38th GRC Annual Meeting Attracts International Geothermal Industry

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Source: Geothermal Resources Council

Over 1,400 attendees from 39 different countries gather for the largest annual meeting of the global geothermal community

Davis, California, USA - The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), one of the world’s premier geothermal associations, has completed a successful 38th GRC Annual Meeting at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.

At the Opening Session, GRC Annual Meeting Chair Alex Sifford welcomed the attendees from 39 different countries and introduced an array of speakers from the regional, national and global energy communities.

Pat Reiten, CEO of PacifiCorp, one of the leading utilities in the western US, spoke of the exciting opportunities for geothermal energy in Oregon. Although there is only 33 MW of geothermal energy online at present there are 19 projects in development of 500 MW of discovered and 1,800 MW undiscovered potential resources in the state. 

Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director of Renewable Northwest noted that a lot of coal power plants in the region were being retired and need to be replaced by low-carbon-emitting resources. Geothermal energy could be the answer.

There was an overwhelming consensus that the event was a great success. The numbers tell the story. 844 attendees registered with the GRC for the Annual Meeting, more than last year’s meeting in Las Vegas. This included 81 students who attended for just $5. The GRC registration also included entry to the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo.  

Over four days attendees were treated to nearly 135 technical presentations totaling 45 hours, bringing the latest research from around the world. On display were over 50 posters, including the winners of the US Department of Energy National Geothermal Student Competition and the Geothermal Case Study Challenge. The winners of the 34th GRC Photo Contest were showcased in a public area of the convention center.

One hundred attended the pre-meeting workshops on Introduction to Hydrothermal Systems and Geothermal Exploration and Geothermal Leasing, Unitization and Water Use Legal Issues. Nearly 125 set out across Oregon and south Washington State on GRC Fieldtrips to view some superb geology and geothermal features and enjoy useful networking.

A highlight of the Annual Meeting, the Student Leadership Luncheon attracted more than 60 students and geothermal leaders to discuss job opportunities in the industry. In addition, the second annual GRC Scholarships were awarded to Megan Dewit of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada; Paige Granneman of the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA; Nastaran Arianpoo of the University of British Columbia, Canada; Joseph Batir of Southern Methodist University, Texas, USA; Maciej Lukawski of Cornell Energy Institute in New York, USA, and Holly McLachlan of the University of Nevada, Reno, USA.

Demonstrating the focus on international involvement at the meeting the GRC hosted the 7th International Luncheon with representatives from Ethiopia and Kenya reporting on the exciting developments in geothermal power in their countries. This popular event attracted 166 attendees.

A special technical session brought together a collection of people and work inspired by geothermal pioneer David D. Blackwell of Southern Methodist University.

The second Women in Geothermal meeting attracted over 60 professionals in the geothermal energy industry, eager to share their knowledge and experience.

The climax to the GRC Annual Meeting is the Annual Membership Meeting & Awards Luncheon where the GRC recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to the Geothermal Resources Council and to the development of geothermal resources. The Joseph W. Aidlin Award was presented to Marilyn Nemzer for her long-term commitment to the Geothermal Resources Council and extraordinary devotion to the promotion of geothermal energy through education.  The Geothermal Pioneer Award was given to Joseph LaFleur for lifetime achievement in the exploration and development of geothermal resources worldwide. Other awards were presented to individuals for a variety of achievements in the field of geothermal energy.

A popular networking opportunity, the annual GRC Charity Golf Tournament was held at the Heron Lakes Golf Club in north Portland. Over 50 golfers played for charity with proceeds going to the local chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the GRC Student Scholarship program.

Held in tandem with the GRC Annual Meeting, GEA’s Geothermal Energy Expo featured 112 exhibits showcasing the latest in geothermal technological advancements. The GEA reports around 600 attendees, including booth staff, guests and registrants, signed up for the trade show only.

For more information about next year’s 39th GRC Annual Meeting & Expo in Reno, Nevada, USA, visitwww.geothermal.org/meet-new.html or call (530) 758-2360.

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