Expertise and Technology Transfer – IDB Advisory Committee

Location: El Salvador

Project Overview:

Bill Rickard, PE, founder and president of the Geothermal Resource Group, is a renowned specialist in the field of geothermal drilling. Recognized for his particular expertise, Bill had the honor of being chosen by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to serve on an advisory panel over a period of three years for the development of geothermal fields in El Salvador. Commonly called the Land of Volcanoes, El Salvador is characterized by major geothermal zones and was one of the first Latin American countries to take advantage of this indigenous resource through development of their geothermal fields.

The IDB geothermal advisory panel that Bill served on from 1996 through 1999 was charged with oversight of the construction of the 55 megawatt (MW) Berlín geothermal plant and the stabilization and rehabilitation of the (then) 42 MW Ahuachapán geothermal plant. The objectives of this work were to accommodate the country’s growing demand for electricity through utilization of natural resources and to provide technology transfer and training to the national utility company.

Specifically, Bill oversaw all aspects of drilling engineering at both sites in El Salvador for the duration of the project, from exploration through plant construction and completion.

Project Results:

Bill’s ability to provide drilling leadership and expertise on all levels from planning, to execution and training of local staff and can serve as a model for implementation of geothermal technology in other developing countries.