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Geothermal Energy Association names 2014 'Honor Award" winners

GEA awards programme recognizes companies, projects, and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the geothermal industry.

The 2014 GEA Award winners were selected in categories including Technological Advancement, Economic Development and Environmental Stewardship. Now in its fourth year, GEA also provides special recognition of companies and individuals who have made notable advances and achievements for geothermal energy. GEA will present the Honors at an awards ceremony as part of the upcoming National Geothermal Summit being held in Reno August 5-6.

The following companies and individuals will be awarded 2014 GEA Honors in the following categories:
Environmental Stewardship: Awarded for fostering outstanding environmental stewardship through the use of geothermal systems.
Salton Sea Restoration & Renewable Energy Initiative: Under the leadership and vision of James Cleo Hanks, president, IID Board of Directors, Imperial Irrigation District, in partnership with the County of Imperial, embarked upon the Salton Sea Restoration & Renewable Energy Initiative in 2013. This initiative was designed to help address the Salton Sea crisis by siting renewable energy projects on the exposed lakebed which would environmental impacts, fund wildlife habitat and air quality management projects, and spur local economic development and job creation.

Technological Advancement: Awarded for developing a new, innovative or pioneering technology to further geothermal development. There are three companies being awarded for Technological Advancement in 2014. They are:
Baker Hughes: Baker Hughes created a prototype directional drilling system capable of operating at 300°C in Enhanced Geothermal Systems wells which provides the ability to actively steer a high-temperature production well into the optimum position to realize an efficient heat transfer mechanism, maximizing potential geothermal energy generation. Not only is this tool used for EGS, but it is likely to be equally useful in conventional hydrothermal high-temperature situations.
POWER Engineers: The Kizildere II Geothermal Power Plant in Turkey, designed by POWER Engineers, uses an advanced triple-flash cycle to overcome the limitations that accompany typical flash or binary cycles. This new hybrid triple-flash/binary plant design, incorporating provisions for district heating and with features patented by POWER Engineers, uses a novel approach to deal with the high-CO2 geofluids found in this reservoir in Turkey, and should be applicable to a number of other prospects around the world that present similar challenges.

Ormat Technologies, Inc.: Ormat’s Don A. Campbell Geothermal Project uses a new, innovative, low temperature ORC cycle utilizing a butane working fluid that is capable of producing affordable, utility scale power using a resource with a reservoir temperature as low as 260 degrees Fahrenheit.
Economic Development: Awarded for making a substantial contribution to the development of local, regional or national markets through the development of geothermal systems. The winner is:
Dewhurst Group/Grupo Dewhurst: Dewhurst Group has been directly participating in the development of the first Geothermal Power Plant in Colombia, which has resulted in an economic boon in the Manizales and Nereidas valley regions with full time and part time employment of graduating geology students and locals in their South American subsidiary, Grupo Dewhurst.  With the geothermal resource potential in Colombia, the work that Dewhurst Group is doing will spur further interest in geothermal and economic development within Colombia, opening this relatively untapped market to both foreign and domestic investment.
Special Recognition: The Special Recognition Award is presented to the following companies and individuals for their outstanding achievement in the geothermal industry: 

Mono County Board of Supervisors:  Through their creation of the Long Valley Hydrologic Advisory Committee, the Mono County Board of Supervisors has played a key role in the evaluation of hydrologic monitoring data, proprietary geothermal production and injection data, and in the siting and permitting of multiple exploration and development projects in the Long Valley caldera in Mono County, California for almost 30 years.

AltaRock Energy Inc.: AltaRockhas developed, patented and tested a methodology for blocking natural and enhanced permeability to stimulate multiple zones in a well using thermally degradable polymers, which has been used successfully at the Newberry Volcano EGS Demonstration.

The National Geothermal Data System (NGDS): This data system provides free public access to digital geothermal data from all 50 states, with the aim to reduce costs and risks associated with geothermal development and aid in evolving the US energy portfolio towards green energy solutions.

Bill Price- Enel Green Power North America: Over the past seven years, Bill Price has been the mind and drive behind the world’s most innovative geothermal projects, carrying on in Nevada and Utah the Enel tradition begun at Larderello. In this time he has not only brought online 70+ MW of new binary geothermal capacity, but he has twice spearheaded first-in-the-world technological innovations that support greater growth for the geothermal industry in the years ahead. Mr. Price’s ability to turn ideas into megawatts and his commitment to the future of the industry make him deserving of the GEA’s special recognition.
Dita Bronicki- Ormat: Dita’s energy, enterprise and talent have helped make the Ormat Group a leader in the field of renewable energy production, and especially the geothermal industry, in line with the most advanced and largest energy companies in the world.  From the installation of Ormat’s first commercial geothermal power plant in 1984, to growing the Ormat Group to over 1,600 MW of supplied capacity worldwide and over 600 MW of operating capacity from both geothermal and recovered energy power worldwide, Dita’s leadership has been there every step of the way.

James C. Hanks, President, Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors: President Hanks is being honored for his courage and vision in addressing the Salton Sea crisis through the innovative use of the natural resources that abound in IID’s service area. Under his leadership, IID has demonstrated, through the use of investment and political capital, its commitment to advancing renewable energy development--particularly the resurgence of geothermal energy development—in its service area for the benefit of the Salton Sea, the region, California and future generations.

Greg Mines is recognized for his work in Power plant, GETEM and other analysis work he has performed in the last 30 plus years.  He has been a go-to guy at the national labs for all power plant related activities and is well respected in the industry.

Hillary Hanson and Rachel Wood are interns at the Idaho National Laboratory who have been working with public information provided to federal and state agencies by geothermal operators to improve the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office’s understanding the evolving performance and operation of geothermal power plants.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Geothermal