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Global Geothermal News Roundup: US Plants Near Completion, South America Closer to Tapping Resource

Geothermal projects are on the move worldwide. Some highlights include Oregon’s Paisley geothermal plant, which is expected to be completed this summer. Various projects are moving forward in stages of preparation and construction, including Mariposa, Chile; San Jacinto-Tizate, Nicaragua; and Biliran, The Philippines. China says it is establishing its own Geothermal Energy Association. Below you'll find brief updates on these projects and more.

Geothermal photos via Twitter users @GeoTenerife in Spain and @NevGOE in Nevada.

U.S. States

  • Oregon: Paisley Plant Expected by This Summer – The geothermal power plant underway in Paisley, Oregon, now has a summer 2014 expected completion date. The cost for the 3-MW plant is about $21 million including a $2 million DOE grant and a $3 million Oregon Department of Energy business tax credit. It is expected to provide power output for up to 700 homes and replace Bonneville Power Administration power as the latter rises in price.
  • Utah: Geothermal Opportunities Explored – A story on DeseretNews.com points to geothermal success in Utah, and potential for future growth. “Bottom line is we suspect there is a very hot zone that extends between Delta and Milford (likely about 450 degrees at 10,000 feet). We know either end is hot because oil exploration wells around 1980 encountered these temperatures at depth,” Utah Geological Survey’s Rick Allis was quoted. “We are excited to get a handle on it.”

Africa

  • Djibouti: World Bank Issues General Procurement Notice for Four Wells – Next steps for the Djibouti Geothermal Power Project seem to be underway as World Bank invited prequalifications for drilling of four full-size production wells (deadline is June 11). From WorldBank.org: “The development objective of the Geothermal Power Generation Project for Djibouti is to assist the recipient in assessing the commercial viability of the geothermal resource in Fiale Caldera within the Lake Assal region. . . This project will tap into Djibouti’s volcanic riches as a source of power, and will play an important role in their policy to reach 100 percent green energy use by 2020.” Click here to read a GEA feature article about the project.

The Americas

  • Canada: Alberta Stands to Benefit from Geothermal – An article on GlobeAdvisor.com lays out three reasons to develop geothermal energy in Alberta: the relevance of existing oil and gas expertise; it would help diversify the province’s economy; and Alberta could be a leader in the market.
  • Canada: Valemount Residents Engaged in Geothermal Project – Representatives of Borealis Geopower have recently been conducting tests in cooperation with residents near their geothermal lease site in Valemount, British Columbia, in order to determine drilling costs and at the same time supply homeowners with information about their lands.
  • Chile: EDC to Drill at Mariposa – Philippines-based Energy Development Corp (EDC) will drill additional wells at its Mariposa geothermal prospect, Chile, within two years, the company told press. This year the company will spend $12.5 million on the project. The funding will go toward roads, drilling pads, and water supply.
  • Nicaragua: San Jacinto-Tizate Stabilization, Performance Testing Underway – Through the month of May, a 30-day stabilization period is underway for the San Jacinto-Tizate project, followed by a performance test.

Asia and the Pacific

  • Australia: Geothermal Explored in Otway Basin of Victoria – Company Hot Rock Limited released its geothermal activities for the quarter including work in the Otway Basin of Victoria.
  • China: Country to Establish Geothermal Energy Association – Reports are that China will be the next country to establish a geothermal energy association. The Ministry of Land and Resources is leading the effort.
  • The Philippines: Geothermal Company Assists Typhoon-Ravaged School – Philippine Geothermal Production Company and BDO Foundation are co-funding the reconstruction of a four-classroom elementary school in Barangay area, which was hit by the supertyphoon in 2013.
  • The Philippines: Biliran Geothermal to Go Commercial in 2016 – Biliran Geothermal, Inc. is in the predevelopment phase for its 49-MW geothermal power plant and plans to begin commercial operation by 2016. Construction is targeted for July. The company is a joint venture of Filtech Energy Drilling Corp. and Orka Energy Holding ehf (Iceland).

Europe

  • Ireland: Collaboration Models Geophysical Data – Ireland’s geothermal energy potential assessment project, IRETHERM, is a four-and-a-half year academic-government-industry collaboration between DIAS, UCD, UCC, NUIG, GSI, GSNI, SLR Consulting, GT Energy and Providence Resources. IRETHERM is modeling new and existing geophysical and geological data.

This article was originally published in GEA's Geothermal Wire and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Geothermal plant via Shutterstock

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