up to 250°F are currently used to heat 40 buildings, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor rock pond, and a greenhouse.

    Bernie Karl, owner of Chena Hot Springs Resort, is planning a 100% renewable energy resort
    Chena Renewable Energy Center
    Chena Renewable Energy Center
    CHSR has received $246,000 for the geothermal power plant project from Alaska Energy Authority, and also has been chosen as a recipient for a DOE GRED III Geothermal Exploration grant. For more information: "Energy supplies may be in hot water" by Patricia Liles, Alaska Journal , 23 August 2004; or contact Gwen Holdmann, Vice President of New Development, CHSR, at

  • Alaska has some of the best geothermal and wind potential in the United States, but very little of it has yet been utilized. Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP), which is loosely modeled after the highly successful Renewable Northwest Project, wants to change that. REAP was recently formed to "increase the production of renewable energy in Alaska." The group is a coalition of the state's largest utility companies, environmental and consumer groups, small Native village utility interests, and businesses with an interest in renewables. State and federal energy agencies and the academic community also support the group's work.

    REAP will use a combination of education and advocacy to get new renewable energy projects in the ground, work toward statewide policy incentives for renewables, and build a market for renewable energy in Alaska. For more information, contact Chris Rose at

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American Samoa

No news.

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

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

  • The Arizona Geothermal Working Group (AzGeo) is taking the next step in organizing by developing a strategic plan to guide future work and prioritize activities. The new strategic plan, to be completed later this month and posted on Northern Arizona University's website, identifies education and information access, demonstration projects, smoothing project development, and adopting supportive policies as primary objectives. For more information, email Amanda Ormond at

  • Rebecca Watson, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, told the Southwest Renewable Energy Conference in Flagstaff on 4 August that the U.S. must diversify its energy portfolio by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources. Watson said that, although renewable energy currently supplies only 2% of the nation's needs, renewable energy generation has increased 30% over the past decade, a trend which is expected to continue. Lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently account for approximately 48% of domestically produced geothermal power. BLM manages over 400 geothermal leases. For more information.

  • On 2 August, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released an analysis showing that the increased use of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources would create thousands of new highly skilled jobs in Arizona, provide a significant source of new income for rural economies, and save consumers money on their energy bills. Jeff Deyette, UCS Energy Analyst, presented the findings at the Southwest Renewable Energy Conference in Flagstaff on 5 August. For more information.

  • Phoenix-based Deluge, Inc. has invented a new way to economically take salt out of water using hot water. Deluge, Inc. President Brian Hageman claims that the new Thermal Hydraulic Engine can revolutionize the desalting industry. "Pressurizing ocean water uses lots of electricity," said Hageman. "Our new engine can do the same job as an electric motor, and run on solar heat or geothermal hot water." Deluge, Inc. and the U.S. Department of the Interior have signed an agreement to test the new technology (Source: "Deluge Inc., An Arizona Company, And Department Of Interior Test Hot Water Engine's Potential For Desalting Use," EWorldWire Press Release, 12 August 2004).

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For further information on geothermal activities in California, contact:

Elaine Sison-Lebrilla
Geothermal Program Manager
California Energy Commission

Tel: (916) 654-5129

  • The California Energy Commission (CEC), with support from DOE, the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), and GEA, is moving forward with the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative (CalGEC). Karl Gawell, GEA Executive Director, has been named acting Chair of a Steering Committee that is developing a work plan. CalGEC's first Annual Meeting is tentatively scheduled for late Fall 2004 (Source: GEA Washington Update, July-August 2004). For more information, email Karl Gawell, at; or Elaine Sison-Lebrilla, at

  • According to a summary of geothermal resource capacities and development costs made in a presentation by Jim Lovekin of GeothermEx, Inc. at the California Geothermal Summit in Sacramento on 20 May, California has a total geothermal generation capacity of 3,700 MW (minimum) and 4,700 MW (most likely); and an incremental capacity of 2,000 MW (minimum) and 3,000 MW (most likely). The presentation summarized the results of a study completed for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Hetch Hetchy Water and Power) with funding from the CEC PIER program. The full report (including a database in MS Access) is expected to be available soon on the CEC website. For more information.

  • On 16 August, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1102. Sponsored by Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego), the bill increases the bonding capacity of the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority under the State Treasurer. By increasing the Authority's bonding capacity, additional projects, like CalEnergy's proposed 185-MWe geothermal plant in Imperial County, become eligible for financing assistance. According to Ducheny, the geothermal power plant would produce about 800 construction jobs, 70 permanent jobs, and generate about $3 million annually in taxes. For more information: Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny 2 August 2004 Press Release, "Bill could help fund geothermal plant" by Benjamin Spillman, The Desert Sun, 4 August 2004.

  • On 27 July, CalEnergy Operating Corporation announced that it will slash at least 70 jobs. The workforce reduction comes as the company prepares to scale back its zinc extraction operation, a $400 million venture to produce zinc from the same geothermal liquid that produces energy. According to Vince Signorotti, CalEnergy vice president, the zinc operation has not reached its commercial target of producing 70 metric tons, or 154,322 pounds, per day. He added that the zinc extraction operation will continue. CalEnergy is working with the state Employment Development Department to aid employees in transitioning to other careers (Source: "CalEnergy slashes nearly 25 percent of work force" by Darren Simon, Imperial Valley Press, 28 July 2004).

  • BLM is asking for the public's help in identifying issues to be addressed in a new land use plan for public lands in northwestern California. The area covers about 300,000 acres in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Marin, Mendocino (south of Willits), Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties, and includes the Geysers geothermal field. The Ukiah Resource Management Plan (RMP) will replace the current land use plans. The public "scoping" period runs through 31 August 2004. For more information.

  • BLM and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History are co-sponsoring a three-day field trip along the San Andreas Fault over the Labor Day weekend (4-6 September). Participants can attend part-day, all day, or all three days. The Museum requires a registration fee. For more information.

  • San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) are seeking to add more renewable energy to their electricity supplies in order to meet the state's new requirements for renewable energy. California's other large utility—Southern California Edison—met its 20% RPS goal in 2003.

    SDG&E issued a Request for Offers (RFOs) on 1 July 2004; offers were due 12 August. SDG&E intends to meet the state's 20% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2010 instead of 2017. For more information on SDG&E RFO.

    PG&E issued its RFO on 15 July; bids were due 23 August. PG&E is seeking agreements to purchase energy and capacity from Eligible Renewable Resources (ERRs) for the years 2005 and beyond. For more information on PG&E RFO.

    Proposals to LADWP were due on 13 August. The short-list will be published on 22 October; negotiations will begin about a month later. For more information.

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  • The Colorado Renewable Energy Initiative, the first statewide ballot measure of its kind in the country, will be Amendment #37 on the 2 November 2004 ballot. Coloradans for Renewable Energy collected twice as many signatures as needed to put the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) proposal on the ballot. The RPS would require energy companies to generate 10% of the state's electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, small hydroelectricity, or hydrogen fuel cells by 2015. It would only apply to utilities with more than 40,000 customers. The Colorado General Assembly defeated several bills containing RPS provisions. For more information.

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

Priscilla C. Thompson
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Energy, Resources, and Technology Division
Tel: (808) 586-2353

No news.

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

Gerry Galinato
Energy Division,
Idaho Department of Water Resources
Tel: (208) 327-7963
  • News from the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR):

    • Idaho has received notification of an award from DOE for continuing geothermal education, technical assistance, and a trade mission under the SEP.
    • Ken Neely and Gerry Galinato had a paper accepted for the GRC Annual Meeting in late August: "Lilies, Tilapia, and Gators - Oh My! Idaho Puts Geothermal to Use for Greenhouse and Aquaculture Operations." Ken Neely will make the presentation.
    • IDWR plans to participate in the INEEL Science Expo in Idaho Falls on 23-25 September. Julie Scanlin (University of Idaho/Idaho Water Resources Research Institute) is planning to help with the geothermal display.
    • IDWR will also participate in the Energy Fair at Sun Valley, Idaho, on 22 October. The geothermal display will be set up there.
    • Technical studies by Kevin Rafferty on the College of Southern Idaho and the Fresh Water Lobster operation in Raft River are complete. Copies can be requested by calling the Idaho Energy Toll Free Number: 1-800-334-7283.
    • An Economics Impact report on potential geothermal development projects completed by the University of Idaho is available on the Idaho Geothermal website.
  • Idaho Power Company has included geothermal power in its draft 2004 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) released in late July. The IRP selects a portfolio that best balances cost, supply, and environmental concerns. It calls for more than 1,000 MWe of new electricity sources over the next decade: 500 MWe from coal, 350 MWe from wind, and 100 MWe from geothermal. Idaho Power plans to issue a request for proposals this fall for a 100-MWe geothermal source (Source: "Idaho Power sees coal and wind in its energy future" by Ken Dey, The Idaho Statesman, 22 July 2004). For more information.

  • US Geothermal Inc. announced an equity offering of up to Canadian
    $3.4 million through a private placement on 7 July 2004. The proceeds will be used to undertake engineering and final design work for the first phase of the planned 10-15 MWe Raft River geothermal project, to engage in due diligence investigations of possible acquisitions of new projects, and, based on such investigations, to make acquisition payments in respect of the acquisition of interests in new geothermal resource properties and for working capital. US Geothermal has has paid $15,000 for an exclusive non-binding 60-day option to complete due diligence at a site in Nevada. Raft River is expected to be online in 2006. For more information.

  • Engineered Systems featured a case study of the Elks Rehabilitation Hospital's geothermal heating system in its July 2004 issue. The $25-million state-of-the-art facility was dedicated in May 2001. Boise's pricing structure is set to ensure an energy cost savings of 30% over natural gas, based on a comparison of energy usage of geothermal equipment taking 50°F out of the geothermal water and a gas boiler with 75% boiler efficiency (Source: "Feeling Better Than Ever" by Joanna Turpin, Engineered Systems, 29 June 2004).

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For further information on geothermal activities in Nevada, contact:

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

  • The BLM Battle Mountain office held a public meeting on 10 August to help put together an environmental assessment (EA) for a proposed geothermal lease near Spencer Hot Springs in Lander County. The EA will analyze the impacts of a geothermal resource lease applied for by Western Geothermal Partners LLC of Reno. Comments were accepted through 16 August. For more information.

  • Nevada Geothermal Power Inc. (NGP) has completed an initial evaluation of its recently acquired Pumpernickel Geothermal Project. Noramex Corp., NGP's wholly-owned subsidiary, has a 100% interest in private geothermal leases; 15 permits for thermal gradient holes were issued 19 July 2004. Geochemistry of several hot springs predicts a temperature of about 170°C (340°F). Previous work at the site includes a well drilled by Magma Power in 1974 and an assessment conducted by the University of Nevada System in the early 1980s. A potential market for the power are nearby gold mining and processing operations which require 400 MWe (Source: "Nevada Geothermal Power Inc.: Pumpernickel Geothermal Project Development Program Outlined," Business Wire, 5 August 2004).

  • On 21 July, Ormat Technologies, Inc. filed a Form S-1, Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the proposed $100 million initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock, par value $0.001 per share. The offering is being made through an underwriting syndicate led by Lehman Brothers Inc., and will be made only by means of a prospectus. The approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public is as soon as practicable after this registration statement becomes effective. The IPO is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2004 or the first quarter of 2005. Ormat requested to trade under the ticker symbol ORA on the New York Stock Exchange. For more information.

  • Governor Kenny Guinn announced on 9 July 2004 that representatives from his Office, renewable developers, Nevada's two investor-owned utilities, the State Consumer Advocate, and the Public Utilities Commission have agreed on regulatory and legislative proposals that meet the state's strict renewable energy portfolio standard. According to Richard Burdette, Governor Guinn's energy advisor, "Nevada's renewable energy development was interrupted by financial events of 2002, but will be put back on track by this initiative." For more information.

  • According to a summary of geothermal resource capacities and development costs made in a presentation by Jim Lovekin of GeothermEx, Inc. at the California Geothermal Summit in Sacramento on 20 May 2004, Nevada has a total geothermal generation capacity of 1,000 MW (minimum) and 1,500 MW (most likely); and an incremental capacity of 800 MW (minimum) and 1,300 MW (most likely). The presentation summarized the results of a study completed for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Hetch Hetchy Water and Power) with funding from the CEC PIER program. The full report (including a database in MS Access) is expected to be available soon on the CEC website. For more information.

  • As a result of its 2003 renewable request for proposals, Sierra Pacific Power Company signed an agreement with ORNI 7, LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Ormat Nevada, Inc., in late June. Under the 20-year contract, Sierra Pacific will purchase 20 MWe from ORNI 7's planned Galena Geothermal 1 plant at Steamboat, which is expected to be online by 2006. Annual revenues are estimated at $5 million. The contract is dependant upon approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. For more information. Other Ormat Nevada subsidiaries—ORNI 3, LLC and ORNI 9, LLC—are building two 20-MWe geothermal plants near Desert Peak.

  • The following information is provided courtesy of the Nevada Oil Reporter. For more information on BLM leases in Nevada, see the website: (Source: Nevada Geothermal Update, June, July, 2004).

    Non-Competitive Geothermal BLM Lease Applications, Pending:
    JAYCOR Mining Inc.
    Smith Creek Valley, Lander County
    Western Geothermal Partners
    Shoshone Range, Lander County
    Silverpeak, Esmeralda County
    Noramex Corp .
    Fireball Ridge, Churchill County
    Clear Skies Energy Partners LLC
    West of Winnemucca,
    Pershing/Humboldt Counties
    Recent Geothermal BLM Leases Issued:
    Geo-Energy Partners
    Fish Lake Valley, Esmeralda County (3)
    Evans, David M.
    Buena Vista Valley, Pershing County
    Kingzett, James M.
    Hazen, Lyon/Churchill Counties
    North of Hazen, Lyon/Churchill Counties (2)
    Western Geothermal Partners
    Howard Hot Springs, Humboldt County
    Silverpeak, Esmeralda County
    Noramex Corp .
    West of Blue Mountain, Humboldt County (2)
    Bright-Holland Company
    Fly Ranch, Washoe County (3)
    Competitive Sale Geothermal Lease Applications Dropped:

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New Mexico

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

Brian K. Johnson
Geothermal Program Manager
Minerals and Natural Resources Department
New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources
Tel: (505) 476-3313

  • The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) is requesting proposals to foster development, commercialization, and promote the use of clean energy technologies, educate New Mexico students on clean energy resources and their use, and support communities in New Mexico. The Clean Energy Grants Program will provide grants up to a cumulative total of $500,000 in General Funds for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and alternative transportation fuels projects. Proposals are due 24 September 2004. For more information.

  • The New Mexico Geothermal Energy Working Group (NMGEWG) met 29 July and 17 August in Santa Fe to complete a draft of a geothermal strategic plan for the state. The effort is being co-facilitated by Jim Witcher and Brian Johnson, both Geothermal Program Managers, respectively, for New Mexico State University (NMSU) and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD). A final draft geothermal strategic plan will be submitted by NMSU to EMNRD by 31 August.

    Jim Witcher is the lead on content and development of the overall strategic plan. A geothermal heat pump (GHP) subcommittee was formed to develop a GHP market transformation plan, to be included in the geothermal strategic plan. This parallel effort is being led by Jack DiEnna, Executive Director, Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium.

    NMGWG is supported by DOE. For more information, contact Brian Johnson, Working Group Coordinator, at Tel: (505) 476-3313 or email at

  • Dave Norman, Professor of Geochemistry at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT) reports that NMIMT will receive a financial assistance award of about $600,000 from DOE's GRED III program. NMINT will provide a $120,000 match. Chevron Texaco provided assistance on the proposal. The project will fund drilling of a geothermal production well, which will be connected to an existing district heating system at the campus. The NM Geothermal Energy Working Group provided a venue for networking that contributed to the resulting collaboration of NMIMT and Chevron Texaco.

  • Brian Johnson, New Mexico's Geothermal Program Manager, received
    notification of a DOE financial assistance award of $100,000 for Geothermal Development Education and Outreach under SEP. The team of EMNRD, NMSU, Washington State University, and McNeil Technologies will provide a $26,500 match. The project will promote the potential of geothermal district heating and cooling systems in Las Cruces and Albuquerque to stakeholders such as local officials, land developers, and utilities.

  • Western Area Power Administration's Colorado River Storage Project Management Center seeks proposals to supply renewable energy generated from solar, geothermal, biomass, or wind technologies to Sandia National Laboratories, Kirtland Air Force Base, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The request for proposals calls for purchasing 66 GWh of renewable energy annually for five to 10 years. Proposals should be for firm schedule-able renewable energy that include renewable energy certificates. Submissions are due 17 September 2004. For more information.

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North Dakota

No news.

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For further information on geothermal activities in Oregon, contact:

Diana Enright
Oregon Office of Energy
Tel: (503) 378-8278

No news.

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South Dakota

No news.

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  • Austin-based Power Tube, Inc., states that it can improve the economics of geothermal energy and open more areas for production. It says its technology will be particularly useful in rural regions and developing countries, where power demand is increasing rapidly. Power Tube CEO Glenn Lovelace, says that studies have shown that the system is viable and can produce electricity at about 4¢/kWh. The company is attempting to raise about $8 million to build a prototype and test its system in the ground. It has raised $1 million to date, including $500,000 from a group of West Texas oilmen (Source: "Power Tube Seeks Geothermal Energy " by Bob Sechler , Dow Jones Newswires, 17 August 2004).

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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

  • Utah Clean Energy is seeking an Assistant Director. This part-time position will assist the executive director and is responsible for fundraising, grant and budget tracking and reporting, and administrative duties. The position requires an individual with excellent communication skills, fundraising experience, exceptional organizational and time keeping skills, business management skills, and alignment with Utah Clean Energy's mission to speed the transition to a cleaner, safer, more sustainable energy future. The position, which could develop into full-time, is open until filled. For more information.

  • A 185°F-geothermal resource is being used to supply heat and hot water to the Utah State Prison. When completed in 2005, geothermal water will heat four Oquirrh medium security buildings housing 576 inmates, a special service dorm, a furniture and sewing shop, and the Wasatch facility, which has 846 inmates. The $11.5 million project will be paid back over 16 years from savings in utility costs. According to Bruce Munson, account executive for Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., the company building the project, from July 2003 to July 2004 roughly $238,000 in savings in electrical, natural gas and water costs were realized (Source: "Prison taps geothermal aquifer" by Dave Anderton, Deseret Morning News, 14 July 2004).

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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

No news.

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No news.

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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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