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spacerOctober 2003, Issue No. 7


Energy Bill Update: "Get the Bill Done," President Says

UT Governor Leavitt Confirmed as New EPA Head

 

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

Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
California
Colorado
Hawai'i
Idaho

Oregon
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wyoming


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


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Energy Bill Update: "Get the Bill Done," President Says

"We need a comprehensive plan. We need to encourage production, and we need to encourage conservation. We need to use the energy resources we've got at hand in an environmentally friendly way. And we need to advance new kinds of energy...that's my message to the United States Congress—resolve your differences...Get the bill done. " So spoke President Bush on 30 October during a fundraising trip to Ohio, in an effort to jump-start the stalled energy conference negotiations. Energy conference negotiations are back at the staff level as House and Senate tax negotiating staffs failed to resolve ethanol and other contentious tax issue, and decided to focus on Medicare first.

On the up side—the production tax credit for geothermal is still alive. The House has offered to accept from the Senate tax credits for electricity produced into the grid from geothermal formations, a provision that was not in the House bill. If the provision survives conference negotiations, geothermal developers would receive a 1.8 cent tax credit for every kilowatt hour of electricity produced for the first five years of operation.

The fate of the national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is not so good with the word being that it will not be in a final energy bill. The Senate version contains a provision requiring utilities to produce 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. The House version does not contain an RPS provision. The Administration opposes a national RPS provision, asserting that it would raise consumer costs and is best left to the states.

"Subtitle B—Geothermal Energy" of the draft Energy Bill, also known as "The John Rishel Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 2003," amends the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). The proposed changes are summarized in the July 2003 Geothermal-biz.com newsletter.

For more information: Second Draft Energy Conference Text on Renewable Energy (in PDF format), and the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources website.

On FY2004 appropriations, Congress passed a second continuing resolution (CR) on 30 October, allowing the federal government to continue operating at last year's funding levels until 7 November, a week later than the first CR.

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UT Governor Leavitt Confirmed as New EPA Head

On 28 October, the Senate voted 88-8 to approve Utah Republican Governor Mike Leavitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Thirty-six Democrats and one independent joined all 51 Republicans to confirm Leavitt's nomination. The eight who voted against the nomination were Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Barbara Boxer (CA.), Jon Corzine (NJ.), Mark Dayton (MN), Richard Durbin (IL), Jack Reed (RI), John Rockefeller IV (WV) and Charles Schumer (NY). Not present were Democratic Senators Jeff Bingaman (NM), John Edwards (NC), John F. Kerry (MA), and Joe Lieberman (CT).

In a statement to Utah residents upon confirmation, Leavitt, the state's 14th and the nation's longest-serving governor, said, "It is with mixed emotions that I leave a state, people and service I love. I will spend the last days of my administration completing key initiatives, ensuring a smooth transition and thanking the people of Utah for the privilege of serving as their governor for 11 years."


Leavitt, 52, is the former chair of the National Governors Association, Western Governors Association, Republican Governors Association, and Council of State Governments. Before being elected governor in 1992, he served as an outside director of two large public corporations and was a member of the Utah State Board of Regents.

Leavitt will likely be sworn in around 5 November. He replaces Christine Todd Whitman who resigned as Administrator on 27 June (Source: "Leavitt Confirmed as Head of EPA" by Eric Pianin, The Washington Post, 28 October 2003).

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What's Going On

  • 3 November
    Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) Annual Members Meeting
    Sacramento, CA
    Email: Karl Gawell, Executive Director, GEA, at Karl@geo-energy.org

  • 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

  • 5 November
    Northwest Power and Conservation Council Web/Audio Conference
    10:00-11:00 AM PST
    Council conservation resources manager Tom Eckman will share the latest information on Northwest energy-saving accomplishments and opportunities.
    Website

  • 6 November
    Conference Call Seminar on Energy Surety
    12:00-1:30 PM MT
    David Meniccuci of Sandia National Laboratories will discuss using distributed energy resources to improve energy surety in communities.
    Boise, ID
    Website

  • 12 November
    Geothermal 101 for Utilities Webcast
    11:00 AM-1:00 PM PST
    Website

  • 12 November
    Washington State Geothermal Working Group Meeting
    Seattle, WA

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

  • 17-20 November
    Partners in Stewardship Conference
    Los Angeles, CA
    Website

  • 3-4 December
    Southeast Green Power Summit
    Atlanta, GA
    Website

  • 9-11 December
    POWER-GEN International
    Las Vegas, NV
    Website



  • January 2004
    Alaska to Nevada Trade Mission (tentative)

  • 26-28 January
    29th Stanford Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
    Stanford University, CA
    Website

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

  • 18-21 April
    American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Meeting
    Poster session: "New Advances in Geothermal Energy"
    Dallas, TX
    Website

  • 18-24 May
    39th Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals
    Reno, NV
    Website
  • 26 August-1 September
    Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) 2004 Annual Meeting
    Palm Springs, CA
    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

  • The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has produced several maps as part of the Department of Energy's (DOE) GeoPowering the West activity. Using Geographical Information System technology, the INEEL, supported by professional geologists and others from each of the states, prepared the maps to show areas with potential for geothermal electricity production and direct use. The maps have also been consolidated into a western United States geothermal resources regional map. The regional geothermal resource map, as well as maps for Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, are available from the INEEL Geothermal Resource Maps webpage. For more information, contact Pat Laney, INEEL, Tel: (208) 526-7468, or email at ptl@inel.gov.

  • The National Geothermal Collaborative (NGC) website is now online. A U.S. consensus-based collaborative, the NGC was formed in 2002 to identify issues that impede the use of geothermal power, establish dialogue among key stakeholders, and catalyze activities to overcome obstacles to appropriate development. The website contains information on the NGC Steering Committee, working groups, upcoming meetings and events, publications, and related links. The Renewable Portfolio Standard working group released a report entitled "Evaluating State Renewable Portfolio Standards: A focus on geothermal energy" in September 2003.

  • The September 2003 issue of Geothermal Today is printed and available. The issue contains the following stories: Geothermal Technologies Program Overview, Meet Our New Program Director, GeoPowering the West, Direct Use Equals Smart Use, Idaho’s Buried Treasure, Enhanced Geothermal Systems, Energy Conversion R&D, Coating Technology Improves Performance, and Natural Heat Beneath Your Feet. The publication is produced for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). To obtain a hard copy, email Bruce Green, NREL, at bruce_green@nrel.gov.

  • Power Technologies 2003 Databook is now available. A comprehensive set of data about power technologies from diverse sources in the United States, Power Technologies 2003 Databook is produced by NREL's Energy Analysis Office. In addition to providing technology descriptions, the book includes sections on electricity restructuring, forecasts, supply, generation, and demand; prices; economic indicators; environmental indicators; and conversion factors.

    The databook predicts a levelized cost of electricity (in constant 1997$/kWh) for flash geothermal plants to be 2.4¢/kWh by 2010 and 2.1¢/kWh by 2020; and 2.9¢/kWh and 2.7¢/kWh, respectively, for binary plants. It predicts the following electricity net generation from geothermal energy:

    Projections of Renewable Electricity Net Generation
    (Billion Kilowatt hours)

    GEOTHERMAL ENERGY
     
    2001
    2005
    2010
    2015
    2020
    AEO2003 - Reference Case
    13.8
    15.31
    19.81
    24.33
    31.78
    AEO2003 - High Renewables
    13.8
    24.43
    46.52
    OPT GPRA
    16.07
    34.76
    88.56

    EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2003, DOE/EIA-0383 (03) (Washington, D.C., January 2003), Tables A17 and F8.


  • According to Clean Energy Outlook, a monthly publication of Strategic Clean Energy, LLC, the greatest growth in electrical generation from non-hydroelectric renewable energy sources over the next ten years will take place in the geothermal and wind industries. North American installed capacity is expected to increase by 50% by the end of the decade to approximately 4.0 GW. This figure represents a small fraction of the estimated 25 GW of geothermal resources that can be tapped in the western U.S. and Canada. There is room for additional growth from this base case depending on how pending provisions of the U.S. energy bill pan out.

    The report also found that federal and state initiatives to promote clean energy, including tax credits, renewable standard portfolios and trading mechanisms, will be crucial in creating a base demand level for renewable energy. Deregulation of electric utility markets will continue to foster an environment where new technologies and innovation can thrive. Energy reliability concerns will increase interest in renewable energy technologies that can be strategically placed throughout a utility grid as an alternative to centralized generation facilities (Source: GEA Washington Update, September-October 2003).
  • The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) began trading carbon dioxide emission allowances on 30 September, officially launching market operations. With the sale of allowances for 125,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the CCX claims it is now operating the first multi-sector, multi-national market to reduce and trade greenhouse gas emissions. Attending the opening, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham hailed the new market as "precisely the kind of private-sector initiative that the Bush Administration has been calling for in response to the climate change challenge."

  • Mainstay Energy, a renewable energy financing company headquartered in Chicago, is introducing "Mainstay Rewards," a program to purchase green tags from small-scale renewable sites, including geothermal electric. Through the Mainstay Rewards program, owners of renewable energy installations can earn extra revenue to help speed up the payback time for their installation.  This revenue comes in the form of regular, recurring payments to renewable owners.  These payments are over and above any money the site might receive from federal programs, state or local programs, and utility buybacks. Mainstay Energy aggregates green tags from large numbers of renewable energy sites into quantities which can be traded on the markets. 

  • The amount of "green power" purchased by retail customers in the Northwest is up 88% from 2002, according to a new report by the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). Entitled "Powerful Choices IV," the report summarizes how, throughout the Northwest, in markets both urban and rural, 35 Northwest utilities are offering customers a choice of an environmentally preferred power source—wind power, solar power, landfill gas power, and low-impact hydro power. Geothermal power was not mentioned.

    The top five utilities in terms of monthly green power sales are Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp (Oregon and Washington only), Puget Sound Energy, Eugene Water & Electric Board, and Snohomish County PUD.

    The report also includes relevant green power legislation in the Northwest, brief recommendations on customer participation in green power programs, summary charts of participation rates and kWh sales, snapshot summaries of each program, and contact information.

  • Since 1980, the Pacific Northwest has saved more than 2,600 average megawatts from utility and Bonneville Power Administration initiatives, state energy codes, and federal energy efficiency standards, according to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. But, there's much more cost-effective energy efficiency still to be gained region wide. Council conservation resources manager Tom Eckman will share the latest information on Northwest energy-saving accomplishments and opportunities, in a special web/audio conference sponsored by Con.WEB, 10:00-11:00 AM PST, 5 November. He'll also answer questions. Registration is free, but pre-registration is required. For more information, see the Con.WEB website.

  • Western Area Power Administration can help Federal agencies benefit from the advantages of renewable resources for some or all of their electricity needs. Western offers three renewable resource programs: (1) Renewable power, (2) Supplemental renewable energy, and (3) Renewable energy certificates (green tags). Under the renewable power program, Western can buy renewable energy for Federal agencies with load within its 15-state service territory; the agency does not have to be an existing Western power customer. Under the supplemental class of service, Western can acquire renewable energy to supplement firm power deliveries to existing customers only. Under the certificate program, Western can buy renewable energy and sell its environmental attributes to interested Federal agencies which need not be existing Western firm power customers. For more information, see Western's website.

  • DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy launched a new consumer-oriented website in early October—"Energy Savers: A consumer guide to energy efficiency and renewable energy." The new site combines the popular "Energy Savers" booklet with new content on ways to save energy at home, as well as ways to use renewable energy to provide power, hot water, and heating and cooling for your home, including geothermal heat pumps. The website also features state-specific information on buying clean energy.

  • On 22 October, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify and advance cost-effective, voluntary opportunities for rural electric cooperatives to partner with farmers and ranchers to help achieve President Bush's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 18% by 2012. NRECA will help member utilities increase the use of renewable energy including biomass co-fired power plants, biomass gasification power plants, animal waste-to-energy projects, landfill-methane power projects, and wind and solar energy. For more information: USDA 22 October 2003 news release, NRECA 22 October 2003 press release.

  • On 25 August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the selection of 113 applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement grants in 24 states totaling $21 million as part of the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program. Authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, the program provides low interest loans, loan guarantees, and grants to farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses to buy and install renewable energy systems and invest in energy efficiency. The Massachusetts Innovation Center, LLC received $500,000 for a Hybrid Geothermal/Solar project. For more information: USDA/Rural Development 25 August news release, Farm Bill 2002 Awards by Category.

  • On 13 August, DOE awarded $17.4 million for 187 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects under the State Energy Program (SEP) Special Projects competitive grants program. Of the total, five projects totaling $294,085 were awarded for Geothermal Outreach. They are: Arizona Geothermal Collaborative Outreach Program, $99,640; Assessment of Hawai'i’s Geothermal Resource and Potential for Hydrogen Production, $42,753; Geothermal Energy Outreach In Rural Idaho Communities, $59,572; Identifying New Opportunities for Direct-Use Geothermal Development in California, $54,310; and New Mexico Geothermal Direct-Use Development, $37,810. For more information, see DOE's 13 August press release, and the DOE's State Energy Program website.

  • On 8 August, Secretary of Energy Abraham announced that DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is making $2.2 million available to seven Native American tribes to support the development of renewable energy resources, and $800,000 to nine Native American tribes to support the initial steps needed to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. None of the awards are for geothermal projects. For more information, see DOE's 8 August press releases, and the DOE Tribal Energy Program website.

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Alaska

For further information on geothermal activities in Alaska, contact:

Bernie Smith
Project Manager
Alaska Industrial Development and ExportAuthority/
Alaska Energy Authority
Tel: (907) 269-4643
Email: BSmith@aidea.org

  • The week of 23 September, a DOE delegation led by David Garman, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Roy Mink, Geothermal Technologies Program Manager, took a geothermal tour of Alaska. Together with State officials, they visited four of the more than 20 known geothermal sites in the state. "I think this is a very, very important opportunity for all of us," said Governor Frank Murkowski as he introduced the delegation.

    A few areas have resources with temperatures high enough to generate electricity. The most promising are Mt. Makushin on Unalaska Island, and Hot Springs Bay on Akutan Island in the Aleutian Archipelago (the ring of fire). Both sites have subsurface temperatures of more than 375°F. Makushin was explored and drilled in 1981-1983, and could serve a substantial population base 12 miles away in Unalaska. Hot Springs Bay is only two miles from the market—a village and major seafood plant.

    Lower temperature geothermal resources are used for balneology, space heating, heating greenhouses, and other direct use applications but much more could be done. Chena Hot Springs, just east of Fairbanks, uses geothermal hot springs for a bath house and to heat the resort. Bell Island Hot Springs is near Ketchikan also uses geothermal hot springs for bathing and heating.

    According to Chris Nye of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (DGGS), geothermal energy was a hot topic during the 1980s but lost attention as oil prices fell in 1986. It has rebounded recently due to the Bush administration's interest in bolstering domestic energy sources, as well as higher oil prices. The DGGS and the Geophysical Institute have conducted extensive studies of Alaska's geothermal potential.

    Assistant Secretary Garman said it would cost $30 million to $60 million to get a geothermal power plant up and running in the state, but that power could cost as little as a tenth of what it does now at remote sites. Geothermal power generation could displace millions of gallons of diesel a year (Source: "Visit to determine geothermal options" by Tom Moran, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 25 September 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

  • Chairman of Arizona Corporation Commission, Marc Spitzer, has proposed a three-point change to the existing Environmental Portfolio Standard (EPS) which requires regulated utilities to derive a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy resources.  The Chairman's proposal includes increasing the monthly customer surcharge for renewables from 35¢ to 70¢ per month for residential customers, $13 to $26 for commercial customers, and $39 to $78 for non-residential customers who use more than 3,000 kW a month. The regulated utilities have maintained that the current funding level is insufficient for them to meet the required standard. 

    If adopted, the proposal would provide additional funding for solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable projects.  The process for consideration of the proposal is not clear at this time but would include public hearings and deliberations by the full Commission.

    Geothermal is not included in the definition of renewable technologies under the EPS. This is due to an apparent oversight of the technology when the original rule was developed.  The rule modification process may provide the opportunity to insert geothermal. Although the rule does not officially include geothermal,  a waiver has been granted for one specific geothermal project, and generally there is support in the state for geothermal activities and inclusion of geothermal. For more information, email Amanda Ormond at asormond@msn.com.

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California

For further information on geothermal activities in California, contact:

Elaine Sison-Lebrilla
Geothermal Program Manager
California Energy Commission

Tel: (916) 654-5129
Email: esisonle@energy.state.ca.us

  • At the 22 October California Energy Commission (CEC) Business Meeting, a proposal was approved to use the $54,310 received from the DOE SEP Special Projects Award to update a 1982 CEC study to assess the potential geothermal direct-use market and generic applications for projects in the state. The study will create opportunities for new uses and expand existing geothermal direct use applications in selected geothermal resource and geographical areas. For more information, contact Elaine Sison-Lebrilla, CEC Geothermal Program Manager, at Tel: (916) 653-0363, or email at Esisonle@energy.state.ca.us.

  • A state-funded device that makes geothermal energy production safer and more environmentally friendly received the prestigious R&D 100 Awards, also known as the "Nobel Prize of technology." The Low Emissions Atmospheric Metering Separator (LEAMS) for geothermal drilling and well-testing use was among 100 research innovations honored this year by R&D Magazine in Chicago on 16 October. Two-Phase Engineering and Research, of Santa Clara, was the innovator of LEAMS. The LEAMS technology was supported by work done by Sandia National Laboratories researcher Allan Sattler; most fabrication was accomplished by Drill Cool Systems, Inc. The project received funding from the CEC Energy Innovations Small Grant Program.

  • Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing a push to deregulate the state's electricity markets. According to his Agenda, "Government mismanagement has contributed to an energy cost crisis in California, putting the state at a competitive disadvantage and placing a severe drag on our economy. Businesses in California now face energy rates nearly twice as high as businesses face in other Western states. California residents face rates that are 61% higher." As Governor, he promises to implement a 6 Point Energy Plan to reform the current regulatory framework in order to encourage private sector investment and protect ratepayers:

    1. Create a uniform energy strategy to stimulate private investment and align the 13 state energy agencies to support that strategy
    2. Reform the wholesale power market
    3. Assure adequate and diverse fuel for power generation
    4. Encourage cost effective conservation by increasing demand response to changing electricity markets
    5. Enact electricity reserves requirements for power generators
    6. Explore ways to lower the cost of Gray Davis' overpriced power purchase agreements

  • The EPA is putting up $433,000 to engineer the last step in an ambitious project to encircle Clear Lake with a pipeline to divert treated wastewater to geothermal power plants at The Geysers. The final phase will involve construction of a 24-mile pipeline linking two wastewater treatment plants in the Lakeport and Kelseyville areas to a geothermal injection system south of Middletown. The wastewater will be injected into boiling-hot rocks deep underground to create steam that can be used to drive electric turbines, according to the EPA. "We're pleased to fund this project, and continue our efforts to restore Clear Lake," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's Water Division (Source: "Feds put $433,000 into Clear Lake pipeline" by Mike Geniella, The Press Democrat, 24 October 2003).

  • Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) obtained over 20% of its power this past summer from renewable energy resources including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric facilities. According to SCE Chairman John E. Bryson, the utility achieved the state's 20% renewable target 14 years early due to its "long-standing commitment to renewable energy resources that offer important environmental and economic benefits to our customers." Seeking additional eligible renewable resource suppliers, the utility issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting 10-, 15-, or 20-year contracts with renewable energy projects on 29 August. The deadline for proposals was 23 September; short-listed participants will be contacted by 31 October. SCE aims to obtain final approval for any power agreements by the end of March 2004.

  • On 9 September, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB' rating on Salton Sea Funding Corp.'s $592 million senior secured bonds series B, C, E, and F, reflecting the credit strength of the primary power offtaker, SCE. According to S&P credit analyst Peter Rigby, "The rating of the projects' primary power offtaker, SCE, continues to constrain the rating pending Standard & Poor's assessment of how the California Public Utility Commission's (CPUC) regulatory decisions will determine the direction of SCE's future credit quality."

    Salton Sea is a project-funding vehicle that financed the purchase and construction of a portfolio of geothermal power projects in Southern California. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Magma Power Co. , which, in turn, is wholly owned by CE Generation LLC, which is 50%-owned by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. and 50%-owned by TransAlta Corp. The CEC website contains current information on the proposed 185-MW Salton Sea Geothermal Unit 6 Power Project.

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Colorado

  • The DOE GeoPowering the West initiative made its debut on the Western Slope at a conference held at Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) headquarters 18-20 September. The three-day event increased awareness of geothermal technologies as compelling energy options for sustainable economic growth across the Western region, including "GeoExchange" technology which uses the constant temperature of the earth to heat and cool buildings. For more information, contact Tom Polikalas, DMEA Communications, Tel: (970) 240-1245, or email at tpolikalas@dmea.com.

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Hawai'i

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

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

  • 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 islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai on 4 September. 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. Proposals for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai are due 4 December. Selection of accepted bids is planned for April 2004. The RE RFPP for the Big Island of Hawai'i is targeted for release the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Puna Geothermal Venture's (PGV) is back to producing 27 MWe following the failure of well KS-11 in April 2002 which cut production to 5 MWe. PGV spent more than $18 million restoring the plant, converting KS-11 into an injection well, and constructing a new production well—which took longer than expected due to a drill bit that got stuck, said PGV spokesman Barry Mizuno. PGV will clean an older production well and should return to full capacity by the second week of October. PGV has a contract to deliver 30 MWe to Hawai'i Electric Light Co. (Source: "PGV nears prior levels" by Jason Armstrong, Hawai'i Tribune Herald, 3 September 2003).

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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
  • US Geothermal (USGEO) launched its new website in August. The company's mission is to rapidly develop the Raft River Power Project's geothermal energy resources by creating electrical energy production for sale to customers in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. GeothermEx, Inc. has estimated that net power production of 90 MWe may be available from USGEO's land package, and that a net 14-17 MWe can be generated using the five existing production wells.

  • David Meniccuci of Sandia National Laboratories will discuss using distributed energy resources to improve energy surety in communities at a free noon teleconference on 6 November at the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) Boise office. The seminar is presented by the Million Solar Roofs (MSR) Initiative, but is applicable to other renewable energies. For more information, see the MSR website. If you plan to attend at IDWR, please contact (Ms.) K.T. Hanna at Tel: (208) 327-7978, or email at khanna@idwr.state.id.us.

  • The Blaine County Renewable Energy/Green Building Fair was held on 10 October at the Sun Valley Lodge in Sun Valley. The fair was sponsored by the IDWR Energy Division, the Blaine Soil Conservation District, Wood River Resource Conservation and Development Agency, DOE, BriCo of Idaho, and the Idaho PV4You Solar Working Group. For more information, call 1-800-334-SAVE or email (Ms.) K.T. Hanna in Boise at khanna@idwr.state.id.us.

  • Idaho Power reported that enrollment in its Green Power Program increased 20% since April, with a total of nearly 2,000 subscribers as of 1 June. "This is very exciting news," said Green Power Program manager Theresa Drake. "It shows that more and more people from around Idaho Power's service area are understanding the environmental benefits of green energy."

    More than 380 subscribers joined the program following a direct mail campaign conducted earlier this year. Eight business customers have joined the program, bringing the total number of business subscribers to 30. For more information: Dennis Lopez, Idaho Power, Tel: (208) 388-2464.

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Kansas

No news.

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Montana

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Nebraska

No news.

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Nevada

For further information on geothermal activities in Nevada, contact:

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

  • The First Annual Western States Renewable Energy Summit, featuring U.S. Senator Harry Reid, took place in Reno on 8 October. The conference brought together western state policy makers and leaders, industry representatives, project developers and owners, utilities, tribal leaders, regulators, and advocates to discuss adding renewable energy to the grid, the impact of aggregating western states for maximum leverage, and negotiating in the rapidly changing arena of national energy policy. The vast Western Grid includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

    New geothermal resource maps created by the INEEL identifying the best locations in the western United States for development were unveiled at the meeting. Speaker presentations and more information are available on the Summit's website.

  • According to a North Lake Tahoe Bonanza article, although completion of the sale [of the Steamboat Geothermal Complex] would provide ORMAT ownership of the existing plants, Advanced Thermal Systems (ATS) plans to construct two geothermal projects in the area using Kalina cycle technology. Construction of the 44-MWe ATS Steamboat 4 project is expected to start in 2003 and be completed in two years. The other project is an 11-MWe plant to power the Redfield Campus of the University of Nevada, Reno (Source: "Sparks company to buy Steamboat geothermal plants" by Rick Adair, 11 July 2003).

  • Earth Power Resources, Inc. received several state permits in August for a geothermal project area to include 8 production wells, 6 injection wells, and 10 observation wells. The project area is located in Hot Sulphur Springs, near Independence Valley and Tuscarora, Elko County. The purpose of the project area is to supply a 25 MWe power plant for a power purchase contract awarded by Sierra Pacific (Nevada Geothermal Update, August 2003).

  • On 21 August, Carson City signed a contract with Oakland-CA company Princeton Development Corp. to "develop a renewable energy strategy and to exclusively assess the viability of projects and to propose mutually acceptable business arrangements with the city and its potential partners." Princeton plans to open an office in Carson City and set up a website (Nevada Geothermal Update, August 2003).

  • Presco Energy completed a five-well program in mid-July. Presco began their drilling program in May in the Humboldt House Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA) southwest of Winnemucca, using drilling contractor, Layne Christensen Company. Presco drilled five sites in the area to evaluate the lifetime and current potential of the Humboldt House geothermal system (Nevada Geothermal Update, August 2003).

  • 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, July, August, and September 2003).

    Non-Competitive Geothermal BLM Lease Applications, Pending:
    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77217, 640 acres

    Churchill Co.

    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77218, 1920 acres
    Churchill Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77427, 1260 acres
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77248, 1280 acres
    Carson Sink
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77249, 651 acres
    Buena Vista Valley
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77250, 640 acres
    Carson Sink
    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77296, 1920 acres
    Churchill Co.
    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77297, 1920 acres
    Churchill Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77435, 1260 acres
    Salt Wells
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77436, 2560 acres
    Salt Wells
    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77481, 1920 acres
    Pershing/Lander Co.
    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77482, 1920 acres
    Pershing/Lander Co.
    ORMAT Nevada, Inc.
    NVN 77483, 2560 acres
    Pershing/Lander Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77538, 2660 acres
    Wells, Elko Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77550, 1036.57 acres
    Wells, Elko Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77551, 160 acres
    Wells, Elko Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77552, 160 acres
    Wells, Elko Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77600, 1280 acres
    East of Smith Valley, Lyon Co.
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77602, 1311.2 acres
    East of Smith Valley, Lyon Co.
    Geo-Energy Partners
    NVN 77627, 2560 acres
    Fish Lake Valley, Esmeralda Co.
    Geo-Energy Partners
    NVN 77628, 2556.24 acres
    Fish Lake Valley, Esmeralda Co.
    Competitive Sale Geothermal BLM Lease Applications, Pending:
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77268, 1662.05 acres
    Gerlach
    NGP Power Corp.
    NVN 77269, 1346.92 acres
    Salt Wells
    NGP Power Corp.
    NVN 77270, 1360 acres
    Salt Wells
    Nevada Geothermal Specialists
    NVN 77271, 2520 acres
    Salt Wells
    Nevada Geothermal Specialists
    NVN 77272, 1274 acres
    Salt Wells
    Western Geothermal Partners
    NVN 77273, 1865.64 acres
    Salt Wells
    Geothermal BLM Leases Issued:
    Vulcan Power Co.
    NVN 66738, 655 acres
    Salt Wells, Churchill Co.
    PSG Resources LLC
    NVN 77112, 628.3 acres
    Silverpeak, Esmeralda Co.
    PSG Resources LLC
    NVN 77113, 640 acres
    Esmeralda Co.
    ORMAT Nevada Inc.
    NVN 76209, 2560 acres
    Grass Valley, Lander Co.
    ORMAT Nevada Inc.
    NVN 76210, 2563 acres
    Grass Valley, Lander Co.
    ORMAT Nevada Inc.
    NVN 76211, 2560 acres
    Grass Valley, Lander Co.
    PSG Resources LLC
    NVN 77110, 640 acres
    Silverpeak, Esmeralda Co.
    PSG Resources LLC
    NVN 77111, 640 acres
    Silverpeak, Esmeralda Co.

  • A shift to more reliance on renewable sources, as required by the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), will boost employment and economic activity in the state. Assuming in-state resources are used, increasing renewable generation to 15% of total consumption—the maximum required by the Nevada RPS—will create 4,000-5,500 new jobs in the state, and add $375 million to $409 million in annual gross state product (in1992 dollars). So concludes "The Potential Economic Impact of Nevada's Renewable Energy Resources," a study commissioned by the Nevada Renewable Energy & Energy Conservation Task Force and written by Mary Riddel and R. Keith Schwer of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The complete study is available on the Task Force's website.

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New Mexico

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

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

  • Twenty people attended an informative half-day meeting of the New Mexico Geothermal Working Group on 20 August in Santa Fe. Chris Wentz, Director, New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division, facilitated the meeting, which featured presentations by Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, Southwest Technology Development Institute, McNeil Technologies, T 2 and Associates, Washington State University, and the New Mexico State Energy Office.

    A barrier identified by the Working Group where government assistance would be welcome is the prohibitive cost of drilling and exploration activities. Several successful businesses utilizing geothermal resources in New Mexico achieved their start over 20 years ago when the State Legislature appropriated $600,000 for a geothermal research, development, and demonstration program.

    Brian Johnson is the new Geothermal Program Manager for New Mexico, and will coordinate future Working Group meetings.

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North Dakota

No news.

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Oklahoma

  • Approximately a dozen students traveled with David Blackwell, professor of geothermal studies, and a teaching assistant, from Southern Methodist University to various places around Oklahoma, looking at cliffs, mountains, waterfalls, road construction cut-aways, quarries, and a wildlife refuge. Blackwell said that he has been making this approximately 700-mile trip with students for 19 years. The mixed group of undergraduate and graduate students scaled small cliff faces and rock cutaways, climbed on ledges and camped in the wilderness. "It is very important for the students to have a thorough understanding of the Earth's mechanical and chemical principles in order to be successful in their fields. A lot can be learned from computers ... but nothing beats the human experience," Blackwell said (Source: "Geology students grow through field studies" by De'Borah Bankston, smudailycampus.com, 15 October 2003).

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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

  • FOR SALE: Private land containing a Geothermal Natural Resource with a useable energy value of $3,200+ per day. Easily accessible 39.28 partially treed acres located 15 miles west of Vale Oregon, and 1.05 hours northwest of Boise on the Malhuer River. Property includes two metal commercial buildings with small apartment, doublewide mobile home, three pump houses, and other infrastructure. Developed 160°F artesian soft water hot spring with large outflow. Two shallow artesian wells produce 108-131°F soft water for a total of just under 300 gpm. Potential electrical generation target site investigated by others. Geothermal resource used in the '80s for alcohol production, and 1993-1998 to grow commercial water lilies and exotic fish.

    Owners are disabled and unable to finish development of a permitted private lake and greenhouse complex. Lots of water, wetlands, a cold creek, a hot creek, and a river are left in a secluded natural wild state. Offered at $377,000. Contact Wayne Rasmussen at (541) 358-2685 after 2:00 PM MT, or email at litleval@ruralnetwork.net.

    Rasmussen land for sale

  • In July, about 24 members of state and federal agencies, along with geothermal consultants, gathered in Portland as part of DOE's GeoPowering the West initiative. The Oregon Department of Energy is the lead agency and will work with others, including the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, in the statewide effort. Oregon Department of Energy Director Michael Grainey told the group, "Federal and State entities and developers need to explore joint opportunities for the exploration, permitting, and financing of geothermal resources." An outcome of the July meeting is the Geothermal Short Course which was offered 21 October to government officials and interested citizens in Central Oregon. For more information, email Diana Enright at Diana.Enright@state.or.us.

  • The Pacific Northwest Section of the Geothermal Resources Council, in conjunction with the Oregon Office of Energy, DOE Geopowering the West program, and supported by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and the Geo-Heat Center, held a one-day short course, "Introduction to Geothermal Energy: A Renewable and Green Source of Electrical Power" on 21 October at the Deschutes County Fair Grounds in Redmond. The course discussed how geothermal energy development affects regulatory agencies, the environment, employment, and the state tax base. For more information, contact Bob Fujimoto, USDA Forest Service, Tel: (503) 808-2430, or email at: rfujimoto@fs.fed.us.

  • Oregon public-purposes funding for energy conservation and renewable energy survived the budget crisis-ridden 2003 state legislative session intact. Oregon lawmakers adjourned in late August after considering, but ultimately rejecting, a proposed shifting of public-purposes dollars into the state's general fund. The fight over public-purposes funding came as Oregon lawmakers grappled with a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall (Source: "Oregon Public-Purposes Funding Emerges Intact from State Legislative Session," Con.WEB In Brief, 29 September 2003).

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 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold a Competitive Geothermal Lease Sale of 18 parcels of land containing approximately 33,878 acres located within the KGRAs of Cove Fort-Sulphurdale, Crater Springs, Roosevelt Hot Springs, and Thermo Hot Springs, in Beaver, Millard, and Juab Counties. Sealed bids must be submitted on or before 4:00 PM, 8 December 2003. Bids will be opened and read at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, 9 December. BLM held its last lease sale in Utah in 1988.

  • The second meeting of the Utah Geothermal Working Group (UGWG) took place 5 September at the Utah Department of Natural Resources office in Salt Lake City. Thirty-one people representing industry, and the Utah and Federal governments attended the meeting. The following update on geothermal development in the state was presented:

    Mike Glenn, Utah Energy Office - Space Heating at Utah State Prison - Construction has begun on a new geothermal heating system for the Utah State Prison near Bluffdale in Southern Salt Lake County using existing wells. The prison is working with Johnson Controls (ESCO) and third party financing. The estimated Phase I-project cost of $519,000 will save approximately $69,000 per year on natural gas charges (7.6-year pay-out). The spent geothermal water will exit near the Jordan River where the Utah Department of Transportation is interested in using it to develop wetlands toward mitigation credits.

    Ray Connors, Sunrise Engineering - Cove Fort-Sulphurdale, new geothermal plant – Recurrent Resources recently purchased the Provo/UMPA (formerly Bonnett) plant and field in the Cove Fort-Sulphurdale area. The company plans to construct a 25-30 MWe binary power plant. Their goal is to have the plant on-line within the next year.

    Harold Cunningham, PacifiCorp - Blundell plant expansion – Pacificorp is working with ORMAT, Inc. to add a bottom-cycle binary power unit downstream from the main Blundell power system at the Roosevelt Hot Springs geothermal area near Milford. This will expand capacity by an estimated 13 MWe. CalEnergy, the field developer, is not involved in this upgrade.

    Pacificorp will issue RFPs for local renewable projects. Wind energy is expected to dominate the renewable energy mix, but resource limitations (i.e., capacity factor) suggest there will likely be opportunities for all types of renewable energy projects. The Wasatch Front market for Pacificorp is one of the fastest electrical demand growth areas in the country.

    In addition to the state-wide update,

    Roy Mink, DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Manager, gave an overview of DOE's geothermal program, including benefits, research priorities, and GeoPowering the West.

    Robert Henricks and James Fouts, BLM, Branch of Fluid Minerals, Utah State Office, discussed BLM's minerals policy, the 2001 National Energy Plan, KGRAs in Utah, BLM land use plans, and active geothermal leases in the state. Geothermal resources are mainly located within the Cedar City and Fillmore field offices resource areas of Cedar, Beaver, and Garfield. BLM has about 7,000 acres of active geothermal leases in Utah.

    Marge Tempest, Utah Division of Water Rights, talked about water rights and geothermal regulation in Utah, specifically Utah Code Title 73, Chapter 22 – Utah Geothermal Resource Conservation Act.

    Gordon Bloomquist, Washington State University Energy Program, spoke about the National Geothermal Collaborative (NGC).

    Jon Wellinghoff, Beckley Singleton, discussed making markets for geothermal power.

    Bill Case, Utah Geological Survey, introduced the Utah geothermal website update.

    Bob Blackett, Utah Geological Survey, distributed the UGWG Operating Guide, and led the Strategic Plan discussion.

    The UGWG will tentatively meet again within the next three months to "brainstorm" goals and strategic planning. For more information, contact Bob Blackett, at Tel: (435) 865-8139, or email 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

  • A proposed Seattle initiative measure to raise residential electric rates 1% to pay for local renewably generated power has failed to gain sufficient citizen support. Initiative 81 would have initially produced an estimated $1.5 million a year for a Seattle City Light-administered fund that would have paid owners of small solar and wind installations up to $1.50 per kilowatt-hour generated. The average Seattle residential customer would have paid an additional $5 annually under the proposal, based on current rates. Proponents have not abandoned the idea (Source: "Proposed Seattle Initiative to Raise Electric Rates to Fund Local Renewables Falls Short," Con.WEB In Brief, 29 September 2003).

  • According to the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP)'s report, "Powerful Choices IV," Puget Sound Energy customers in Olympia continue to lead the way with 1,129 subscribers in the green power program, more than 14% of the utility total and nearly double the number enrolled eight months ago, company spokesman Tim Bader said. Participants pay an average of $6 extra per month to support nonpolluting, renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power. "People are still signing up for green power in increasing numbers despite the rough economy and rising utility rates," noted RNP spokeswoman Natalie McIntire. A new state law requires utilities with 25,000 or more customers to offer green power sales (Source: "Green power programs expanding in South Sound" by John Dodge, The Olympian, 10 September 2003).

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Wyoming

No news.


Current Solicitations

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

U. S. Department of Energy
National Nuclear Security Administration Security Administration Service Center (NNSA)

Due 10 November 2003

The U. S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Security Administration Service Center (NNSA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for sources of non-hydroelectric renewable energy generated from solar, geothermal, biomass, or wind technologies to supply up to 7½% of the electric energy requirements of the NNSA Pantex Plant in Amarillo, TX and the NNSA Kansas City Plant in Kansas City, MO. Up to 17 GWh of renewables are required.

Responses are due by 5:00 PM, Mountain Time, 10 November.

For more information, see Solicitation DE-RF52-04NA0000, "Renewable Electrical Energy," or contact David Nienow at Tel: (505) 845-6072, email at dnienow@doeal.gov.

Renewable Hawai'i, Inc.
Renewable Energy Request for Project Proposals
For the Islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai

Due 4 December 2003

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 islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai on 4 September.

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.

The RE RFPP for the Big Island of Hawai'i is targeted for release in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The RE RFPP for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai is available in PDF format.

Proposals for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai are due 4 December. Selection of accepted bids is planned for April 2004.

StePP Foundation

Open-ended

The StEPP Foundation is looking for projects with significant and measurable
environmental benefits to fund around the United States.

Established in July of 2001, the StEPP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is to increase the number of clean energy, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention projects implemented at the local, state and national levels for the benefit of the public. The StEPP Foundation offers opportunities for organizations across the country to demonstrate the positive benefits of clean energy, energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects in their communities. Funding is provided to a limited number of projects, in one- to three-year time frames. Projects must meet a minimum funding requirement.

To apply for funding from the StEPP Foundation, applicants must first submit a project idea through the StEPP website. The online form takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and will log your project idea into the StEPP Foundation's national database to be matched with funding sources when available. Project ideas remain in the pipeline for as long as they are viable during a 12-month period.

There is no limit to the number of project ideas that can be submitted by a single organization. Each project must, however, be distinct and separate from others an applicant submits.

 

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