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spacerJuly 2003, Issue No. 6


** Click here for the October 2003 issue **


Bill to amend Geothermal Steam Act introduced in the House

New tool helps entrepreneurs build small geothermal businesses

Geothermal Education Office takes geothermal on the road

 

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

State Roundup
A summary of what is going on across the nation, and in the GeoPowering the West states

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

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

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Bill to amend Geothermal Steam Act introduced in the House

On 17 July, Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-NV) introduced H.R. 2772, "The John Rishel Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 2003," to amend the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). The Geothermal Steam Act governs the lease of geothermal steam and related resources on public lands. The key provisions of H.R. 2772 are outlined below.

Section 2: Competitive Lease Sale Requirements

  • The Secretary of the Interior shall by the end of the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, initiate competitive lease sales...for areas with respect to which lease applications are pending...and the lease applicant has not entered into an agreement with the Secretary to be reimbursed...[for] any analyses, documents, or studies necessary to complete the processing of the lease application.

Section 3: Special Provisions Regarding Direct Use of Geothermal Energy Resources

  • Lands leased under this Act exclusively for qualified development and direct utilization of geothermal resources shall be leased to any qualified applicant who first applies for such lease under regulations formulated by the Secretary, if:

    • The Secretary publishes a notice of the lands proposed for leasing at least 60 days before the date of the issuance of the lease; and

    • The Secretary does not receive in the 60-day period beginning on the date of such publication any nomination to include the lands concerned in the next competitive lease sale.

  • A geothermal lease for qualified development and direct utilization of geothermal resources shall embrace not more than the minimum amount of acreage determined by the Secretary to be reasonably necessary for such utilization.

  • In lieu of any royalty or rental...a lease for qualified development and direct utilization of geothermal resources shall provide for payment by the lessee of an annual fee per well of not less than $100, and not more than $1,000.

  • Fees will be based on the scale of development and utilization to which the fee applies.

  • Defines "direct use of geothermal resources" as the utilization of the heat from a geothermal resource for commercial, residential, agricultural, or other energy needs, other than the commercial production of electricity.

Section 4: Royalties and Near-Term Production Incentives

  • Royalty on electricity produced using geothermal steam and associated geothermal resources, other than direct use of geothermal resources:

    • 1.75% of the gross proceeds from the sale of electricity for the first 10 years, and
    • 3.5% thereafter.

  • State will get 75% of the royalties

  • County will get 25% of the royalties

Section 5: Consultation Regarding Geothermal Leasing and Permitting on Public Lands

  • Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture shall...submit to the Congress a memorandum of understanding...regarding leasing and permitting, for geothermal development, of public lands under their respective administrative jurisdictions.

  • The memorandum of understanding shall:

    • Identify known geothermal areas on public lands within the National Forest System.

    • Establish an administrative procedure for processing geothermal lease applications, including lines of authority, steps in application processing, and timeframes for application processing:

      • 14 days to notify lease applicant if application does not contains sufficient information to allow processing, and

      • 30 days to provide written notice to the lease applicant regarding the status of the application, including an estimation of the time that will be required to complete action.

    • Develop a 5-year plan for leasing of public land in the National Forest System, and update plan every 5 years thereafter.

    • Establish a joint data retrieval system to track lease and permit applications and requests.

Section 7: Reimbursement for Costs of NEPA Analyses, Documentation, and Studies

  • The Secretary of the Interior may, through royalty credits, reimburse a person who is a lessee, operator, operating rights owner, or applicant for a lease under this Act for reasonable amounts paid by the person...for preparation of any project-level analysis, documentation, or related study required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

Section 8: Assessment of Geothermal Energy Potential

  • The Secretary of Interior, acting through the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey and in cooperation with the States, shall update the 1978 Assessment of Geothermal Resources, and submit that updated assessment...within 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, and thereafter as the availability of data and developments in technology warrant.

Section 16: Public Lands Under Military Jurisdiction

  • All public lands under the jurisdiction of a Secretary of a military department shall be open to the operation of such laws and development and utilization of geothermal resources without the necessity for further action by the Secretary or the Congress.

  • Upon the expiration of any lease or contract or term thereof in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act of public lands under the jurisdiction of a military department for the development of any geothermal resource, such lease or contract may, at the option of the lessee or contractor:

    • Be treated as a lease under the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, and be renewed in accordance with such Act; or

    • Be renewed in accordance with the terms of the lease or contract, if such renewal is authorized by such terms.

  • In the event of a national emergency or for purposes of national defense or security, the Secretary of the Interior, at the request of the Secretary of the military department concerned, shall close any lands that have been opened to geothermal resources leasing pursuant to this section.

  • The Secretary of the military department concerned may impose such terms and conditions on the operations of any lessee under this section as necessary to maintain military missions.

H.R. 2772 was referred to the House Committee on Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. A hearing was held on 22 July. Patricia Morrison, U.S. Department of the Interior; Jeanne Connelly, Calpine Corporation; James C. Witcher, Southwest Technology Development Institute, New Mexico State University; and Karl Gawell, Geothermal Energy Association testified before the subcommittee.

Additional information on H.R. 2772 is available on the THOMAS -- U.S. Congress on the Internet website. The bill is available in PDF format.

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New tool helps entrepreneurs build small geothermal businesses

The Geothermal Small Business Workbook gives geothermal entrepreneurs, small businesses, and developers the tools and information they need to understand geothermal applications—both direct use and small-scale power generation—and to write a business and financing plan. Specifically, it:

  • Provides background, market, and regulatory data for direct use and small-scale (< 1 MW) power generation geothermal projects;

  • Refers the geothermal entrepreneur, small company, or project developer to several sources of useful information including owners of existing geothermal businesses, trade associations, and other organizations;

  • Breaks down the complicated and sometimes tedious process of writing a business plan into five easy steps;

  • Leads the reader step-by-step through the process needed to structure a business and financing plan for a small geothermal project; and

  • Helps the reader develop a financing plan that can be adapted and taken to potential financing sources.
Geothermal Small Business Workbook

The Geothermal Small Business Workbook was written by Liz Battocletti of geothermal-biz.com with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program.

To get your free copy, click on the graphic.

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Geothermal Education Office takes geothermal on the road

The Geothermal Education Office (GEO) has been busy "taking geothermal on the road" to a wide variety of venues and conferences.

At the "Harvesting Clean Energy Fair" held 10-11 February in Boise, Idaho, participation by GEO staff resulted in the inclusion of the word "geothermal" in a petition to the U.S. Congress supporting renewable energy issues, including the production tax credit.

In Nevada, at the "Day with the Legislature" sponsored by the Nevada Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Task Force, the colorful geothermal booth was used as the backdrop for interviews by local television stations. GEO also took the display to the annual "Utility Energy Forum" at Lake Tahoe in March, and to the "Renewable Energy Summit" in San Francisco in June.

In July, for the first time, geothermal energy was represented at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) annual meeting held in San Francisco 21-25 July. Over 1,000 legislators from throughout the U.S. attended the conference.

In the next few months, geothermal will go to the "Southwest Renewable Energy Fair" in Flagstaff, Arizona in August; to the "GeoPowering the West State Summit" and the "Direct Use Workshop" in Boise, Idaho in September; to the "Partners in Stewardship Conference" in Los Angeles, California; and to "POWER-GEN Renewable Energy" in Las Vegas, Nevada in March 2004.

GEO's display, which features a GeoPowering the West poster developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been staffed by GEO along with volunteers from the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and Calpine Corporation.

For more information on where geothermal will show up next, or to volunteer to help man the booth, email Marilyn Nemzer, Executive Director, Geothermal Education Office at mnemzer@marin.org, or visit the GEO website.

Geothermal Education Office logo

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What's Going On

  • 1-2 August
    Idaho Renewable Energy Fair
    Twin Falls, ID
    Email: (Ms.) K.T. Hanna, Idaho Energy Division, at k.t.hanna@idwr.state.id.us

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

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

  • 22-24 August
    Nevada Petroleum Society Field Trip:
    "Oil, Gas and Geothermal Occurrences In Northwestern Nevada"
    Various, NV
    Website

  • 26-28 August
    Mining Energy Solutions Conference
    Elko, NV
    Website

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

  • 5 September
    Utah Geothermal Working Group Meeting
    Utah Department of Natural Resources
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Email: Bob Blackett, Utah Geological Survey, at blackett@suu.edu

  • 9 September
    GeoPowering the West State Summit
    Boise, ID
    Email: Gordon Bloomquist, Washington State University Energy Program, at BloomquistR@energy.wsu.edu

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

  • 11 September
    Idaho Geothermal Working Group Meeting
    Boise, ID
    Email: Gerry Galinato, Idaho Department of Water Resources, at ggalinat@idwr.state.id.us

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

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

  • 18 September
    Arizona Geothermal Working Group Meeting
    Phoenix, AZ
    Email: Amanda Ormond, The Ormond Group, at asormond@msn.com

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

  • 9 October
    Western States Renewable Energy Summit
    Reno, NV
    Email: Misty Young, KPS|3, at misty@kps3.com

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

  • 3-5 November
    National Green Power Marketing Conference
    Chicago, IL
    Website

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

  • 17-19 November
    16th NREL Industry Growth Forum:
    Financing the Path to Clean Energy and a Hydrogen Future
    Austin, TX
    Website

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

  • 18-24 May
    39th Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals
    Reno, NV
    Website

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State Roundup

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

Select a state:

Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
California
Colorado
Hawai'i
Idaho

Oregon
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wyoming


National

  • In a surprising move before the August recess, the Senate passed the Energy Policy Act (S. 14) late on 31 July, voting 84-14 to approve last year's omnibus energy bill. The bill includes a Production Tax Credit for new geothermal power plants for five years, and a 10% national Renewable Portfolio Standard to be achieved by 2020. The measure now goes to Conference with the House. For updated information, see the Senate Energy Committee website. Additional information is available on the THOMAS -- U.S. Congress on the Internet website.

  • The House passed its FY 2004 Department of Agriculture (USDA) spending bill (H.R. 2673) on 14 July. It included an amendment that reinstates funding for a renewable energy and energy efficiency program passed as part of the 2002 Farm Bill. Offered by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), the amendment provides $20 million in discretionary funding to Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill, the Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvements program, raising its funding to the $23 million level authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill. H.R. 2673 was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar on 24 July.

  • Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne (R) is believed to be a leading candidate to become the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The White House has not commented on the matter or said when a final decision will be made. Marianne L. Horinko was named Acting Administrator on 11 July. Christine Todd Whitman resigned as Administrator on 27 June (Source: The Washington Post, 11 July 2003).

  • The U.S. Navy Geothermal Program Office in China Lake, CA, has contracted with two groups to conduct geothermal-related studies. Beckley-Singleton Chartered (BSC) of Las Vegas, NV will study factors, e.g., taxation, cost of money, revenue sharing, royalty structure, power sales market, risk-reward models, drilling costs, and capital equipment costs, that impact the development of geothermal resources on military lands in the U.S. The final report is due at the end of July.

    Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. (ITSI) will evaluate the geothermal potential of 17 military facilities in the Western U.S. and Gulf Coast region. The evaluation is part of the larger renewable assessment which the House Appropriations Committee directed the Department of Defense to conduct. ITSI's final report is due in the Fall of 2003. For more information, email Frank Monastero, Geothermal Program Office, at monasterofc@navair.navy.mil.

  • The June 2003, Vol. 24, No. 2 issue of Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin includes seven direct use case studies. Case studies included are on California Correctional Center in Susanville, California; Ouray Hot Springs in Ouray, Colorado; "Gone Fishing" Aquaculture Project in Klamath Falls, Oregon; Merle West Medical Center in Klamath Falls, Oregon; Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in Fairmont, Montana; Geothermal District Heating System in Philip, South Dakota; and the Milgro-Newcastle Greenhouses in Newcastle, Utah. All seven are available in PDF format on the Geo-Heat Center website.

  • The July issue of American Indian Report, published by Falmouth Institute, explores the ways Tribes across the country are harnessing their natural resources to take part in the growing renewable energy industry. For more information, see the American Indian Report website.

  • A report, "Plugging In Renewable Energy: Grading The States," released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) assigns grades to each of the 50 states based on their commitment to supporting wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources. The group measures commitment by the projected results of renewable electricity standards for electric companies and dedicated renewable electricity funds. It found that, in the absence of federal leadership, less than 20 states have acted to increase the nation's supply of renewable energy resources. Of the total, 5 states account for 80% of the total projected gains. Grades for the 19 states of GeoPowering the West are shown below.

    A-
    B+/B
    C+/C
    D
    F
    California
    New Mexico
    Arizona
    Idaho
    Alaska
    Nevada
    Hawai'i
    Kansas
    Colorado
    Texas
    Montana
    Nebraska
    Oregon
    North Dakota
    Washington
    Oklahoma
    Wyoming
    South Dakota
    Utah

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new report entitled "Bridging the Valley of Death: Transitioning from Public to Private Sector Financing." Written by NREL's L. M. Murphy and P. L. Edwards of Altira Group LLC, the paper's purpose is to help the public and private sectors better foster the transition of the entrepreneurial ventures and accelerate the commercialization of clean energy, technology-based products, while improving the yield of public sector investments. (Source: Colorado Coalition for New Energy Technologies Update, 30 May 2003).

  • The Altira Group LLC has raised $64 million to fund young energy technology companies through the Altira Technology Fund IV. The fund will invest in seed and early stage companies in North America. Initial investment ranges from $250,000 to $3 million, depending on the company and its financing plan and future financing needs, and approximately $5 million over the life of a successful company. The company does not invest in power generation projects. Altira has offices in Denver, CO and Albuquerque, NM.

  • A national survey conducted by the University of Oregon found strong public support for transferring federal subsidies from the fossil fuel industry to renewable energies. According to the "American Opinions on Global Warming" survey, the U.S. government provides $5 billion a year in subsidies to the coal, oil, and natural gas industry. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed "somewhat or strongly support" transferring federal subsidies from fossil to renewable energy. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the mail survey of 673 adults was conducted between November 2002 and February 2003.

  • The Council of State Governments has issued "TrendsAlert: Renewable Energy and State Economies," a comprehensive look at how some states leverage the environmental and health benefits from renewable energy sources to help spur the economy through the creation of jobs and increased tax revenue. The report is available in PDF format.

  • The Public Renewables Partnership (PRP) website is up and running. With a grant from the American Public Power Association, the PRP website is a "one-stop shop" for consumer-owned utilities, making it easier for managers, resources planners, and customer service staff to get the information they need about renewable energy technologies and associated subjects. It features a special page on Geothermal. For more information, email Randy Manion, Western Area Power Administration, at manion@wapa.gov.

  • The Green Power Analysis Tool helps corporate managers analyze the economic and environmental attributes of one or more green power projects. Through an easy-to-use interface, users can research green power projects of interest and create tables and graphs that analyze green power projects either singly or in combination. Users can input data about their own green power projects or learn more about green power markets by exploring several green power projects pre-installed into the tool. The tool is a Microsoft Excel-based set of spreadsheets developed by World Resources Institute with help from the Green Power Market Development Group. To download the tool, see the Green Power Market Development Group website.

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Alaska

  • The University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory (AETDL) is accepting proposals to conduct projects to develop and deploy technologies for satisfying Alaska’s unique energy needs. Areas of interest include: 1) Remote power generation technologies in arctic climates, including, but not limited to, fossil, wind, geothermal, fuel cells, and small hydroelectric facilities; and 2) Fossil energy areas including, but not limited to gas-to-liquids technology and liquefied natural gas (including associated transportation systems). Proposals should request up to $350,000 per year from AETDL. For more information, see the AETDL Proposal Process website, or email Dennis Witmer at ffdew@uaf.edu. Pre-proposals were due 30 May; final proposals are due by close of business, 9 August 2003.

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American Samoa

No news.

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Arizona

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

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

  • The Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) has begun analyzing states' experience with implementing Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), beginning with Arizona. The Arizona report found that, as a result of the RPS, the installed cost of PV systems declined significantly. A cost-benefit analysis found that costs and benefits were equal. The REPP analysis of the Arizona RPS is available in PDF format.

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California

  • The California Energy Commission Energy Innovations Small Grant (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 Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program areas, address a California energy problem, and provide a potential benefit to California electric rate payers. While there is no requirement for applicants to reside in California or that the work be performed in California, the proposed research must be clearly relevant to California’s electric market. The Grant Application Manual and supporting documents may be downloaded from the Program Solicitation Notice
    03-02 website
    . Applications are due by 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, 19 September 2003.

  • The final 10-foot section of carbon steel pipe was welded into place in The Geysers pipeline 24 July, bringing to a close construction on the mammoth $183-million project. By mid-September, officials hope to pump about 11 million gallons of wastewater daily through the underground pipeline, which runs from the regional treatment plant southwest of Santa Rosa, to The Geysers steam fields (Source: "$183 million later, pipeline to Geysers complete" by Kerry Benefield, The Press Democrat, 25 July 2003).

  • Mammoth Pacific, LP, unveiled its new website in July. The website provides general information about geothermal energy, specifics about the local geothermal facilities, copies of proposed exploration and development plans, and information on touring the facilities. According to Bob Sullivan, Mammoth Pacific's general manager, "Our facilities are pretty well hidden, and people sometimes forget that we're here. As the state looks at opportunities to promote renewable energy, we wanted to do our part to help" (Source: "Mammoth Pacific Unveils Geothermal Web Site," Mammoth Times, 24 July 2003).

  • The Inyo Register reports that Inyo county officials revealed in early June that the county was in the middle of a dispute between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Navy over a proposal to transfer jurisdictional responsibility of the Coso Geothermal operations from the military to BLM. Inyo, which relies heavily on royalties and tax payments from Coso Geothermal, had been asked by neighboring Kern County and Nevada Congressman Jim Gibbons, to provide input on the matter (Source: "Energy bill issues hit home" by Darcy Ellis, Inyo Register, 16 June 2003).

  • The Old Faithful Geyser of California has been managed by 88-year-old Olga Kolbek for 30 years. She bought the geyser and its surrounding acreage in Calistoga for $5,000 in 1972, intending to build a health spa. A change in the county board of supervisors denied her request. She consequently developed the site as a tourist attraction in 1973. The geyser shoots 350°F-water 60 feet into the air approximately every 30 minutes. Prior to an earthquake, however, the Old Faithful Geyser's routine is disrupted; the interval between eruptions increases.

  • California will have enough renewable electricity generation to allow the state's investor-owned utility companies to meet a mandated 20% renewable energy requirement by 2017, the California Energy Commission said 10 July. The preliminary assessment noted that renewable energy projects already in various stages of development could provide as much as 25,000 GWh per year, more than enough to meet renewable requirements (Source: American City Business Journals Inc., 10 July 2003).

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Colorado

No news.

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Hawai'i

  • Renewable Hawai'i, Inc. (RHI), the renewable energy subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), issued a Renewable Energy Request for Project Proposals (RE RFPP) for the island of Oahu on 22 May. RHI is seeking opportunities for equity investment in commercially viable and cost effective projects to produce electricity for Hawai'i from renewable resources including geothermal. RHI has initial approval to invest up to $10 million. Projects supplying baseload power will generally receive higher priority. Request for projects on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai will be issued later this year. A request for projects on the Big Island of Hawai'i will follow later. Proposals for Oahu are due 22 August.

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Idaho

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

Gerry Galinato
Energy Division,
Idaho Department of Water Resources
Tel: (208) 327-7963
Email: ggalinat@idwr.state.id.us
  • Startup Geothermal Green has raised half of the $1 million needed to complete the first phase of building a geothermal greenhouse to grow bedding plants in Weiser. According to CEO Floyd Hutchens, the company is considering three parcels of land for the five-acre greenhouse, and expects to make its purchase decision before the end of July. Weiser was selected over other areas due to the proximity of geothermal wells. Using geothermal water will give Geothermal Green as much as a 20% pricing advantage over greenhouses using fuel oil or natural gas. The greenhouse will create 43 part-time and 20 full-time jobs immediately, and generate $10 million a year in gross revenues (Source: "Greenhouse firm announces Weiser plans" by David Trigueiro, Weiser Signal American, 30 June 2003).

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Kansas

No news.

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Montana

  • On 5 May, Governor Judy Martz signed into law House Bill 509 requiring the state's default electricity suppliers to offer green power options to their retail customers. The green power products must be supplied from "certified environmentally preferred resources" such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. The Montana Public Service Commission is tasked with approving the product offering(s) and ensuring that the resources have been certified as "meeting industry-accepted standards." The bill also extends the state's Universal System Benefits Charge through 31 December 2005. The charge generates about $13 million a year statewide to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-income programs.

  • NorthWestern Energy customers may choose to pay as little as $2 extra a month on their electric bill to support the development of new renewable resources. By signing up for NorthWestern Energy's E+Green Program, customers buy the environmental benefits associated with renewable energy that is being generated in the northwest and Wyoming. The purchase helps fund new renewable energy projects. Customers may choose to buy as many blocks as they like.

    Patrick Judge, energy policy director for the Montana Environmental Information Center, praised the E+Green program at a ceremony launching the effort 25 June. "Let's send a strong message," he said, "making it loud and clear, that the time for renewable energy has come."

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Nebraska

No news.

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Nevada

For further information on geothermal in Nevada, contact:

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

  • On 27 June, Sierra Pacific Power Company and Nevada Power Company, subsidiaries of Sierra Pacific Resources, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals for electricity generated from renewable fuel sources. The RFP is open to parties who own, propose to develop, or have rights to generating facilities utilizing renewable resources. Responses to the RFP are due 18 August. To obtain the RFP, see the Renewables RFP webpage.

  • ORMAT Industries announced in early July that subsidiary ORMAT Nevada, Inc. executed a binding Letter of Intent with several sellers to acquire the entire 35-MWe Steamboat Geothermal Complex. The $32.5-million purchase includes Steamboat 2 and 3 and adjacent private land that has the potential to support additional geothermal development. The company earlier purchased Steamboat 1 and Steamboat 1A. All four plants have Power Purchase Agreements with Sierra Pacific Power for additional 18-20 years for energy and capacity, and currently generate some $15 million in annual revenues. For additional information, see ORMAT's 7 July 2003 Press Release.

  • Presco Energy began their drilling program in the Humboldt House KGRA (Known Geothermal Resource Area) southwest of Winnemucca, Nevada, in early May 2003 with drilling contractor Layne Christensen Company. Funded by DOE through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the program evaluates the lifetime and current potential of the Humboldt House geothermal system. For more information, contact Gina Tempel, University of Nevada, Reno, at gina@mines.unr.edu.

  • To date in FY 2003, the Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued 66 geothermal leases covering 118,579 acres—60 noncompetitive leases covering 108,551 acres, and 6 leases covering 10,028 acres from the 26 June competitve lease sale. Information on the 11 bids and winners (shaded) from the 26 June sale is shown in the table below. The successful bids totaled $65,768.54. Nevada currently has 250 geothermal leases covering 351,898 acres, 65% of the national totals.
Parcel Number
Bidder Name
Amount per Acre
Total Parcel Acreage
41
Western Geothermal Partners, LLC
$2.52
1,662.05
42
NGP Power Corp.
$2.25
1,346.92
43
NGP Power Corp.
$2.25
1,360.00
45
Western Geothermal Partners, LLC
$5.65
2,520.00
NGP Power Corp.
$2.25
Nevada Geothermal Specialist, LLC
$17.25
46
Western Geothermal Partners, LLC
$2.52
1,274.00
NGP Power Corp.
$2.25
Nevada Geothermal Specialist, LLC
$5.15
47
Western Geothermal Partners, LLC
$2.52
1,865.64
NGP Power Corp.
$2.25
  • Governor Kenny Guinn signed several bills regarding renewable energy. Click on the bill name for more information.

    Assembly Bill 296 — Provides multiplier for electricity generated by certain renewable energy systems for purpose of calculating compliance with portfolio standard for renewable energy.

    Assembly Bill 398
    — Establishes alternative procedure pursuant to which certain performance contracts for cost-savings energy measures in buildings occupied by governmental entities are bid.

    Assembly Bill 429 — Authorizes the Director of the Office of Energy within the Office of the Governor to develop a program to distribute money in the form of grants, incentives, or rebates to pay or defray the costs for persons to acquire, install, or improve net metering.

  • The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, headquartered in the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada, Reno, has received its second year of funding from DOE to conduct peer-reviewed research and to produce a web-based, stakeholder geothermal information system for Nevada geothermal data. The Center recently awarded $676,474 in new research funding to nine new research projects. For information on funded projects, see the Center's Funded Projects webpage. Project reports are available on the Center's Project Funding Reports webpage.

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New Mexico

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

Christopher Wentz
Director, Energy Conservation and Management Division
New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources
Tel: (505) 476-3312
Email: cwentz@state.nm.us

  • The Colorado River Storage Project Management Center (CRSP MC) of Western Power Area Administration (Western) is seeking information about potential sources and prices of non-hydro renewable electric power to serve Federal installations in New Mexico. Federal facilities, e.g., Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Kirtland Air Force Base, are seeking to supply up to 7.5%, or 54 GWh, of their electrical needs per year from non-hydro renewable sources. Owners and/or marketers of renewable resources located in New Mexico and/or neighboring states are encouraged to respond.

    CRSP MC anticipates that any eventual power purchases would be for 5 or 10 years. Details of Western's and the customers' requirements are found in the Request for Information (RFI) issued 16 June 2003. The RFI is available in PDF format from Western's website. Questions regarding this RFI should be directed to Sam Loftin at (801) 524-6381, or email at loftin@wapa.gov. Responses are due by 5:00 p.m. MDT, 12 September.

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North Dakota

No news.

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Oklahoma

No news.

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Oregon

For further information on geothermal activities in Oregon, contact:

Diana Enright
Oregon Office of Energy
Tel: (503) 378-8278
Email: diana.enright@state.or.us

  • A request for proposals by several Northwest utilities could help plans to build a 30-MWe geothermal plant near Newberry Crater. Davenport Resources, a Connecticut-based venture capital investment company, reported that a power purchase agreement would allow their company to have a geothermal plant producing within three years. (Source: GEA Washington Update, 30 June 2003).

    About 80 applications for geothermal leases are pending on national forests in Oregon, according to the BLM. An Interior Department report identifies seven sites in Oregon as among the 35 “highest potential” geothermal regions in the country: Newberry Crater, Klamath Falls, Lakeview, Crump Lake, Summer Lake, Malheur River, and Vale. BLM's budget for handling applications has doubled, and officials expect to double the number of geothermal drilling permits approved by FY 2004. For more information, see the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries' Press Release of 20 June (PDF format).

  • The Oregon Institute of Technology Geo-Heat Center, located in Klamath Falls, is looking for a Mechanical Engineer to head up a technical assistance program concerned with the direct utilization of geothermal energy. Review of applications will begin 15 August, and continue until the position is filled. Salary is dependent upon qualifications and experience. The successful candidate must be able to work in the United States full time. For more information, see the Position Announcement on the Geo-Heat Center website.

South Dakota

No news.

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Texas

No news.

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Utah

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

Bob Blackett
Senior Geologist, Utah Geological Survey
Tel: (435) 865-8139
Email: blackett@suu.edu

  • The Utah Geothermal Working Group is holding its second meeting on 5 September at the Utah Department of Natural Resources in Salt Lake City. The meeting will help the group become better organized, provide it with more information, and focus on specific goals. In addition to "Washington" insights by Roy Mink, DOE's Geothermal Technology Development Program Manager, planned highlights include presentations on (1) federal and state laws and regulations that affect geothermal resource "ownership" and development, (2) federal geothermal leasing, and impediments to leasing, (3) discussions concerning renewable portfolio standards, and (4) a demonstration of a soon-to-be-operating website for Utah geothermal information. For more information, email Bob Blackett, Utah Geological Survey, at blackett@suu.edu.

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Washington

For further information on geothermal activities in Washington, contact:

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

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Wyoming

  • The Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Interim Committee considered a renewable energy proposal left over from the recently idled Wyoming Energy Commission at their 21-22 May meeting. Steve Waddington, the Governor's energy policy advisor, told the Committee that energy is a high priority for Governor Dave Freudenthal, and that the Governor is quite interested in fostering a new industry, particularly wind for electricity. Wyoming currently generates about 140 MW of electricity from wind energy. The state could mandate Renewable Portfolio Standards to local distribution utilities and government offices themselves (Source: "Could Wyo be green energy central?", by Dustin Bleizeffer, Casper S tar-Tribune, 22 May 2003).

Current Solicitations

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

University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory (AETDL)

Due 9 August 2003

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory (AETDL) is accepting proposals to conduct projects to develop and deploy technologies for satisfying Alaska’s unique energy needs. Areas of interest include: 1) Remote power generation technologies in arctic climates, including, but not limited to, fossil, wind, geothermal, fuel cells, and small hydroelectric facilities. 2) Fossil energy areas including, but not limited to gas-to-liquids technology and liquefied natural gas (including associated transportation systems).

Proposals are suggested not to exceed $350,000 per year from AETDL.

For more information, see the AETDL Proposal Process website, or email Dennis Witmer at ffdew@uaf.edu.

Pre-proposals were due 30 May; final proposals are due by close of business on 9 August 2003.

Sierra Pacific Power Company & Nevada Power Company
Request for Proposals for Electricity Generated from
Renewable Fuel Sources

Due 18 August 2003

On 27 June, Sierra Pacific Power Company and Nevada Power Company, subsidiaries of Sierra Pacific Resources issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals for electricity generated from renewable fuel sources.

The RFP is open to parties who own, propose to develop, or have rights to generating facilities utilizing renewable resources.

To obtain the RFP, see the Renewables RFP webpage.

Responses to the RFP are due 18 August.

State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) Solicitation
Energy Efficiency Research, Development, Demonstration, and
Deployment Projects (03-STAC-1)

Due 10 September 2003

The State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) has issued its first solicitation, Energy Efficiency Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Projects (03-STAC-1). The solicitation makes available a minimum of approximately $2.6 million for cost-shared energy efficiency projects proposed by qualified State entities. Eligible applicants are State and Territory Energy Offices or State-Chartered Institutions as Proposers partnered with at least one other eligible applicant in another State or Territory.

The solicitation's program areas of interest include: 1) building technologies, 2) industrial technologies, 3) transportation technologies, and 4) distributed energy resources.

STAC is composed of DOE, the National Association of State Energy Organizations (NASEO), and the Association of State Energy Research, and Technology Transfer Institutions.

The solicitation is available from NASEO's website.

The closing date is 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, 10 September 2003.

Colorado River Storage Project Management Center
Western Power Area Administration

Due 12 September 2003

The Colorado River Storage Project Management Center (CRSP MC) of Western Power Area Administration (Western) is seeking information about potential sources and prices of non-hydro renewable electric power to serve Federal installations in New Mexico. Federal facilities, e.g., Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Kirtland Air Force Base, are seeking to supply up to 7.5%, or 54 GWh, of their electrical needs per year from non-hydro renewable sources. Owners and/or marketers of renewable resources located in New Mexico and/or neighboring states are encouraged to respond.

CRSP MC anticipates that any eventual power purchases would be for 5 or 10 years. Details of Western's and the customers' requirements are found in the Request for Information (RFI) issued 16 June 2003.

The RFI is available in PDF format from Western's website.

Questions regarding this RFI should be directed to Sam Loftin at (801) 524-6381, or email at loftin@wapa.gov.

Responses are due by 5:00 p.m. MDT, 12 September.

California Energy Commission
Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program
Solicitation 03-02

Due 19 September 2003

The California Energy Commission Energy Innovations Small Grant (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 Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program areas, address a California energy problem, and provide a potential benefit to California electric rate payers The six PIER program areas are:

  1. Industrial/Agriculture/Water End-use Efficiency
  2. Building End-use Efficiency
  3. Environmentally Preferred Advanced Generation
  4. Renewable Generation
  5. Energy-Related Environmental Research
  6. Energy Systems Integration (formerly “Strategic Energy Research”)

While there is no requirement for applicants to reside in California or that the work be performed in California, the proposed research must be clearly relevant to California’s electric market.

The Grant Application Manual and supporting documents can be downloaded from the Program Solicitation Notice 03-02 website.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, 19 September 2003.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grant Program


Due 30 September 2003

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) under the new Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grant Program.

The purpose of the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (CPS) Grant Program is for EPA to provide financial assistance to community-based organizations to utilize this model to address one or more environmental and/or public health issues in their communities. EPA defines “environmental justice” as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Community-based organizations who may apply must be non-government, nonprofit organizations currently exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or exempt under applicable state law, and working on or planning to work on projects to address local environmental and/or public health concerns in their communities. For FY 2003, all awards will be made in the form of a Federal grant to 15 community-based organizations in the amount of $100,000.00 to be used over a three-year period.

Eligible projects must include activities which are authorized by two or more of the following federal environmental statutes:

  1. Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3)
  2. Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442(c)(3)(A)
  3. Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001(a)
  4. Clean Air Act, Section 103(b)(3)
  5. Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10(a)
  6. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20(a)
  7. Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203

For more information, see EPA's Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grant Program webpage. The RFA is available in html or PDF format.

Applications are due by 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, 30 September 2003.

General Services Administration
Worldwide Federal Supply Schedule for Energy Services
Solicitation No. TFTP-EJ-000871-1

Proposals accepted on a continuous basis

The General Services Administration has issued a "refreshed" solicitation for companies interested in being included on the Worldwide Federal Supply Schedule for Energy Services from which the Government contemplates award of contracts for supplies or services listed.

Types of Energy Services include: Energy Management Program Support (includes but not limited to Energy Planning and Strategies, Energy Choice Analysis, Billing and Management Oversight); Energy Audit Services (includes but not limited to Energy Audits, Use of Alternative Energy Sources, Resource Efficiency Management, Building Commissioning Services); Managing the Procurement and Use of Natural Gas; Managing the Procurement and Use of Electricity (includes but not limited to Supplying Renewable (Green) power to customers in deregulated markets, and Emergency Power Sources); and Introduction of New Services.

For more information, call (800) 241-7246 and select ENERGY prompt or send an email to energy@gsa.gov. Refer to Solicitation No. TFTP-EJ-000871-1.

Proposals are accepted on a continuous basis.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service provides links on a variety of funding opportunities for projects in sustainable agriculture and rural development. For more information, visit their website.

 

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The Geothermal biz.com 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.
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