GEA Honors 2015 Award Winners for Technology, Economic and Environmental Advances Announced

GEA Honors 2015 recognize companies and individuals that have made significant contributions during the past year to advancing technology, spurring economic development and protecting the environment.

Reno, Nev. (June 3, 2015) - At the opening of the National Geothermal Summit on June 3 the Geothermal Energy Association presented its Annual Honors Awards for advances supporting industry growth. GEA Honors 2015 recognize companies and individuals that have made significant contributions during the past year to advancing technology, spurring economic development and protecting the environment.

GEA Honors 2015 Awardees are:

Ormat Technologies, Inc.- Ormat continues to advance the frontier of geothermal power with the first fully dispatchable, flexible, geothermal power plant. Flexibility is becoming a very important area for the future of renewable power production. Ormat's Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) power plant, which generates 38 MW on the Big Island of Hawaii, allows Hawaiian Electric Light Co. to operate up to 16 MW of PGV's output on Automatic Generator Control (AGC), a first for the industry. Through analysis and in practice, Ormat has continually supported groundbreaking work for the geothermal industry, including value-added ancillary services like flexibility, that continue to support geothermal as the most capable renewable to meet tomorrow's needs.

Enel Green Power North America, Inc.- With nearly 100 plants in operation, Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGP-NA), is an industry leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants including a mix of hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar. EGP-NA's geothermal portfolio includes the only plants in the world that employ large-scale electric submersible pumps for the extraction of geothermal fluid. The company's unique and innovative approach to the development of new industry technology led to the first of its kind hybrid plant at Stillwater, in Churchill County Nevada. This 51 MW plant combines the continuous generation capacity of binary-cycle, medium-enthalpy geothermal power with solar photovoltaic and the more recently installed solar thermodynamic unit. A critical milestone for the renewable energy industry, this advanced technology provides a generation profile consistent with the demand for electricity while also being especially environmentally friendly by not consuming water or air emissions during normal operations. And with the success already achieved with the 2015 start of operation of the solar thermodynamic power plant, Stillwater continues to be a benchmark for innovation and research that is driving the future of the geothermal industry.

Cyrq Energy- Cyrq Energy completed the first utility scale geothermal project in New Mexico, placing a new state on the geothermal power map. In addition to bringing all the environmental benefits and values of geothermal power to a new state, this accomplishment will hopefully open many new doors for geothermal power in New Mexico.

Economic Development and Environmental Stewardship Awards

Senator Harry Reid- for a career of outstanding support for geothermal energy as a resource with many benefits to the State of Nevada and the United States. Senator Reid has been a steadfast advocate for renewable and geothermal resources. Since the start of the Senator's career the geothermal industry has grown in Nevada from a nascent industry to becoming one of the global centers of geothermal innovation. Currently over 600 MW are online in the state and substantially more under development and Nevada is commonly considered one of the most 'business friendly' states to build a geothermal power project.

Senator Ben Hueso- for his efforts to advance geothermal energy and restoration of the Salton Sea. The Senator's tireless advocacy for geothermal development bringing jobs, tax revenues, royalties, and clean energy to his district in Imperial Valley. His efforts have helped highlight how expanding geothermal power production in the Salton Sea can benefit the environment, public health and the local economy. The geothermal community greatly appreciates the Senator's efforts to incorporate geothermal power as part of his career and legacy.

CEC Geothermal Grant and Loan Program- The California Energy Commission's Geothermal Grant and Loan Program is an outstanding example of a state program that advances environmental quality and economic growth through a sustained effort supporting geothermal projects in California since the early 1980s. Also known as the GRDA Program, the funding for the program comes from royalties paid by geothermal developments on federal lands in California. Thirty percent of the geothermal royalty funds deposited in the state's Geothermal Resources Development Account (GRDA) are given to the Energy Commission to provide grants and loans for a variety of geothermal planning, research, development and mitigation projects. Since this program's inception it has made magnificent strides to support industry and local community needs for advances in geothermal energy. Many geothermal projects producing power or heat today are online because of funds cost-shared from this program.

Power Africa - for their support of expanded use of geothermal energy, particularly in East Africa, including their efforts to engage the US industry through the US Agency for International Development's (USAID) East Africa Geothermal Partnership. Other Power Africa agencies that have supported geothermal development in East Africa include DOE, NREL, USTDA, DOC, Ex-Im Bank and OPIC. At the moment, geothermal resources are being explored for or developed into power plants in nearly a dozen African countries often involving US companies. In GEA's recent survey 18 companies reported having work in Kenya alone.

Special Recognition Awards

Doug Hollett, U.S. Department of Energy- for his leadership and vision in geothermal energy research and development. His hard work advancing research and knowledge of the geothermal sector started important industry research efforts now underway, such as Playfairway Analysis and the Geothermal Vision Study. In addition under his leadership, the GTO expanded its budget that demonstrates the credibility his efforts garnered in Washington.

Thomas Edmunds and Pedro Sotorrio, LLNL - for their work advancing knowledge and research on flexible geothermal contracts. In future electricity grids, not only will geothermal power have to provide baseload services, it will also need to provide flexible and ancillary services. Research published by Thomas and Pedro contributes to our understanding of this aspect of flexibility, and gives the geothermal industry a first look at what that future might look like. Their research is critical to the industry's understanding of a flexible geothermal future.

Ernie Majer, LBNL- for his work advancing the understanding of seismicity and EGS systems. Ernie's work has involved taking a leading role in the development or induced seismicity protocols by the Department of Energy. This has helped create a safe practices where now, geothermal plant seismicity is better understood due to having in place accepted protocols and practices to prevent seismicity. In addition he has contributed to extensive research advancing the industry's knowledge about seismicity.

Jordan Macknick, NREL - for his work improving our understanding of geothermal water usage in a water constrained west. As climate change advances drought and water shortages across the Western United States, Jordan's work has helped advance the industry's knowledge on geothermal power's role in this future and how the industry can help fit into a water constrained world.

Dan Getman, NREL- for developing, in collaboration with the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office, the Geothermal Prospector mapping tool which provides an excellent data resource for visual exploration of geothermal resources using the tools and datasets required to produce and disseminate both exploration gap analysis and Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) planning and analysis.

To request press credentials to attend the GEA Honors awards ceremony and National Geothermal Summit on June 3 and 4, please contact Kathy Kent Schott, 202 454 5263, or for more information, please visit

About the Geothermal Energy Association
The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is a trade association comprised of U.S. companies that support the expanded use of geothermal energy and are developing geothermal resources worldwide for electrical power generation and direct-heat uses. For more information, please visit Subscribe to GEA's newsletter here. Follow GEA on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook.

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