May 22

Future Energy
Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved the three turbine, 6MW wind farm at Chepstowe, west of Ballarat, and said the decision was ”consistent with the Victorian government’s wind farm policy”. The project was called in from VCAT by the Planning Minister.

Australia’s Pacific Hydro and Green Rock Energy plan to form a joint venture to combine their geothermal interests into a single portfolio.

The companies have signed a letter of intent outlining potential cooperation on 25MW of projects in the North Perth Basin and the Great Artesian Basin in South Australia, where they hold licenses.

Both resources feature conventional geothermal energy located in hot sedimentary aquifers. The companies say both resources have the potential to provide several hundred megawatts of power.

India’s Tata Power Co., and Origin Energy Ltd. have begun exploration in Indonesia aimed at producing power from underground heat. “Initial exploration has begun,” Sowmyan Ramakrishnan, executive director of finance, told reporters in Mumbai last week. “It will take up to 18 months to complete.”

Tata Power, Origin and PT Supraco Indonesia in Sept. 2010 won the Sorik Marapi concession in northern Sumatra, which may yield as much as 300 megawatts of geothermal generating capacity. If exploration is successful, the group plans to begin construction in late 2012.

Origin Energy is also buying 40% of Chilean geothermal exploration company Energía Andina SA (EASA) as it continues its strategy of acquiring geothermal operations in growing overseas markets.

“It is our view that geothermal can provide large-scale renewable base-load energy. Chile has significant potential from a resource and growing local demand perspective,” says Karen Moses, Origin’s executive director of finance and strategy.

EASA, which will continue to be 60%-owned by London Stock Exchange-listed Antofagasta Minerals, has established a portfolio of eight geothermal exploration projects in northern and central Chile, covering a total of 553,400 hectares.

According to Origin, preliminary assessment of the geothermal potential of Chile indicates a possible 16GW of resource available.

In addition to its investment in EASA, Origin has exposure to 290MW of geothermal generation and 364MW of development through its 52%-owned Contact Energy, one of New Zealand’s largest producers of geothermal electricity.

Origin also has an interest in Geodynamics’ Innamincka Deeps projects and also recently began drilling as operator of the Innamincka Shallows project, which is targeting geothermal resources in South Australia’s Cooper Basin.

origin geothermal

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