us what you think...
New financing tool for small geothermal businesses available
Show me the money! This is an oft repeated call of many a small business, geothermal no exception. Getting a loan can be difficult if a business owner does not know how to find
small business-friendly lenders, how to best approach them, and the specific
criteria they use to evaluate a loan application. Enter the Geothermal
The second in a series, once a business and financing plan and financial proposal
are written (using the Geothermal Small Business Workbook), the Geothermal Money Book helps small
geothermal businesses locate and obtain financing. Specifically, it:
- Explains the specific criteria potential financing sources use to evaluate a proposal for debt financing;
- Describes the Small Business Administration's (SBA) programs to promote lending to small businesses;
- Lists specific small-business friendly lenders for small geothermal businesses, including those which participate in SBA programs;
- Identifies federal and state incentives which are relevant to direct use and small-scale (< 1 MW) power generation geothermal projects; and
- Provides an extensive state directory of financing sources and state financial incentives for the 19 states involved in GeoPowering the West (GPW).
Both the Geothermal Small Business Workbook and Geothermal Money Book are available for immediate download in PDF format from the Geothermal-biz.com website. To request a free CD-ROM containing both books, click on the CD-ROM.
The Geothermal Small Business Workbook and Geothermal Money Book were written by geothermal-biz.com with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Program.
Geothermal in President's FY 2005 budget
President Bush released his proposed federal budget for fiscal year (FY) 2005 on 2 February 2004. The FY 2005 Budget Request for the Geothermal Technologies Program is $25.8 million—$19.75 million for Technology Development and $6.05 million for Technology Application. The FY05 amount is $300,000 more than the FY04 funding level but $2.6 million less than FY03.
The geothermal program was among the few in DOE's EERE Office whose budget was not cut. The Geothermal Energy Association and the Sustainable Energy Coalition, however, suggested $42.5 million as an appropriate level of funding for the geothermal program noting that one point, the geothermal research budget was over $150 million
At the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the budget includes $10.77 million of the mandatory $23 million for the Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant and Loan Program, and $15.5 million of the mandatory $40 million for USDA's "Value-Added" grants program which provides funding for new uses - including renewable energy - for agricultural products.
At the Department of the Interior (DOI), the President's 2005 Budget includes $1.7 million for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to facilitate the development of geothermal and wind energy resources on public lands, and "to administer 75 geothermal leases." It does not state, however, how much funding BLM's geothermal program will receive. (BLM's FY04 geothermal program budget was $1.3 million.)
The DOI budget also includes an $800,000 increase to enhance permitting of renewable energy development and processing of rights-of-ways for both renewable and non-renewable energy resources.
The proposed $920 million for the U.S. Geological Survey does not include a new geothermal resource assessment.
Correction: DOI's 2005 budget
includes $500,000 for geothermal assessments (Source: Colin Williams, USGS, 5 March).
For more information: Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005 website, DOE's EERE Office: FY 2005 Budget Documents website, DOI 12 February 2004 News Release, the Interior Budget in Brief.
Energy Bill update
Senate Bill 2095, a leaner $14-billion version of the original $31-billion energy bill which stalled in the Senate last November, was introduced to the Senate on 13 February.
Subtitle B, the "John Rishel Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 2003" amended the
Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.).
Geothermal royalty incentives, both near-term production and National Environmental Policy Act reimbursement, are delayed to FY05 for a savings of $24 million.
According to Section 1301, "Extension and Expansion of Credit for Electricity Produced from Certain Renewable Resources, " a geothermal facility owned by the taxpayer which is originally placed in service after 30 September 2004, and
before 1 January 2007 is eligible for a production tax credit of 1.8¢/kWh.
The bill was introduced under Rule 14; it will be immediately placed on the Senate calendar where it can be brought to the Senate floor for consideration at any time without the need to go through the committee process. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Domenici is optimistic on the Senate prospects for the bill.
The bill is available in PDF format.
People on the move
Geothermal Program Lead, BLM
We told him he couldn't, but he is. After 33 years with the BLM, Paul is retiring in mid-March. The following is excerpted from his retirement letter:
"From my GS-02 days (when my per diem check was larger than my pay check), to my present position here in D.C. (where my rent check is larger than my pay check), the BLM has been very good to me. I've lived in many great locations and experienced many events which few other people have done.
This past 2 and ½ years here in Washington [as Geothermal Program Lead] have allowed me to 'resurrect' my experience and understanding of the full BLM world and the needs of Program Management. I've really enjoyed this assignment as well.
At the New Mexico State University
Geothermal Greenhouse, June 2003
(Photo: Sean Hagerty, BLM)
I've been in all 50 states, and 2 foreign countries because of BLM. I've been busy all the time, and alive and interested because of this agency. In the early 1990s, my wife and I took a 10,000-mile trip around the U.S. During the 32 days of the trip, visiting 28 National Parks and Monuments, I stayed with BLM friends or relatives for all but 5 days. What a wonderful group of friends. I will always be grateful for BLM, ever since those first days as a GS-02. I will now have a satisfying new life in my old hometown of Worthington, in western Massachusetts. God bless you all. Aloha."
Gordon Hansen will replace Paul as interim Geothermal Program Lead at the BLM.
GPW Project Manager, DOE
6-month deployment to Baghdad, Iraq
Susan (and her husband, Phil Dougherty of DOE's Office of Wind and Hydropower Technology) accepted six-month details to the Defense Department to support the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, Iraq. There are approximately 2,500 CPA staff, including civilians and military personnel.
Led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, CPA represents the coalition of countries assisting the Iraqis in reconstructing the country and building democracy. CPA works with a governing council of 25 Iraqis who were selected by Ambassador Bremer last year to lead Iraq to sovereignty on 1 July 2004.
Susan works in Ambassador Bremer's office as one of four analysts for the "pillars" of the CPA: Governance, Essential Services, Economics, and Security. As the governance analyst, most of her time is spent meeting with staff supporting democracy building and human rights initiatives for the CPA, and developing weekly reports for the Ambassador to submit to Secretaries Rumsfeld and Powell.
She often sits in on meetings of the civic education staff. Although their focus is democracy, she notes that the type of grass-roots, local governance activities aimed at
Susan with Ambassador Bremer
developing local infrastructure project, is very similar to what GPW seeks to do: Provide the information and tools for local communities to make their own decisions about their energy-future, hopefully one in which geothermal is a large part.
Typical work hours are 7 AM to 9 PM. In their scant off hours, Susan and Phil sleep on bunk beds in Saddam's throne room with more than 200 of their closest friends. They are on a long waiting list for a trailer.
Susan is really enjoying this assignment, despite the somewhat Spartan living conditions, and is looking forward to returning to GPW in August.
Susan with Secretary Rumsfeld
While Susan is in Iraq, Jay Nathwani, Senior Geothermal Projects Manager, in DOE's Golden office, is managing GPW, with support from Roger Hill, Technical Director, Sandia National Laboratories.
For more information on the CPA, see: http://iraqcoalition.org.
We all wish Susan and Phil success in their work and a safe return.
What's Going On
- 27 February
Greening Your Bottom Line With GeoExchange
Two Rivers Convention Center
Grand Junction, CO
- 27-28 February
Drilling Technology Seminar
Albuquerque , NM
Email: Gene Polk at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1-3 March
POWER-GEN Renewable Energy
Las Vegas, NV
Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) members receive a $50.00
if they identify themselves as GEA members when registering.
- 3-4 March
Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day
- 5 March
Presentation on the Valles Caldera
Dr. Fraser Goff, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Open to the public
Marty Peale, Coordinator, Valles Caldera Coalition, 983-0841
- 9 March
Free USDA Farm Bill (Section 9006) Grant Writing Workshops
for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects in Utah
Cedar City and Price, UT
- 10 March
Free USDA Farm Bill (Section 9006) Grant Writing Workshop
for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects in Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
- 11 March
Geothermal Direct Use 101 Webcast
Presented by the Dr. John Lund of the Geo-Heat Center with geothermal-biz.com
- 17-18 March
World Resources Institute's Sustainable Enterprise Summit
- 18 March
Idaho Geothermal Energy Working Group Mini-Workshop and Meeting
Contacts: Dayna Ball, Tel: (208) 327-7960, or email@example.com,
or K.T. Hanna, Tel: (208) 327-7978, or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 22-23 March
Arizona Geothermal Work Group Meeting
Email: Amanda Ormond at email@example.com
- Week of 22 March (TBD)
National Geothermal Collaborative Steering Committee Teleconference
Email: Kathleen Rutherford, RESOLVE, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 25-26 March
Western States Geothermal Conference: Design, Installation and Marketing
Effort by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Ground Water
Association to train drilling contractors on installing ground water
heat pump boreholes and wells
- 30 March-1 April
Electric Power 2004
- 5-6 April
Well Drilling & Geothermal Heat Pump Business
Sponsored by The Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Department
of Energy to train drilling contractors on installing ground water heat
pump boreholes, marketing, and sales
- 13-14 April
Colorado Wind & Distributed Energy:
Renewables for Rural Prosperity Conference 2004
Colorado Springs, CO
- 14-16 April
Western Governors' Association
North American Energy Summit
- 18-21 April
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Meeting
Poster session: "New Advances in Geothermal Energy"
- 19-22 April
National Tribal Environmental Council 11th National Conference:
Conserving Harmony in Creation; Empowering Tribal Nations
Pricing will increase after 27 February
Myrtle Beach, SC
- 22-23 April
Tribal Energy Conference
Las Vegas, NV
- 5-6 May
Sustainable Energy Solutions 2004 Conference
- 5-7 May
24th Annual Utility Energy Forum
Granlibakken Conference Center
Tahoe City, CA
- 12 May (tentative)
New Mexico Geothermal Energy Working Group Meeting
Santa Fe, NM
Brian K. Johnson; New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department; at email@example.com
- 18-24 May
39th Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals
- 29-31 May
World Council For Renewable Energy
Second World Renewable Energy Forum: Global Benefits and Policies
- 5-9 June
Gulf Rocks 2004: Rock Mechanics Across Borders & Disciplines
- 8 June
Sustainable Energy Coalition Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Expo
Email: Ken Bossong, Sustainable Energy Coalition, at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 10-11 June (tentative)
Alaskan Geothermal Trade Mission to Nevada
Email: Bernie Smith, Alaska Energy Authority, at BSmith@aidea.org, or John Snow, Nevada Division of Minerals, at email@example.com
- 22-24 June
Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians-Economic Development Corporation (ATNI-EDC) have joined
efforts to bring the Northwest Tribes
information, solutions and strategies to
address potential, economically viable,
tribal energy projects.
"Save the Date" brochure (PDF)
- 10 August (tentative)
Alaska Geothermal State Working Group Meeting
Email: Bernie Smith,
Alaska Energy Authority, at BSmith@aidea.org
- 28 August-3 September
Renewable Energy Congress (WREC VIII)
- 29 August-1 September
Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting
and Geothermal Energy Association Trade Show
Palm Springs, CA
- 24-29 April 2005
World Geothermal Congress
Send your news, events, etc. to the
Select a state:
- PacifiCorp has issued the "Renewable Resource Request for Proposals," or RFP 2003B, to acquire up to 1,100 MW of new renewable resources in six states in the next seven years. In Oregon, Washington, and Northern California, PacifiCorp is seeking 100 MW by 2005, 200 MW by 2007, and an additional 200 MW by 2009. In Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, the firm is seeking 200 MW annually in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
While PacifiCorp expects most of the proposals to be for wind-generated electricity, eligible renewables include geothermal. The deadline for bids is 2:00 PM, 9 March 2004.
- The BLM has a backlog of 230 requests for geothermal energy exploration, some dating back to former President Clinton's first term, agency officials said on 27 January at a meeting at BLM's Nevada headquarters. Paul Dunlevy, BLM Geothermal Program Lead, said the backlog has been created by a lack of funding and a lack of interest from elected officials. "Geothermal doesn't get much because we're not high on the food chain," he said. According to
Dunlevy, BLM's goal is to clear the backlog in two to three years by processing about 100 applications annually. The BLM receives some 50 requests yearly.
There were 400 geothermal leases on all BLM-managed land in 2002, an increase of more than 100 over 2001. A request for more federal funding for geothermal energy exploration is included in the stalled energy bill (Source: Tom Gardner, AP/ Las Vegas Sun, 28 January 2004).
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) 2004 Annual Meeting and Technical Program Committees has issued a Call for Papers for geothermal professionals worldwide to submit papers for review and possible inclusion in
the Technical and/or Poster sessions. Draft technical papers are due 16 April; final papers are due 28 May. For more information, see the GRC 2004 Annual Meeting webpage
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched a new Tribal Energy Program website to support Native Americans interested in various aspects of energy independence and energy efficiency. The website includes information about projects undertaken by individual tribes and a variety of other topics.
- Native American communities will soon be provided with economic development assistance through a new entrepreneurial development initiative from the SBA. The Native American economic development initiative consists of consultation with tribal governments, participation in tribal sponsored economic
development events, an outreach campaign for Native American
entrepreneurs, and working with tribal colleges and Native
American organizations to provide more accessible training for Native American small business
owners (Source: SBA 26 January 2004 News Release (in PDF format).
- According to "New Energy for America" Jobs Report (in PDF format) issued in January 2004 by the Apollo Alliance, the U.S. could create
3.3 million new jobs and eliminate its dependence on foreign oil with an investment of $300 billion over 10 years in alternative energy sources.
Such an investment would increase GDP by $1.4 trillion, save $284 billion in net energy costs, and more than pay for itself by generating $306.8 billion in increased Federal tax revenue. Named after President Kennedy's moon program, the Apollo Alliance—which includes labor, environmental, civil rights, business, and political leaders—aims to unify the country behind a 10-year program of strategic investment for clean energy technology and new infrastructure.
- Consumers in the Pacific Northwest have a new, reliable way to distinguish cleaner, high quality options when shopping for renewable energy. The Center for Resource Solutions recently released Green-e certification standards for renewable electricity options sold in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Green-e logo will appear next to certified renewable energy options that meet strict environmental and consumer protection standards set by stakeholders from the Pacific Northwest. For more information: Green-e website.
- Twelve states have funds to promote renewable energy and clean energy technologies. The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a non-profit project to provide information and technical services to these funds and to work with them to build and expand clean energy markets in the United States. The 12 states are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
further information on geothermal activities in Alaska, contact:
Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority/
Alaska Energy Authority
Tel: (907) 269-4643
further information on the Arizona Geothermal Work Group (AzGeo),
The Ormond Group
Tel: (480) 491-3305
further information on geothermal activities in California,
Geothermal Program Manager
- The California Energy Commission (CEC) Geothermal and PIER Renewables Programs released a Program Opportunity Notice on 31 December 2003. Up to $7.2 million is available in
the Geothermal Resources Development Account (GRDA) and
Public Interest Energy Research (PIER)
funds for geothermal projects. Pre-applications were due 17 February; final applications are due 6 April. See the CEC Requests for Proposals website to download the Program Opportunity Notice and solicitation materials.
- The CEC, in conjunction with GPW, will hold a
Geothermal Collaborative Meeting. The date has not yet been set. For more information, email: Curtis Framel, DOE-Seattle Regional Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The BLM hosted public meetings in early February to discuss development of land use planning alternatives for public lands in Northeast California and extreme Northwest Nevada. When completed, the alternatives will become part of draft Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and will guide land use decision making for the next 20 years. Environmental impacts of the planning alternatives will be analyzed in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
For more information, contact BLM Public Affairs Officer Jeff Fontana at (530) 252-5332 (Source: BLM News Release, 23 January 2004).
- Southern and Northern California utilities identified several areas of interest related to geothermal development at two workshops held on 16 and 18 December 2003. Utilities indicated a desire for additional capital cost data and analysis to better understand regional and resource type impact on overall costs. They also expressed a desire for more analysis on transmission issues, impacts, and costs. Many of the smaller utilities were interested in procuring new renewable energy in small chunks. The Center for Resource Solutions, in partnership with GeothermEx, conducted the workshops. For more information, email Randy Manion, Western Area Power Administration at email@example.com.
- A magnitude 4.4 earthquake, the strongest since 1995 in the area, shook Lake County on 18 February at The Geysers steam fields. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake caused no major damage. Some residents believe the frequency of earthquakes has increased with the reinjection of wastewater. David Oppenheimer, an USGS seismologist, said there's no evidence quakes are on the increase at The Geysers. In fact, he said, it appears they are stable and possibly decreasing (Source: "4.4 earthquake in Geysers steam fields, rattles Cobb" by Glenda Anderson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 19 February 2004).
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is one of
five U.S. electric power companies which have answered World Wildlife Fund's Powerswitch! Challenge. SMUD committed to generating 20% of the electricity it sells from renewable sources of energy. For more information: World Wildlife Fund news release, 11 February 2004.
- By a bipartisan vote of 39-26, the Colorado House of Representatives passed House Bill 1273 on 9 February. The bill calls for a renewable energy standard of 500 MW by 2006, 900 MW by 2010, and 1,800 MW by 2020, and includes a 150% "multiplier" for renewable energy generated in the state's rural enterprise zones. The legislation only covers investor-owned utilities, Xcel Energy and Aquila, Inc.; rural co-ops and municipal utilities are exempt. The bill moved to the Colorado Senate for consideration on 12 February.
- The Montrose Board of County
Commissioners awarded a $450,000 contract on 20 January to
Par Mechanical Inc. to install a geothermal
heating and cooling system at the 44,000-square-foot South Campus
Par Mechanical will work on the project with EnLink
Geoenergy Services. According to Ron Durham, facilities and maintenance supervisor for
the county, installation is expected to be
completed in April or May. The system should save the county $30,000 to $40,000
a year. The geothermal system is funded by $300,000
from a state Department of Local Affairs grant and
$150,000 from the county (Source: "County awards bid for geo-thermal system to
Montrose-based company" [in PDF format] by Scott Schwebke, Montrose Daily Press, 21 January 2004).
- Governor Bill Owens, NREL, and BP America announced a new energy education project, Renewable Energy and Efficiency Education on Wheels (RnE2EW), in early February. A customized van and trailer will bring renewable energy and energy efficiency education programs and information to teachers, students, and consumers at schools, special events, and public venues. For more information, email
Matt Kuhn in NREL's education office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
further information on geothermal activities in Hawai'i, contact:
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Energy, Resources, and Technology Division
Tel: (808) 586-2353
- Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. issued a Renewable Energy Request for Project Proposals (RE RFPP) on 22 January for potential investment in cost-effective and operationally positive renewable energy projects on the Big Island of Hawai'i.
For more information, see the Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. website. Proposals are due 22 April.
This is the third such solicitation. Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. is currently evaluating proposals for Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.
|For further information on the
Idaho Geothermal Energy
Working Group, contact:
Idaho Department of Water Resources
- The Idaho Geothermal Energy Working Group will hold a Mini-Workshop and Meeting on 18 March from 8:30 AM to 3:40 PM at the Owyhee Plaza Hotel in Boise. Agenda items include National/ Regional Geothermal Program Update including Federal Energy Bill, Legislative/State policy update, State/Local Geothermal Energy Projects, Geothermal industry updates, Special Presentations, and Sub-committee chair reports. For more information: Dayna Ball, Tel: (208) 327-7960, or email@example.com, or K.T. Hanna, Tel: (208) 327-7978, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Senate Bill 1296, "Geothermal Resources Permits," amends existing law to provide that the director of the Department of Water Resources shall not issue a permit for geothermal resources if he finds that the operation of any well under a proposed permit will decrease ground water available in any aquifer or other ground water source, or will unreasonably decrease ground water available for prior water rights in any aquifer or other ground water source of water for beneficial uses, with exceptions, unless and until the applicant has also obtained a permit for the appropriation of ground water." The bill was introduced in the Senate on 9 February.
- The Idaho Legislative Energy Interim Committee is considering draft legislation which encourages alternative energy sources, including geothermal. RSMPN508 provides an income tax credit for capital investment in qualified alternative energy generation equipment. Qualified projects would receive a 3% investment tax credit and an additional 3% income tax credit for qualified alternative energy generation. The credit in economically distressed counties would be 8%. Property which is not primarily used to provide energy in Idaho does not qualify.
- U.S. Geothermal Inc. (USGEO) increased its ownership interest to 75% in the Raft River geothermal property in mid-February. The company can acquire the remaining 25% interest for a final payment of $125,000 at any time prior to construction of the initial power plant. A well test program is expected to start in March. A $396,000-flow test program will be conducted as part of a DOE Geothermal Resource Exploration and Development cost-sharing grant. USGEO has initiated negotiations with Idaho Power Company for a power purchase agreement.
- Idatherm plans to begin drilling wells this spring southeast of Idaho Falls along the Bingham-Bonneville County line near Willow Creek. The 100-MW project will use 10 to 20 wells. The plant should be operational by the end of 2005, according to Carl Austin, Idatherm's exploration manager.
The company is now completing an environmental study, and looking for utility companies to purchase the power. "[The plant] should be able to produce in terms of centuries," Austin said. "We think it's a good thing for Idaho" (Source: "Region may get energy plant -
One planned for eastern Idaho, the other near Malta" by Ben Botkin, Idaho Falls Post Register, 5 February 2004).
- News from the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) :
- Things are heating up in Lava Hot Springs. The University of Idaho is completing a cost benefits study for the community. A strategic plan for the resource is scheduled to be completed by July 2004. Lava Hot Springs is located about 30 miles southeast of Pocatello and approximately 150 miles north of Salt Lake City.
- Energy Team members would like to repair the Chicken Soup Springs hydraulic head loss, which occurred after a flood in the 1960s, and hope that the Technical Assistance Program at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab (INEEL) will help. IDWR staff presented the skeleton of a strategic plan they had drafted after the first Geothermal Energy Team meeting on 10 December 2003. It included technical expertise to define the resource, an outline of an engineering plan, private and public uses and rights of geothermal resources, securing grants and other funding, and the feasibility of supplying hot water to local residences.
- Bob Neilson of the INEEL discussed GPW and Idaho geothermal energy resources, uses and potential at the second Geothermal Energy Team meeting on 14 January 2004. Dr. John Welhan (Idaho Geological Survey) and Dr. Jay Kunze (Idaho State University) are scheduled to speak at the February meeting.
- The cost benefits study, technical study, and Energy Team meetings are being supported by grants from DOE. For more information email Ken Neely, Technical Hydrogeologist, IDWR, at email@example.com.
further information on geothermal activities in Nevada, contact:
Manager - Oil, Gas, and Geothermal
Nevada Division of Minerals
- Approximately 40 people attended a meeting held at BLM state headquarters on 27 January in Reno. BLM organized the meeting to
let industry and government officials share their concerns and suggestions on how to develop
geothermal energy for power generation.
The group formed two committees to explore policy issues and technical matters and will
meet again in May (Source: Nevada Geothermal Update, January 2004).
- Ormat's recent acquisitions have made it the third largest supplier of geothermally generated electricity in the U.S., after Calpine and MidAmerican. Last year, Ormat bought two geothermal plants and 50% of a third from the bankrupt Covanta for $214 million, ownership rights and lease agreement to the SIGC geothermal plant for $38.5 million, and
the rights to operate and maintain Steamboat II and Steamboat III for $32.5 million. The Steamboat deal is scheduled to be finalized on 26 March.
The acquisitions bring the total geothermal power plants owned and operated by Ormat and its subsidiaries in the U.S. to over 250 MW, with an additional 30 MW under development in Nevada.
- If all permits and approvals are granted according to schedule, Nevada Geothermal Specialists could have a 10-MW power plant online at Salt
Wells by late 2005. Nevada Geothermal Specialists acquired two parcels containing approximately 3,800 acres at the Nevada BLM KGRA Lease Sale on 26 June 2003. They paid $17.25/acre for one parcel
and $5.15/acre for the other. From 1981 to 1986, Texas oil company Anadarko Petroleum Corp. drilled 16 wells at Salt Wells, planning to get into geothermal power generation. The company pulled out of the business when it couldn't get any sales contracts (Sources: "
Company looking to harness power of Salt Wells," by
by Cory McConnell, Lahontan Valley News, 29 January 2004 and Nevada Geothermal Update, January 2004).
- Three researchers from the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, University of Nevada, Reno, received best paper awards at GRC'as 2003 Annual Meeting: Greg Arehart, "Evidence for a Magmatic Source of Heat for the Steamboat Springs Geothermal System Using Trace Elements and Gas Geochemistry"; Geoff Blewitt, "Targeting of Potential Geothermal Resources in the Great Basin from Regional to Basin-Scale Relationships Between Geodetic Strain and Geological Structures"; and Mark Coolbaugh, "Geothermal GIS Coverage of the Great Basin , USA: Defining Regional Controls and Favorable Exploration Terrains". Papers are available in Word format.
- Several new Geothermal Leases have been filed with the Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The following information is provided courtesy of the "Nevada Oil
Reporter." For more information on BLM leases in Nevada, see the website: http://www.blm.gov/lr2000 (Source: Nevada Geothermal Update,
December 2003, January 2004).
BLM Lease Applications, Pending:
|Signorotti, Stephen G.
East of Dixie Flats, Elko County
|Signorotti, Stephen G.
East of Dixie Flats, Elko County
|Western Geothermal Partners
Mineral County, near Hawthorne
|Western Geothermal Partners
Mineral County, near Hawthorne
|Western Geothermal Partners
Mineral County, near Hawthorne
Geothermal BLM Leases Issued:
|Nevada Geothermal Specialists
Salt Wells (issued 11/03)
|Nevada Geothermal Specialists
Salt Wells (issued 11/03)
For further information on the New Mexico Geothermal Working Group,
Brian K. Johnson
Geothermal Program Manager
Minerals and Natural
New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural
Tel: (505) 476-3313
The next New Mexico Geothermal Energy Working Group Meeting will tentatively take place on 12 May, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, in Santa Fe.
New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department
(EMNRD) will report on the status of several DOE projects in New Mexico including the Geothermal Information Clearinghouse, Geothermal Outreach, and Geothermal Activities, and the proposed Geothermal Development Outreach and Education project. Please RSVP by 23 April. For more information and to RSVP, email:
Brian K. Johnson, EMNRD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The 2004 State Legislative session ended 19 February. Several bills relating directly or indirectly to renewable energy passed by the House and Senate and are awaiting Governor Richardson's signature.
- House Bill 2 - General Appropriations Act of 2004 - Provides $500,000 to the EMNRD to establish a “Clean Energy Grants Program” for public-sector entities, including municipalities, counties, state agencies, public schools, colleges and universities, and Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos (see also HB 251).
- House Bill 251 - Advanced Energy Technologies Economic Development Act - To stimulate the market for and promote the statewide use of advanced energy technologies, including renewable energy, including geothermal.
- Senate Bill 43 - Public Utility Renewable Energy Rules - Establishes that investor-owned electric utilities meet a "renewable portfolio standard requirement" by having renewable energy comprise at least 5% of retail sales by 2006, increasing 1% per year and leveling off at 10% by 2011. Also requires utilities to offer "green pricing" programs, whereby customers can voluntarily purchase blocks of renewable energy. S.B. 43 essentially codifies in statute existing NM Public Regulation Commission Rule #573 for electric utilities. The bill was amended to address concerns about potential cost impacts on utilities and their customers.
- On 12 February, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission held a hearing regarding GeoProducts of New Mexico, Inc.'s Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) filed in December 2003. The Commission concluded that, since GeoProducts does not have a surface use permit from the U.S. Forest Service or any other federal authority authorizing it to enter upon the federally-owned surface of the Baca Ranch for the purpose of conducting the activities proposed in the APDs, approval of the APDs for re-entry of the subject wells at this time is improvident. The Forest Service authorization process should take place before APDs are approved. For more information, see the Commission's order (Word document).
For further information on geothermal activities in Oregon,
Oregon Office of Energy
Tel: (503) 378-8278
Governor Kulongoski's request, the
Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, Forestry, and the
Public Utility Commission have prepared the first draft of the "Oregon Renewable Energy Action Plan (in PDF format). The Plan's goal is to encourage production of energy from renewable sources, demonstrating a
variety of technologies for tapping these resources, and removing barriers to renewable resource
development. By the end of 2006, the State hopes to have one geothermal electric generation project underway. The Oregon Department of Energy will hold meetings to discuss the draft. Send comments to email@example.com. For more information, contact Carel
DeWinkel at (503) 378-6099 or Mark Kendall at (503) 378-6043.
For further information on the Utah Geothermal Working Group,
Senior Geologist, Utah Geological Survey
- The Utah Wind Working Group is hosting a series of free grant writing workshops on applying for funding through the USDA Farm Bill (Section 9006) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects including geothermal.
Utahns interested in developing alternative energy projects will learn how to organize, write, and submit an application for funding assistance under the Farm Bill.
The workshops will be held in Cedar City and Price on 9 March, and in Salt Lake City on 10 March.
No fee or advance registration is required. The workshops are sponsored by DOE's Wind Powering America and GPW programs, the Utah Energy Office, and the Utah Clean Energy Alliance. For more information, see the Utah Energy Office Wind Workshop Sponsors webpage.
- The Utah Geothermal Working Group, the National Geothermal Collaborative, and the Geothermal Resources Council sponsored a one-day event, "Exploring Utah Geothermal Opportunities" on 20 January in Salt Lake City. For additional information and to obtain the presentations, see the Utah Energy Office Geothermal webpage.
- Utah's largest geothermal power plant, the 23-MW Blundell Power Plant located 14 miles northeast of Milford in Beaver County, set a generation record in 2003, producing 197,229 MWh of electricity. The previous record was 194,805 MWh in 1994. "More than anything else, the plant's great performance this past year can be attributed to the teamwork and individual efforts of the employees who work here," said Garth Larsen, Blundell Plant manager. For more information: "Utah's largest geothermal power plant sets generation record," PacifiCorp press release, 9 February 2004.
For further information on geothermal activities in Washington,
Geothermal, Hydrothermal & Integrated Energy
Washington State University
Tel: (360) 956-2016
- The Washington State Legislature is considering two bills to promote the development of renewable energy in the state—HB 2333 and HB 2477. HB 2333
would require utilities to meet increasing standards for renewables (5% by 2010, 10% by 2015, and 15% by 2023) based on retail loads.
HB 2333 includes a maximum renewable resource cost of 4.5¢/kWh.
HB 2477 would make renewables standards voluntary, base targets on load growth, and offer tax exemptions and deductions as incentives. The target is
15% of incremental retail load growth within 5 years, 25% within 10 years , and 35% within 15 years. Geothermal is an eligible renewable under both bills.
Representative Jeff Morris, chairman of the House Technology, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Committee,
noted that there are three primary issues regarding the bills: mandatory versus voluntary standards, setting targets at retail loads or load growth, and renewables qualification.
HB 2333 was passed to the Rules Committee for a second reading on 10 February. HB 2477 is still in the TTE Committee (Source: Con.WEB Issue 97, 30 January 2004).
1. USDA High Energy Cost Grant Program
Sol. No. USDA-RD-RUS-HECG03-1
Due 5 March 2004
The USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is providing $11.3 million in competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs.
Grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275% of the national average. Eligible facilities include on- grid and off-grid renewable energy systems.
Eligible applicants include persons, States, political subdivisions of States, and other entities organized under State law. Federally-recognized Indian tribes and tribal entities are also eligible. No cost share is required.
Applications must be postmarked or delivered to RUS or Grants.gov by 5 March 2004.
For more information, see the USDA RUS High Energy Cost Grant Program website.
|2. PacifiCorp Renewable Resource Request for Proposals (RFP 2003B)
Due 9 March 2004
PacifiCorp has issued the "Renewable Resource Request for Proposals," or RFP 2003B, to acquire up to 1,100 MW of new renewable resources in six states in the next seven years. In Oregon, Washington, and Northern California, PacifiCorp is seeking 100 MW by 2005, 200 MWs by 2007, and an additional 200 MW by 2009. In Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, the firm is seeking 200 MW annually in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
Although PacifiCorp expects most of the proposals to be for wind-generated electricity, eligible renewables include geothermal.
For more information, see the PacifiCorp RFP 2003-B Renewables webpage.
The deadline for bids is 2:00 PM, 9 March 2004.
3. Geothermal Outreach
Due 15 March 2004
The DOE EERE Office is requesting applications for communication
and outreach projects to supplement the GPW effort. Through financial assistance awards, DOE intends
to provide financial support to States in the Denver and Seattle
Regions. The Denver Region covers LA, TX,, OK, NM, CO, UT, WY,
MT, SD, ND, and NE. The Seattle Region covers AK, HI, WA, OR,
ID, NV, CA, AZ, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana
The purpose of the outreach is to encourage, educate, and persuade
public and private officials to incorporate geothermal energy
in their renewable energy portfolios. Applications are sought
in four areas:
- Outreach and Education for Geothermal Development,
- Trade Missions,
- Geothermal Resource Information, and
- Cost Benefit Analyses.
DOE anticipates making 4-8 awards of $25,000 to $100,000 for
projects up to two years. A total of $500,000 is available.
The full announcement is posted on the IIPS website.
Responses are due by 8:00 PM, Eastern Time, 15 March 2004.
4. California Energy Commission (CEC) Geothermal Resources Development Account (GRDA) and
Public Interest Energy Research (PIER)
Pre-applications due 17 February 2004
Final applications due 6 April 2004
The CEC has up to $7.2 million available to fund geothermal projects. Of these funds,
up to $3.2 million will be for GRDA grants or loans, and up to $4 million for PIER grants.
Funding is contingent upon the CEC receiving the projected GRDA
revenues and the authority to expend those revenues for fiscal year 2004/2005.
Private entities and local jurisdictions may apply for a GRDA or PIER funded award.
Your project must directly relate to geothermal development, geothermal
planning, or the mitigation of the adverse impacts of the development of geothermal energy. Projects must be located in California or be sponsored by a
California-based company. CEC will not fund advertising, marketing or business
plans; drilling bonds; or mitigation measures required for a permit. This program may co-fund
project capital costs when justified by the applicant as necessary to advance needed science or
Your project must relate to geothermal research, development, and
demonstration that addresses a significant California energy problem and provides a clear
potential benefit to California electricity ratepayers. PIER program funds can only
be used for energy research, development and demonstration projects that benefit California
ratepayers and are not adequately provided for by competitive and regulated energy markets.
Pre-applications were due by 4:00 PM, 17 February 2004.
Final applications are due by 4:00 PM, 6 April 2004.
See the CEC Requests for Proposals website to download the Program Opportunity Notice and solicitation materials.
5. Kinematic and Dynamic Studies of the Coso Geothermal and Surrounding Areas (RFP N68936-04-R-0001)
Due 15 April 2004
The deadline for the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), "Kinematic and
Dynamic Studies of the Coso Geothermal and Surrounding Areas," has been
extended from 15 January to 15 April 2004.
The BAA's scope is limited to investigations in the following areas:
(a) Kinematic and dynamic studies of the Coso geothermal area and the
Coso/Argus Ranges including the Indian Wells Valley to the South and the
Owens Lake to the north insofar as those areas contribute to
understanding of the Coso system;
(b) Dynamic studies of the heat and mass transfer processes within the
geothermal area itself, and /or processes that influence the heat and
mass flux budget therein; and
(c) Fracture prediction modeling and related fluid flow processes within
the Coso geothermal field.
Information regarding the BAA may be found at:
Proposals are due 15 April 2004.
6. Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. Renewable Energy Request for Project Proposals (RE RFPP)
Due 22 April 2004
Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. issued a Renewable Energy Request for Project Proposals (RE RFPP) on 22 January for the Big Island of Hawai'i.
The intent of this RE RFPP is to stimulate the addition of cost-effective, commercial renewable energy in Hawai'i, promote viable projects that will integrate positively with the utility grid on the Big Island of Hawai'i, and encourage renewable energy generation activity where such is lacking in targeted categories. Projects proposed for the grid system of Hawai'i Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO) are eligible under this RE RFPP.
If you have a project that you would like Renewable Hawai'i to consider, please download the Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. RE RFPP form, as well as the Frequently Asked Questions. Both are available from the Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. website.
Proposals are due 22 April 2004.
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