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PhD Opportunity: Geological controls/ deep geothermal, University of Exeter

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 23:05

The University of Exeter has published an opportunity for a PhD position on “Geological controls on upper crustal heat flow for deep geothermal energy in Cornwall, Camborne School of Mines” – MPhil/PhD Ref: 3011

About the award

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, in partnership with GeoScience Ltd, is inviting applications for a NERC Industrial CASE PhD studentship to commence in September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,553 for 4 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the Camborne School of Mines in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

Location: Camborne School of Mines, Penryn, Cornwall,

Academic Supervisors

  • Dr Robin Shail, University of Exeter
  • Dr Tony Batchelor (CASE Industrial Supervisor, GeoScience Limited)
  • Professor Frances Wall, University of Exeter
  • Professor Mark Smethurst, visiting professor, University of Exeter
  • Dr James Hickey, University of Exeter

Project Description

SW England has locally high surface heat flows associated with elevated levels of radioactive elements U, Th and K within the Early Permian granites of the Cornubian Batholith. As such, it is one of the most prospective areas in the UK for deep geothermal energy. Previous investigations into the regional deep geothermal energy potential included the Hot Dry Rock (HDR) geothermal research programme, undertaken by Camborne School of Mines (1975-1991).

There is now renewed interest in this technology. The United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project will commence drilling two wells into the Carnmenellis Granite in 2018, one 2.5 km deep and the other 4.5 km deep; this will result in the UK’s deepest onshore geothermal borehole and provides the project context.

The purpose is to address uncertainties regarding heat production and conduction models in the Cornish crust which include: (i) radioactive elements U, Th and K are not present in sufficiently high quantities within the previously investigated upper parts of the granite to account for observed heat flow, (ii) He-4 production from historical deep geothermal wells is higher than anticipated, and (iii) geophysical modelling has progressively reduced the interpreted thickness/volume of the Cornubian granites. These inconsistences imply substantive heat source(s) may occur within, or below, the deeper parts of the batholith.

The project will develop further understanding of the controls on upper crustal temperatures and deep geothermal energy exploitation in Cornwall and how this might relate to: (i) heterogeneous radiogenic heat production within the composite Cornubian Batholith (presently unsampled below 2.6 km), (ii) heat contributions from mid/lower crustal and mantle sources, and (iii) modification by fracture-controlled deep groundwater circulation. Drilling within the Carnmenellis Granite will occur over a depth range of approximately 0.8-4.5 km.

The arisings and limited sidewall core samples will permit mineralogical and whole rock geochemical characterisation of granite variation, including the U, Th, K budget and their mineralogical hosts and evidence for high-temperature alteration and leaching. Analytical techniques include optical microscopy, QEMSCAN (automated SEM), electron microprobe and XRF/ICP-MS.

The use of QEMSCAN is novel as it permits rapid mineralogical analysis and host rock interpretation from fine-grained drilling arisings. These data will be complemented by those obtained during downhole logging (gamma ray, formation fluid composition / temperature). Radiogenic heat production will be modelled and compared with measured heat flow data. Discrepancies will be evaluated in terms of the potential role of upper crustal convective fluid flow and/or mid / lower crustal and mantle heat contributions using existing deep geophysical data and an understanding of admissible scenarios during the post-Variscan tectonic evolution of SW England. Confirmation of deeper heat sources would have profound implications for regional geothermal and crustal models and deep geothermal projects in granitic terrains globally.

The student will receive training at Camborne School of Mines in: (i) mineralogical and geochemical analytical and interpretation skills, (ii) petrological and heat flow modelling skills, and (iii) regional crustal evolution. Training in downhole log interpretation and fracture-controlled fluid flow models will be provided by GeoScience Limited.

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 4 years of full-time study to commence in September 2018 and is subject to confirmation of funding.

The studentship will cover a stipend at the minimum Research Council rate, currently £14,553 per annum, research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements outlined by the NERC.  Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award but no stipend.  Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fee purposes are not eligible for funding.  Further information about eligibility can be found here.

More project opportunities within Camborne School of Mines can be found here.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in Geology or related discipline.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

For further details see link below.

Application deadline: 5 February 2018

Source: University of Exeter

BLM in Nevada working on geothermal as part of Dixie Meadows restoration work

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:52

In August 2017, fires burnt around 17,000 acres at Tungsten Mountain in Nevada. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has been working on plans for restoration in the area and is coordinating geothermal projects in Dixie Valley.

The BLM received around $1.1 million for repair work from damage of the fires at the site near Fallon, Nevada.

This included the Dixie Meadows mitigation project that involves renewable energy and the 20 MW geothermal plant at Tungsten Mountain. Planned projects also include forge of observation for research and geothermal energy at the Naval Air Station Fallon and other potential local sites.

We assume that the plant in question is the 24 MW Tungsten geothermal plant by Ormat on site, which started operation in December 2017.

Source: Nevada Appeal

Zwolle in the Netherlands receives exploration permit for geothermal project

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:39

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has granted the municipality of Zwolle a license for drilling for geothermal heat. The permit gives the municipality the exclusive right to apply geothermal energy in the provincial capital.

The granted exploration license covers a large part of Zwolle with a total surface area of 75 square kilometers. The area that was considered promising by the municipality in December 2017, between the Dijklanden and the Stadskolk at the Zwarte Water, is also included.

Zwolle had to wait almost two years for the ministry’s promise. As early as March 2016, the municipality submitted the application. The TNO Advisory Board , the State Supervision of Mines, the Provincial Executive of the province of Overijssel and the Mining Council issued their opinions during this period.

The license granted applies for the next four years. Whether Zwolle will actually start drilling in the ground is not yet final. In December it became known that a location in Hanzeland was not suitable for drilling for geothermal heat. For years this seemed to be the most promising location because of an existing source relatively close to the earth’s surface.

However, the geological structure of the soil proved unsuitable. For the research in Hanzeland, a EUR 325,000 EU subsidy was provided to a partnership of the municipality, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, school community Greijdanus, the company Ennatuurlijk and the province of Overijssel.

Due to the changed area, further research is needed to determine whether it is possible to pump up hot water. “It has not yet been decided whether, and if so, when it is going to be drilled”, the municipality said in a written response to local publication de Stentor. It is therefore not yet known whether, and if so in which place, there is a geothermal source in the area. ‘

The current research is financed from the funds already provided.

Source: de Stentor

Greek island of Santorini partners with PPC Renewables on geothermal project

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:29

In a press conference on the Greek island of Santorini, the CEO of PPC Renewables and Nikos Zorzos, the mayor of  the island, announced a partnership on the construction of a waste management and energy production facility and the exploitation of a geothermal field on the island following exploration work. This is done in cooperation with the Municipality of Santorini and the Ministry of the Aegean and Island Policy.

According to the mayor’s report, the island’s turbulent tourism has led to a 50% rise in electricity consumption since 2013, when the multi-day blackout (from 32 to 48 MW) has taken place, while water consumption has doubled in the large settlements and has fivefold in Akrotiri. Also, waste generation has exceeded 20,000 tonnes per year. For both issues (waste and geothermal energy), a MOU on cooperation between the municipality, PPC Renewable and the Ministry of Island Policy has been signed.

For waste, the expropriation of the area where the Urban Waste Management and Power Production Unit will be installed, with the use of waste after recycling, composting, etc., is pending. The timetable foresees the launch of a tender in 2019 and the operation of the plant by 2021.

For the geothermal energy part of the agreement, the next step will be to conduct surface surveys and drills to investigate the geothermal potential of the island. There are, however, studies by IGME that have identified a low temperature field in southern Santorini. As Monachoias pointed out, geothermal energy is the most reliable solution for the electrification of Santorini (as well as the islands with such fields), as opposed to wind and photovoltaic as it is available 24 hours a day. It can also be used for power generation, heating, cooling, seawater desalination and use for hot springs.

In the case of the installation of a 5 MW power station, the Municipality of Santorini will have a benefit of around EUR 100,000 ($122k) per year, while an amount equal to 1% of the value of the generated energy of about EUR 58,000 ($71k) per year will be made available for the reduction of electricity consumption bills of the inhabitants of Santorini.

Source: EPT Greece

Holzkirchen geothermal project to start construction spring 2018

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:17

As reported earlier this month, the geothermal heating and power project in Holzkirchen in Bavaria/ Germany has made a major step forward. In a decision by the municipality council, a building application for the plant was approved and construction can now be scheduled to begin in the spring of this year. Electricity generated from the plant is then expected to be fed into the grid after 12 months from the start of construction.

There is a certain rush, as the project could profit from existing feed-in-tariffs for one year long should it be able to start operation in the first quarter of 2019.

The construction of the district heating plant including storage hall and water pipes began in September 2017 and the roof is already in place. 

The heat exchanges will be set up in the summer of this year, while the part that makes the project financially so attractive, the power plant will be built right after.

In this second phase of construction,  several elements are to be installed:  air condensers (around 81.50 by 15.70 meters with a wall height of 14.50 meters), switchgear (around 40 by ten meters with a wall height of ten meters) and the power house ( nearly 40 by 27 meters, 9.30 meters high).

The client is Geothermie Holzkirchen GmbH, a municipality owned company. Construction could start as early as this spring. The power plant will be built by Italian ORC supplier Turboden that won a tender for the project last year. 

The unexpectedly high temperatures – 150 degrees Celsius – has also increased the expected performance of the project in Holzkirchen, although the amount of charge instead of the expected 65 litres per second comes only out at around 55 liters per second. As a result, the thermal output increases from the expected 20.7 to 24.5 megawatts, and the electric power of the power station from 2.8 to 3.4 MW. The project calculates with annual revenues of EUR 6 million (or around $73 million).

This spring, the construction of the main piping for the district heating should begin. If everything goes according to plan, the heat from the 5,000 meters deep well should flow into households at the end of this year.


IGA/ IEA Southeast Asia Geothermal Symposium, Offenburg, Feb. 28, 2018

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 19:25

The International Geothermal Association (IGA), organizes together with the International Energy Agency- Geothermal Technology Collaboration Programme (IEA Geothermal TCP) and the trade fair Offenburg a Southeast Asia Symposium.

The target group of this event are representatives of the geothermal sector, political decision-makers, ministries and embassies from the Southeast Asia region and Germany.

The symposium aims to give the participants an insight into the geothermal markets of Southeast Asia and Germany and open a dialogue around business opportunities and knowledge-transfer between the regions.

An informal get-together with food and drinks is organized in the evening after the symposium on February 28, 2018.

The event is organised in connection with the GeoTHERM expo & congress taking place in Offenburg/ German, March 1-2, 2018.

IGA held a similar event with the same partners last year that focused on Latin America.

Further details on the event soon to be found via the IGA Website.

To register for the event and more details on the GeoTHERM event, click here.

United Downs DEEP geothermal project launches informative new website

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:57

The United Downs/ DEEP Geothermal Power project has launched a new informative website. UDDGP is geothermal project in Cornwall, UK that plans to target a permeable geological structure called the Porthtowan Fault Zone, which lies about 800m to the west of the United Downs site. Two deep holes (wells) will be drilled into it; one for injection at about 2,500m depth and one for production at 4,500m. The temperature at the bottom of the production well is expected to be about 190 ?C.

Water will be pumped from the production well, fed through a heat exchanger and then re-injected into the ground to pick up more heat from the rocks in a continuous cycle. The extracted heat will be used to supply a demonstration power plant.

Geothermal Engineering Limited (GEL) has secured funding of GBP10.6 million ($14.4 million) from the European Regional Development Fund to explore the geothermal resources deep beneath Cornwall.

With GBP2.4 million ($3.3 million) from Cornwall Council and GBP5 million ($6.8 million) from private investors, the funding will allow GEL to drill two deep geothermal wells from its site within the United Downs Industrial Estate and build a 1MW pilot power plant to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of supplying both electricity and heat.

Source: United Downs/ DEEP Geothermal Power

EU-funded geothermal heating project to utilise mine water in Wales, UK

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:46

Reported from United Kingdom, a geothermal project in the South of Wales, is being pushed forward with funding by the EU and the UK government. We reported on the project before, which now seems to become a reality.

The project in the South of Wales, will be using underground mine water from an old mine, which was closed in the 1970s. The goal is to heat houses, a school and a churcine in Caerau in the Llynfi Valley.

Today, the cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths said the Welsh Government had awarded the project GBP6.5 million ($8.8 million9 in EU funds.

Local authorities are currently investigating how the water from the mines could be extracted to warm around 150 nearby homes, as reported by The Irish News.

Test drilling has confirmed the availability of water at a depth of 230 meters and results of a feasibility study on the sufficiency of the water to heat homes will be expected at the end of February.

The project has been worked on in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, that expects temperatures of around 20.6 C – this is considered warm enough to make the project a success.

This would be the first project of its kind and of that scale in the UK and help cut energy bills for the local population.

While only to be developed initially locally for about 150 homes, a nearby school and church, the implications for the future could be greater and heat up to thousand local homes.

Work on the project could start in 2020.  The project is a demonstrator project for the UK Government-led Smart System and Heat Programme, and additional funding for the GBP9.4 million ($12.7 million) project will be made up by the UK Government, Energy Systems Catapult and Bridgend County Borough Council.

Source: Irish News

RFP: study on biomass, geothermal and CSP in Bosnia Herzegovina

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:23

The United Nations Development Programme has issued a Request for Proposals for a study on renewable energy sources with a focus on biomass, geothermal energy and concentrated solar power in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina seeks a professional service provider for development of Study on Renewable Energy Sources with Focus on Biomass, Geothermal Energy and Concentrated Solar Power in BiH.

All legal entities that are registered and interested in the provision of the abovementioned services are invited to obtain RFP documents and to submit their proposals for:

Study on Renewable Energy Sources with Focus on Biomass, Geothermal Energy and Concentrated Solar Power in BiH

Bidding documents will be available every working day at:


UN House, Zmaja od Bosne bb


Or at web addresss:

or upon request through E-mail to:

Note: request for BIH/RFP/003/18 documents.

All questions concerning this RFP should be sent in writing (Ref. RFP 003-18) to:

Registry / UNDP BiH


Fax: +38733 552 330

All tenders must be submitted by 12:00, 12 February 2018.

Source: UNDP

Karizma Energy in Turkey rebrands under Oceanmec Energy International

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:15

Turkey-based KARIZMA ENERGY has undergone a restructuring and will now operate as an energy services company which will encompass a large range of services including turnkey services. It will now operate as ‘’OCEANMEC ENERGY INTERNATIONAL’’ with the following divisions

Oceanmec Energy International is a 100% wholly owned Turkish company , with an indoor  area of 10.000 m2 and an open area of 40.000 m2, located in Aydin/Germencik. Oceanmec Energy International is the company with the most diverse services in Turkey, supplying solutions to the growing needs of the energy sector since 2009. The birth of Oceanmec Energy International started with Karizma Energy which is a subsidiary of Cevik Group. Karizma Energy supplied the solutions for many companies in the geothermal drilling and well services sector while Oceanmec met their needs in the fabrication, machining and inspections area. This lead to a perfect merger of services between the two companies, which has been named Oceanmec Energy International. The merger now allows full services to be offered to the energy sector in Turkey. Oceanmec Energy International provides a customer service driven environment and employs over 30 engineers and over 200 staff who are the driving factor in the successful execution of services to the energy industry.

Oceanmec Energy International:

  • Drilling Services: Provides contract drilling services, directional drilling, performance drilling and well equipment, and rentals.
  • Fabrication, Maintenance, Repair and Inspection Services: Hardbanding, Hardfacing, Downhole tool repair and maintenance, Machining, Fabrication, Well and Drilling equipment maintenance and repair,Casing Slotting, among other services.
  • Well Testing and Completion Services: PT/PTS well measurements, Injection and Interference tests, gas measurements and sample collection, silencer installation, Trace test, analysis and reporting services, Gyro, Gamma Ray, CCL/ Caliper Log.
  • Coiled Tubing, Cementing, and Stimulation Services: Acidization, N2 , Drilling, Cementing, Clean outs, Plug setting/drill out, other various coiled tubing applications.
  • Integrated Services Department: Services are offered in turnkey packages, single service, or bundled services that fit your requirements and delivered in a professional, cost-effective manner.

Management staff:

  • Kubilay Cevik – General Manager
  • Nathen Drader – Business Development Manager
  • Emrah Yesilyurt –  Integrated Services

Source: JeotermalHaberler

Current Federal and State Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy in the U.S.

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:09

In a regular report published by U.S. law firm Robinson+Cole, an overview on “Federal and State Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” in the U.S. is provided.

The report provides details on federal tax incentives and such on state level.

The report can be downloaded here (pdf).

2nd funding cycle of UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund launched

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 16:59

During the recent events of the IRENA General Assembly, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, valued at AED183.6 million (US$50 million), has launched its second funding cycle by establishing partnerships with seven new Caribbean countries, on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018, with the aim of promoting its role in developing the renewable energy sector in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.

During the fund’s announcement on the sidelines of 8th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, General Assembly, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has stated that the UAE has a prominent international role in promoting renewable energy solutions and finding effective solutions to key challenges facing renewable energy projects and innovations, which is reflected in the availability of necessary funding and investments in the country.

He added that the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, which was launched last year during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 to finance a series of renewable energy projects, is one of the country’s key initiatives to promote relevant global energy solutions.

The announcement on the launch of the fund’s second funding cycle, which will include establishing projects in the nine Caribbean countries and add to existing projects in five countries in the region that were launched during the first funding cycle, highlights the UAE’s commitment to support international efforts related to the global transformation of energy, he further added.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said that these new projects, which will help to consolidate the UAE’s relations with Caribbean countries, have promising qualities in terms of decreasing economic costs, limiting environmental pollution, improving the living standards of the people of these countries, and enhancing the services offered to them.

Through the fund, there are opportunities for geothermal energy projects in the Caribbean for funding under this funding cycle.

With a strong presence and discussion surrounding small islands states and their efforts to tackle challenges faced by climate change and create a weather resilient and apply renewable energy technology, geothermal provides a great option for many of the Caribbean islands.

Source: Emirates News Agency, St. Lucia Online

Reservoir Capital shuts down development aspirations in Serbia

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 05:10

Canada-based Reservoir Capital Corp., listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange today announced that its wholly owned Serbian subsidiary, Renewable Energy Ventures d.o.o. Belgrade (“REV doo”), has filed a voluntary petition under the Serbian Bankruptcy Code in the Serbian Bankruptcy Court in Belgrade, respecting the winding up of REV doo’s operations and liquidation of its assets. The relief is being sought to permit Reservoir to move forward with plans to focus on hydropower investment opportunities in frontier regions.

“Reservoir has chosen to set aside its project aspirations in Serbia, which included the Brodarevo hydro project, with this filing,” said Lewis Reford, CEO of Reservoir. “Our plan is to shift from long lead-time and risky greenfield project development to clean power investments in good operating condition is intended to enhance shareholder returns over the long term.”

Reservoir Capital had been exploring geothermal development in Serbia and prolonged geothermal licenses in 2013 as we reported before, but we assumed had quietly shut down those ambitions earlier.

Source: Company release via 4Traders

Ormat receives BLM approval for expansion of McGinness Hills geothermal plant

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 04:30

The Bureau of Land Management, Mount Lewis Field Office in Nevada, has completed its analysis of Ormat Inc.’s proposal for an expansion to their McGinness Hills Geothermal Facility. This newest expansion is being referred to as ‘Phase III’ and will consist of access roads, a pipeline, a power plant, wells and transmission line. Total new disturbance for this expansion is estimated at 42 acres, as the majority of work will be completed on the previously analyzed ‘Phase I’ and ‘Phase II’ footprint.

The Decision Record (DR) allows operations to begin at the Phase III project site. The final Environmental Assessment included extensive coordination with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, as well as, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, tribal governments and other interested parties. Alternatives in the EA examined the expansion’s range of potential issues like air quality, cultural resources, wildlife and wildlife habitat, Native American religious concerns, threatened and endangered species, minerals, noise, grazing management, access and land use, and social and economic values.

“This decision is in accordance with BLM priorities, including making America safe through energy independence, getting America back to work and shared conservation,” said District Manager Douglas Furtado. “The Battle Mountain District has a heavy focus on the responsible development of energy and mineral projects. This geothermal expansion will increase the clean energy capacity within, Nevada, create new jobs and stimulate the local economy and energy market.”

The EA, DR and other relevant documents are available on the BLM ePlanning webpage at and hardcopies of these documents are available for review at the MLFO at the above address during regular business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The first portion of the McGinness Hills geothermal plant, located roughly 70 miles south of Battle Mountain, was established in July, 2012 and the facilities have been producing clean energy ever since.

Source: BLM

InfraCo Africa increases commitment in Ethiopia geothermal project to US$30 million

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 04:02

In a release today, InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), announced having signed a Shareholders Agreement with Berkeley Energy, committing US$30m of equity investment to the ground-breaking Corbetti Geothermal project, doubling its original commitment of US$15m.

The US$30 million commitment to Corbetti is truly a landmark deal for us, being our first in geothermal and in Ethiopia and the largest single commitment we have made to date. It is also the first substantial equity commitment under our expanded investment strategy, which enables us to optimise our development impact in projects, while ensuring best practice through construction into commercial operations.” said Alex Katon, Executive Director, InfraCo Africa.

In 2015, InfraCo Africa formed a joint venture company with Berkeley Energy to jointly become the majority shareholder in Corbetti Geothermal. At the time, InfraCo Africa committed up to US$15m to the project, with US$5m for early-stage site development and project contracts and up to US$10m for the equity financing of the exploration drilling. To mitigate the higher risks of a greenfield site, proving a new geothermal resource and being the first privately financed IPP in Ethiopia, Corbetti will be developed in multiple phases. InfraCo Africa’s increased commitment provides the project with US$25m equity finance and US$5m as standby equity. This will contribute around 20% of the funding required to start construction of exploration drilling wells this year and 10-20MW pilot power plant the following year. It is anticipated that the power plant will provide first power to Ethiopia’s national grid by early 2020.

As well as public risk capital, InfraCo Africa brings project management and geothermal expertise to the project. InfraCo Africa’s Tim Jackson, an experienced geothermal developer, has been instrumental in bringing international expertise to the geothermal peer review group, which will help to better understand the geoscience data and optimise well drilling locations. Through Tim, InfraCo Africa has also instigated a review of technology options for the power plant and of managing, mitigating and insuring exploration drilling risks.

“Corbetti is a ground-breaking geothermal project, not only will it be the first full greenfield development of a private geothermal power project in Africa, but also the first private power project in Ethiopia. By tapping into Ethiopia’s huge geothermal potential, Corbetti is expected to lead the way for a new wave of private geothermal power plants in sub-Saharan Africa’s renewable energy mix.” said Tim Jackson, Business Development Manager, InfraCo Africa.

InfraCo Africa is committed to developing high-quality projects and leading the implementation of market best practices. It therefore also undertook a gap analysis of Corbetti’s environmental and social impact assessment and reviewed the project company’s governance and health and safety practices.

The project has also undertaken additional environmental studies and conducted an innovative social survey of local communities, using tablet technology (funded by the PIDG).

InfraCo Africa is committed to extending the development impact of its projects by adding ‘bolt-on’ water initiatives, where possible. To enable this at Corbetti, InfraCo Africa has secured funding from Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), a sister PIDG Facility. This will be used to finance a pilot project for the local provision of potable water and improved sanitation, generating health benefits for local families. TAF grant funding will also be used to study the feasibility of using bi-products from the geothermal plant (such as waste heat) for developing local industries such as garment manufacturing, improving efficiency and creating new employment opportunities.

As Ethiopia’s first private geothermal project, Corbetti partnered with Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) and the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) with all parties working to draft the regulatory frameworks and legislation required to unlock geothermal potential in the country. The project also drew on Donor support to engage the East Africa Geothermal Energy Facility (EAGER) in this process. This has benefited, not only Corbetti but also other local geothermal projects, for example Tulu Moye, with both projects signing Power Purchase Agreements on December 19th last year. The impact is substantial: the Ministry of Water and Energy forecasts an increase in geothermal generation from 7MW in 2012, to over 1000MW by 2030.

‘With support of our donors, we are delighted to be able to substantially increase our commitment to the Corbetti project, enabling it to raise the finance needed to commence the first phase of drilling. As the first IPP of its kind in Ethiopia, Corbetti will generate the clean baseload power that is essential to alleviating poverty in a sustainable manner, attracting foreign investment and facilitating Ethiopia’s economic development.’ (Brian Count, Chair, InfraCo Africa)

InfraCo Africa’s initial commitment to Corbetti was made because of the potential for geothermal power to transform Ethiopia’s energy mix and the enormous challenge faced by the project in being the first private sector led development of an unproven resource. Today’s increased commitment to US$30m is a recognition of the progress achieved by the project and its leading role to date in pioneering geothermal power; it is also a promise to continue broadening the impact of Corbetti, to transform not just the national supply of power but also economic opportunities and living standards in the local area.

Source: Company release by email, actual release and notes (pdf)

Construction of geothermal IPP project at Menengai/ Kenya to start in March

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 21:28

As reported by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) in Kenya, the ground-breaking ceremony for the first of the three power plants to be constructed by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) at the Menengai Geothermal Project is set to be held in March this year.

Quantam East Africa Power Limited will be breaking ground for the first 35MW power plant followed by Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power Limited (SMGPL).

This will be a key milestone for GDC as it happens hot on the heels of government’s assurance of its support for Menengai.

Speaking recently during the Annual Staff Review Meeting in Nairobi, GDC Managing Director & CEO Eng. Johnson P. Ole Nchoe assured staff that with accelerated project timelines and delivery, he is confident that by March 2018, the first IPP will hit the ground.

“Both IPPs have already received their Letters of Support and we trust that we will have banks on board to provide Letters of Credit. In addition, our steam gathering system is 90% complete and by March all should be done,” he said.

The three IPPs licensed by GDC include Orpower 22 Limited, Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power Limited (SMGPL) and Quantam East Africa Power Limited.

They will be required to tap and supply power to the national grid from the Menengai Geothermal Project.

The companies plan to invest $210 million (Sh25.5 billion) in the construction of the power plants. The project is expected to give 500,000 households and 300,000 businesses access to low-cost power under the Government’s 5,000MW initiative.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco) has already set up a 132kV substation that will transmit 105 MW of power from the power plants.

Under the arrangement – christened The Menengai Model by the African Development Bank (AfDB) – GDC takes care of upfront risks, and then invites private sector players to construct, own and operate the plants.

Source: GDC

Geothermal plants on Azores meet large part of electricity demand

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:56

Following the inauguration of the Pico Alto geothermal power plant in Terceirea on the Azores Islands in November 2017, it is expected that the plant could cover up to 10% of the island’s electricity needs this year.

We reported on the plant, which has a net power generation capacity of 3.5 MW and was built by Italian ORC supplier EXERGY.

“With this inauguration on Terceira Island, it is estimated that geothermal production will reach about 10% of the island’s electricity needs coverage in 2018, contributing to the increase in production from renewable sources from 22% in 2016 to almost 40% next year, “said Regional Government President Vasco Cordeiro at the inauguration of the infrastructure.

The Azorean president pointed out that currently the Azores already have 37% of the electricity produced from renewable energies, of which 24% are from a geothermal source, giving the example of the island of Sao Miguel, where renewable resources already represent more than half of electricity production (54%).

Vasco Cordeiro also stressed the importance of these investments in the sustainability of the development of the Azores and in “reducing dependence on external factors”.

Terceira ‘s geothermal project began in 2000 with the first geophysical studies, with the first wells being opened in 2007.

The plant, which initially had a predicted power of 12 MW, was officially launched in 2009 and between the start of the project and 2015, some EUR 30 million ($36 million) were invested.

The infrastructure, located in the village of Biscoitos, in the municipality of Praia da Vitória, started operating on August 10 and the first results indicate that it has the same production of the two wind farms of the Cume mountains, also on Terceira Island, which have a jointly installed capacity three times higher (12.6 MW).

“During this last period, the Pico Alto geothermal power plant has consistently produced a power around 4 MW, higher than the contracted nominal power of this plant, which was 3.5 MW,” said the president of Electricity Azores (EDA), Duarte Ponte.

The infrastructure starts with three production wells and a reinjection well, in which the geothermal fluid, after the thermal exchanges in the plant, is returned to the reservoir, but an increase in its power is foreseen.

“We will be attentive to the results of the exploration of the Pico Alto geothermal reservoir during the next year and after a detailed and careful analysis with our scientific consultants we will consider its expansion to 10 MW, as we had predicted,” said the president of EDA .

The construction of the plant, which was awarded in July 2015, with 450 days, had a cost of EUR 9.18 million, co-financed at EUR 3,7 million, by the European Economic Area Grants (EEA). donor countries Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.

Duarte Ponte also announced an investment of about 1.8 million euros for the remodeling of the water of Nasce d’Água, in the county of Angra do Heroísmo, on the same island, which will allow “to put in the network more stable renewable energy” .

Source: Acoriano Oriental

EU funding opportunity for novel geothermal drilling technology

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:47

In October 2017, the EU Commission has released a Call for Applications: Developing solutions to Reduce the Cost and Increase Performance of Renewable Technologies.

Achieving or maintaining global leadership in renewable energy technology requires that the innovative solutions are also affordable. Therefore cost reductions remain a crucial necessity for existing or new technologies. This specific challenge is in line with the sectorial cost reduction targets stated in the respective Declarations of Intent of the SET Plan, where applicable.

The call specificially addresses geothermal and the need for the development of novel drilling technologies to reach cost-effectively depths in the order of 5 km and/or temperatures higher than 250°C.

The scope of the call also addresses these other renewable energy technologies:

  • Floating Wind – Technology development including reliable, sustainable and cost efficient anchoring and mooring system, dynamic cabling, installation techniques, and O&M concepts;
  • Onshore Wind – Disruptive technologies for the rotor, generator, drive train and support structures for the development of the advanced or next generation wind energy conversion systems;
  • Ocean: New integrated design and testing of tidal energy devices with behavioural modelling to achieve extended lifetime and high resistance in marine environment;
  • Geothermal: Novel drilling technologies need to be developed to reach cost-effectively depths in the order of 5 km and/or temperatures higher than 250°C;
  • CSP: Novel components and configurations for linear focusing and point focusing technologies need to be developed and tested;
  • Hydropower: Novel components for hydropower hydraulic and electrical machinery which allow efficient utilization also in off-design operation conditions, especially during ramp up and ramp down phases and reduce related machinery wear and tear;
  • Bioenergy: Improve small and medium-scale combined heat and power (CHP) from biomass to reduce overall costs of investments and operation through achieving at the same time high resource efficiency and high overall and electrical conversion performance.

Beside the development of the technology, the proposal will have to clearly address the following related aspects where relevant: potentially lower environmental impacts, issues related to social acceptance or resistance to new energy technologies, related socioeconomic issues.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

The proposed solution will reduce the CAPEX and/or OPEX of energy generation from any of the mentioned renewable sources making it comparable to generation costs from competing fossil fuel sources.

Dateline for submission31 January 2018 17:00:00 (Brussels time)

Source: EU Commission

Bluestone Resources starts flow-test program at Mita geothermal project, Guatemala

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 19:37

In a release Canadian Bluestone Resources Inc. announces having commenced a flow test program at the Mita Geothermal Project.

The project is located adjacent to Bluestone’s Cerro Blanco Gold project in Guatemala. Bluestone’s Board of Directors has approved a flow test program to further test select geothermal wells with the goal of upgrading the confidence level of the known geothermal reservoir. The data collected will provide the basis for the development strategy going forward. Flow testing is expected to commence in February and be completed by the end of March. In preparation for the testing, construction of the necessary infrastructure has already commenced with the installation of pipelines, pumps, sumps, downhole logging equipment, and monitoring equipment.

Bluestone’s President and CEO, Darren Klinck, commented “We believe there is considerable unrealized value in the Mita Geothermal project as evidenced by more than US$60 million invested in the project in the past, the market value of such geothermal projects once in production, and importantly, the direct alignment with the Guatemalan government’s focus on transferring base load power generation to renewable sources such as geothermal.”

The multi-well flow test program will:

  • Collect fundamental static and dynamic resource data for use in future resource modeling and utilization; and
  • Provide a quantitative and realistic prediction of resource performance for an updated project design (wellhead pressure, flow rates, enthalpy, injection pressure, and duration of sustainable commercial production).

Since 2009 many of the geothermal wells at Mita were flow tested with various short-term, single well flow tests. While there were no four-week, multi-well flow tests completed, the data gathered from those tests was used in selecting the wells for the upcoming test program.

Mita Geothermal Project Overview

The Mita geothermal resource was discovered in the late-1990s during gold exploration in southeastern Guatemala. The geothermal resource is located adjacent to Bluestone’s Cerro Blanco Gold deposit with the Company controlling the necessary surface rights for both projects.

Previous operators spent approximately US$60 million permitting and advancing the Mita Geothermal project. A total of 19 geothermal wells have been drilled up to depths of 1,500 meters to delineate the geothermal resource including nine slim holes and ten standard-diameter wells. An internal Goldcorp pre-feasibility study on the Mita geothermal project was completed in 2011 and later a feasibility study in 2013, both internal studies returned positive economics.

In 2015 a 50-year license was granted to build and operate a 50 MW geothermal power plant. The Mita Geothermal project was part of an integrated dewatering and power generation strategy with the Cerro Blanco gold project before it was put on care and maintenance in 2012.

It is projected that beneath the Mita geothermal concession, a deeper geothermal reservoir exists at depths of 2,000 to 3,000 meters. Geothermometry projects temperatures of 220+°C. The geothermal fluids migrate up a major fault system creating an intermediate geothermal reservoir (600-900 meters) at temperatures up to 200+°C, which has been encountered by existing geothermal exploration wells. The development of a potential deeper geothermal reservoir could provide additional power generation to utilize the permitted capacity of up to 50 MW.

The Guatemalan power grid is located 8 km from the Mita Geothermal project. Over the past few years, electrical infrastructure has been upgraded to this part of the country significantly shortening the distance from the project to the main grid.

The government, through the National Electrical Energy Commission, announced that it is preparing to issue an RFP for 420 megawatts of power, of which 40 megawatts is to be reserved specifically for geothermal energy.

While the Cerro Blanco gold project is not dependent on the Mita Geothermal project, Bluestone’s management believes that there are potential synergies between the two that enhance the economics of the Cerro Blanco gold project beyond what was outlined in the Preliminary Economic Assessment available at

Source: Company release via Geology for Investors

Small island off the coast of Taiwan explores solar and geothermal options

Think Geo - Geothermal Energy - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 20:11

The remote island called Orchid off the coast of Taiwan is aiming to turn itself into a “green energy island”, exploring renewable energy otpions.

The island, located 76 kilometer from the southeast of Taiwan’s main island, is best known for its Yami indigenous population and their culture, but was also chosen by the Taiwanese authorities in the past to store radioactive waste from the country’s three operating nuclear power stations.

The local mayor told reporters that there was already a green energy firm willing to invest in the island to develop solar and wind energy. Orchid Island should reduce its reliance on fire-powered plants and convert itself to a completely green energy island, he said.

Following the announcement of such plans last year, there had been several meetings with experts and businesses, which led to an agreement on the exploitation of solar and geothermal energy, with the setting up of the solar panels expected after the Lunar New Year, the Liberty Times reported.

The local government hopes to receive 10 percent of annual profits, with eventually the residents of the island being able to buy shares in the project, according to the mayor.

Source: Taiwan News


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