Industry Group Announces Workshop on Two New Growth Areas for Geothermal in the U.S. — Distributed/Small Power Generation and Direct Use Heating

June 18, 2009

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Klamath Falls, Oregon will be the site of a workshop intended to promote two exciting growth areas for geothermal energy in the United States. On August 12 the Geothermal Energy Association and the Oregon Institute of Technology’s Geo-Heat Center will be holding a workshop focusing on direct heat and small power utilization. Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, maker of the PureCycle(R) Power System, is the Gold Level Sponsor of the event.

“This workshop will bring together — for the first time ever — those interested in using geothermal energy for distributed generation and direct heating purposes,” noted Karl Gawell, Executive Director of GEA. “New technology developments, state and federal laws and incentives, and growing concern about climate change are driving a strong growth trend in both areas,” he added.

In the last few years, small power technology has been leading geothermal power production into several new states. Alaska, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming have each seen or will soon see geothermal power produced for the first time. In each of these cases the power is being used locally for distributed generation, and the geothermal power plants have capacities of less than one megawatt. In many states, special incentives are being offered for small, renewable power generation less than 10 MW.

For direct use geothermal, market growth for space heating and agricultural drying grew by 9.3% and 10.4% between 2000 and 2005. A renewed interest in direct use in the Western U.S. is being spurred in part by provisions of the 2005 energy bill which encourages direct use geothermal on public lands by:

  • Simplifying royalty payments to modest fee
  • Allowing non-competitive lease application
  • Allowing lease application for only lands needed — no minimum acreage
  • Granting states, local governments, tribes use of federal geothermal resources for public purposes at little/no cost

OIT’s Klamath Falls campus is a world-class example of both geothermal direct use heating and small power production. “Our 280 kW Pratt & Whitney power plant will be up and running by the time of the workshop,” noted John Lund, Director of the OIT Geo-Heat Center. “This will be the first geothermal power generation in Oregon, and together with our geothermal heating systems OIT’s campus will be a practical showcase for those interested in these technologies,” he said.

The GEA-OIT Workshop is planned for August 12 in Klamath Falls, in addition OIT has organized a field trip for the following day. Registration for the August 12 Workshop is $195 for the general public and $95 for GEA Members, non-profit groups, government employees. Registration includes workshop materials, snacks, and lunch. Registration for the August 13 Field Trip is an additional $75.

For more information, or to register for the workshop or field trip, visit: www.geo-energy.org.

SOURCE Geothermal Energy Association

Source: newswire

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