On December 10, the Geothermal Energy Association announced its 2013 GEA Honors awards for advances and achievements in geothermal energy. Among this year's eleven winners and honorable mentions are five projects that the Energy Department invested in through a robust portfolio of research, development, and demonstration projects.
- As recipient of the Economic Development Award, GeothermEx was recognized for its substantial contribution to market research and development in the geothermal sector. Since 2009, the Geothermal Technologies Office has partnered with Geothermex and invested Recovery Act funds in several premiere achievements, including a Baseline System Costs for 50.0 MW Enhanced Geothermal System.
- Canby Geothermal, winner of the Environmental Stewardship Award, was recognized for outstanding contributions to the environment through geothermal energy development. Through a $2 million GTO investment, the company's cascaded geothermal project employs geofluids to generate electricity in increments of 50 kW to create a net-zero energy community by re-injecting fluids and cascading them through a series of thermal energy applications: district heating, greenhouse, and aquaculture.
- Katherine Young and her team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, won a Special Recognition for work on GTO's Geothermal Regulatory Roadmapping effort, a tool to help developers navigate regulatory requirements to accelerate deployment of geothermal energy projects - a key step to dismantling one of the biggest roadblocks to geothermal power plant development. By strengthening collaboration and facilitating review of proposed projects, the Roadmap can ultimately lower development costs and reduce financial risk for utilities.
- Surprise Valley Electric Cooperative won a Special Recognition for their work to bring new geothermal power online. Through a GTO "Rural Cooperative Geothermal Development-Electric and Agriculture" project was recognized for their work to bring new geothermal power online. Surprise Valley Electrification Corporation, in Paisley, Oregon, (in the image left) seeks to develop geothermal electric power from an existing irrigation well that produces 1200 GPM of water at 239ÃÂ°F. A feasibility assessment concluded the resource was viable for both electric production and aquaculture operations.
- Cove Fort field in Utah was a funded research effort of the Geothermal Technologies Office and partners Enel Green Power and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before Enel reopened an underperforming geothermal power plant there.
- Erin Camp, a member of the Cornell team awarded for their research in Geothermal Externalities, was a member of the Geothermal Technologies team in 2012 before embarking on her doctorate research.