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Geothermal in the Energy Mix Adapted from Information by the Australian Geothermal Association The Australian Geothermal Association (AGA) completed a census of Australian geothermal projects - showing a substantial use of geothermal energy in the country. Preliminary results indicate geothermal energy is already making a significant positive contribution to the energy mix. AGA’s census shows low-tem- perature uses of geothermal energy are being adopted extensively in Australia and working out well, while small-scale geothermal electricity generation projects are being developed in remote Queensland - both being sustainable 24/7 sources of energy. Ground source heat pumps are providing domestic and commercial air condi- tioning with 25-50% greater energy efficiency than conventional systems, offset- ting up to 4.5 megawatts of grid power demand during peak times. Direct use of geothermal heat has become the standard for large heated swimming pool facili- ties around Perth in Western Australia, offsetting natural gas usages and saving carbon emissions. Commercial hot springs are increasing tourist spots, with one place in Victoria reporting more than 500,000 visitors in 2018, and up to a dozen new projects planned in other locations. Future development opportunities include low-temperature electricity genera- tion, large direct-use applications for industry and agriculture, and district heating and cooling for new green suburbs. AGA is working to further analyze the census r esu l t s t o de l i ve r a mo r e detailed presentation of the data and an outlook on the opportunities for further development. Atlantis Vault Atlantis Vault • Self-Contained • Simple installation • Trouble-free operation For more information call: (270) 786-3010 or visit us online: Blasting the Way for Larger Ships Compiled by Editorial Staff, WorldWide Drilling Resource ® An underwater rock pinnacle in the harbor at Ketchikan, Alaska, is no longer a prob- lem for ships docking at Berth II. The Ketchikan City Council had been discussing what to do with the navigational hazard since 2017. After hiring an engineering consulting firm and getting the various permits needed, the council awarded a $5.9 million contract for the project last year. Ketchikan Port and Harbors Director Steve Corporon explained, “As the ships have gotten bigger and bigger, it’s not so much that the draft has gotten much deeper, but it’s harder for them to turn, it’s harder for them to maneuver around.” The rock pinnacle near Berth II was about 27 feet below the surface of the Tongass Narrows channel. Removal of the pinnacle brings the entire area to an optimal depth, allowing for improved access and more efficient berthing for ships during high winds. Working from a barge, excavator-mounted drills made holes in the rock at the bottom of the channel, then explosives suitable for underwater blasting were placed inside. Blasting crews set transducers (instruments to measure pressure waves) at several sites near the underwa- ter rock pinnacle to monitor the blasts so no damage was made to anything on land, or any harm done to marine mammals. Broadcast warnings were sent two hours, one hour, 30 minutes, and 15 minutes before each blast. At five minutes before each blast, a long wailing siren was heard, then a series of short yelping sirens sounded at one minute. A 1500-foot blasting safety zone was set from 30 minutes before each blast, until approximately five min- utes after, when the all-clear was issued with a long, continuous siren sound. About one acre of rock was removed, bringing the seabed to around 42 feet below the average low tide. All blasting was initiated from a barge. Photo courtesy of the City of Ketchikan, Alaska. Broken rock removal, courtesy of J.E. McAmis, Inc. EXB 32 JUNE 2020 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® GEO Looking for Events? Go to the online issue at