Geothermal and Wind Renewables Activities

Quarterly News Brief

March 2008

The APPA-NRECA outreach team continues to bring opportunities to consumer-owned utilities to participate, share and learn about integrating wind and geothermal technologies into their power supply portfolios. Conducted in partnership with Western Area Power Administration and DOE's Wind Powering America and Geothermal initiatives, these activities aim to help utilities weigh their options as demands for supplying renewable energy grow in their service areas.

  • Looking to Start a Maintenance Program for Your Wind Facility?
    A New Case Study is in the Works on Establishing an In-House Maintenance Program

    As pressures mount from newly mandated state policies and consumers, more and more utilities are adopting wind power to diversify their power supply mix with renewable energy. A major issue for utilities operating wind farms has been to establish a realistic operation and maintenance budget and an efficient maintenance plan that can maximize the wind plant's performance and prolong the life of turbines beyond their average lifespan.

    While wind turbine manufacturers typically provide two- or five-year warranties on unscheduled labor and parts, utilities often do not want to contract out routine maintenance for various reasons such as cost-effectiveness or wanting to keep the jobs in-house. Without established experience in the field, exploring other options can be a difficult and dark road for utilities. A unique case study has been developed to address these needs and guide utilities on the technical, financial and logistical aspects of starting an in-house wind facility maintenance program. The case study has been modeled on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) efforts in setting up a maintenance program for its upcoming Pine Tree Wind Project, a 120-MW facility in the Tehachapi Mountains geared to be the largest municipally owned wind plant in the United States.

    The case study is being built based on know-how and experiences contributed by experts at LADWP, Nebraska Public Power District and Sandia National Laboratories. For information on the case study’s status, contact Rob Naranjo (BCS, Incorporated).

  • Geothermal Resource Council Calls for Papers for its 2008 Annual Meeting
    Meeting Theme is “Geothermal is Gaining Steam”

    The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is inviting utilities to present papers at its annual meeting October 5-8, 2008 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV. The GRC is interested in receiving papers on utilities’ efforts to incorporate renewable resources into their power supply portfolios and to promote technologies such as geothermal power production and geothermal heat pumps.

    The due date for draft papers is May 9, 2008. Oral presentations of the accepted papers will be 15-25 minutes, including discussion. Please visit the GRC website at to know more about submitting papers.

    The annual meeting is also an opportunity for utility staff to get the latest information on geothermal technical advances and utilization. A trade show will allow exhibitors to showcase their projects, equipment, and services. Pre-conference workshops, field trips, and other activities will also be available.

    For more information, email Guy Nelson (UGWG) or contact GRC directly at or (530) 758-2360.

  • WINDPOWER 2008 to Host Special Panel Session for Utilities

    WINDPOWER 2008, a mega wind event to be held June 1-4 at Houston, TX, will host an informative panel session for utilities. A growing number of consumer-owned utilities looking to develop wind projects are using creative ways to team up with government entities and other organizations to leverage tax credits and other available incentives, minimize financial risks, and reach out to their customers on the benefits of renewable energy. In this panel session, leading consumer-owned utilities will discuss the challenges they faced and their innovative solutions to overcome them. Speakers will discuss wind project permitting, environmental impacts, financing, maintenance, local economic development benefits, interconnection and transmission service, public acceptance, performance, and other issues.

  • APPA and NRECA Technology Transfer Grant Underway

    APPA and NRECA are each in the process of executing a new five-year grant with Western Area Power Administration (Western), providing assistance to their member utilities with technology transfer. Western partners with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in providing technology transfer information to the nation’s 2000 public power utilities and 900 electric cooperatives. These efforts aim to support the primary goal of EERE of advancing the commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and the President’s goal of increasing the nation’s energy security and minimizing climate change (To learn about EERE activities, visit

    Western works through its Renewable Resources Program (RRP) to encourage and assist consumer-owned utilities with the use of renewable energy technologies. RRP offers a wide range of tools and services to provide technical and marketing assistance to help utilities evaluate their options in renewable technologies (visit to learn more).

  • More Learning Opportunities for Utilities!
    Two Geothermal Heat Pump Workshops Planned in March

    Utilities will have the opportunity to learn about geothermal heat pump (GHP) technology and the business aspects of implementing it at two upcoming workshops. Hosted by Western Area Power Administration and Department of Energy’s DOE’s Geothermal Program, the first GHP Workshop is being held on March 17-18 at the Redwood Falls, MN Community Center; a second one is planned for March 20-21 at the Sioux Falls, SD Holiday Inn.

    The workshops are patterned after the very successful event held in Bismarck, ND in September 2007 and sponsored by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Besides learning about the technology, workshop attendees will learn how to use free diagnostic tools to determine the benefits and costs of GHP programs from both the utility’s and customer’s perspectives. They will also hear success stories from utilities that have implemented the programs and receive information on the latest advances in the field.

    The workshops are co-sponsored by APPA, NRECA, and the Utility Geothermal Working Group (UGWG). For more information, contact Guy Nelson (UGWG) at 541.994.4670 or or visit

Nominations invited for the 2008 DOE Wind Power Pioneer Award
It's again that time of year for members of APPA to nominate themselves or their peers for the 2008 Wind Power Pioneer Award. 2008 marks the 6th year of this prestigious award. The 2007 Award recognized the Sacramento Municipal Utility District for its 15 years of leadership in wind power; other past winners include Hull, MA; Waverly, IA; Austin Energy, TX; and Fort Collins, CO. Winner of the 2008 Award will be recognized at the 2008 APPA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. To download the form, visit Nominations need to be submitted to Randy Manion (WAPA) at, by close of business April 30, 2008.

Proposals sought from utilities for cost-shared Wind Integration Study
WAPA, DOE and NREL are teaming up to conduct wind energy integration studies with interested public power providers in WAPA’s 15-state central and western territory. The studies will look at the potential impact to the utility’s transmission or distribution system, balancing operations and cost of service. (Up to $200,000 total funding available). (

For more information, see descriptive material online or contact Randy Manion (WAPA) or Brian Parsons (NREL).
To know more about renewables ...
Visit Public Renewables Partnership (PRP) at for:

  • Industry news at a glance
  • State activities and resources
  • Database of state incentives for renewables and efficiency
  • Key industry contacts
  • Transmission issues
  • Project development case studies
  • Grants, funding and RFPs
  • Calendar of utility interest events
  • Latest updates and links to useful resources

Utility News in Spotlight

(Source: Public Renewables Partnership)
  • Alaska Utility Wins Wind Cooperative of the Year Award

  • IID Energy (California co-op) approves geothermal transmission project

  • Otter Tail, Minnkota plan to build transmission line for wind in N.D.

  • LADWP Plans to Build and Operate 150MW Pine Canyon Wind Project in California

  • Co-op Great River Signs PPA for Minnesota Wind Power
Read more ...

Mark Your Calendars

Utility Focus Events

Date Event Details

March 17-18, 2008
March 20-21, 2008

Geothermal Heat Pump Workshop

Redwood Falls Community Center, Redwood Falls, Minnesota

Holiday Inn - City Centre, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Attendees will learn how to use Western Area Power Administration’s new GHP Handbook and accompanying worksheets to determine the benefits and costs of GHP programs from a utility’s and customer’s perspective. Visit or email Guy Nelson.

April 9, 2008
9-11 a.m. PDT

Webinar: REC Tracking and Marketing Systems

Several renewable energy credit tracking and marketing systems have sprung up over the last couple of years. Learn how they work and how they support growing voluntary and competitive REC markets.

May 14, 2008
9-11 a.m. PDT

Webinar: Public Participation to Gain Acceptance of Renewable Energy

Discover techniques to involve the public, determine public opinion and gain acceptance for renewable energy projects and other utility operations and plans. The webinar will also include an overview of DEED’s Public Participation for Consumer Owned Utilities: An Implementation Guide. To register for the webinar, contact Debbie Rock, Western Area Power Administration, at 720-962-7271 or To see detailed webinar schedule for 2008, visit

Get Your Customers Involved in Decision Process!
Learn how with DEED’s Public Participation for Consumer-Owned Utilities: An Implementation Guide. To purchase a copy, visit APPA product store

Looking for Green Power Financial Opportunities?
Visit EERE’s Green Power Network at

Exploring Wind Power Options for Your Utility?
Find helpful resources and credible support from:
Utility Wind Interest Group
National Wind Coordinating Committee

For information/questions, contact Michele Suddleson (APPA) or Mike Pehosh (NRECA).
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