“Slow Volcano Power”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, November 15, 2007

In all the time I’ve put in as your friendly neighborhood Stock Gumshoe, I think this might be the most-forwarded email ad I’ve seen yet. People are clearly intrigued by this teaser for the “slow volcano power” company … either that, or it’s the Gumshoe’s smoldering, soulful and sensuous eyes that make everyone think “volcano!”

I’m guessing it’s the former.

The ad comes in for the new “Energy and Scarcity Investor” newsletter from Agora, edited by Byron King, who says he is an experienced geologist. Don’t know anything else about him, and of course he doesn’t have a track record yet with this newsletter … but he apparently has a 38 cent “volcano power” stock to share with us on November 20th if we’re willing to shell out $1495 for the first year.

Or, if you prefer to do your own research, stick around — we’ll figure out the name of that “slow volcano power” company, and probably a few of the others he teases, too. Just indulge the Gumshoe for a moment. And no, you don’t have to wait until November 20th for my answer. Some of you have seen a few of these stocks mentioned here before — a few people offered solutions in the comments on prior posts, or in the Gumshoe Forum.

So the basic premise, of course, is that “slow volcano power” is geothermal power. Probably all of us have at least heard the term — it’s using the heat of the earth’s core to generate electricity in some way. Mostly, they do this by drilling holes to find hot regions, injecting water or finding superheated ground water, using it to generate steam, and using the steam to turn turbines. That’s a gross simplification, of course, but that’s basically the way it works. Other companies drill for oil, geothermal power companies drill for heat and hot water.

I’m sure there are many challenges to this kind of power generation, otherwise the non-polluting and resource-light model would be in use everywhere. I don’t know all the details, but obviously one of the challenges is finding a place where you don’t have to drill that deep to hit the hot stuff, and a place close enough to civilization that you can efficiently transmit the electricity. Places where hot lava are reasonably close to the surface are also probably right along the edges of tectonic plates and in inhospitable mountains and perhaps subject to earthquakes and other complications. Just guessing on that part. It’s also true that, using well-established geothermal generation, you need a fairly high temperature and the presence of water nearby — though new technologies and techniques are expanding the capability to inject water instead of using existing hot groundwater, and lowering the minimum temperature.

The poster child for geothermal energy is Iceland — I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard tell of the massive heated lakes that are fed by the same kind of geothermal energy that provides most of their electricity. But clearly, not everywhere is like Iceland.

So what geothermal power company have they found for us here? And what do we know about it, other than the fact that it’s priced at about 38 cents?

Well, he first lets us know that he already recommended a “midcap” geothermal company — the biggest pure play in the space — to the readers of the Outstanding Investments newsletter. Just to throw a freebie in there for you, that’s got to be Ormat Technologies (ORA) — a company near $2 billion in market cap that runs its own geothermal plants and builds them for others (including some of the other, smaller companies that get teased later in the letter). That’s pretty much the only geothermal stock on a major exchange, unless you want to get into the power companies who have a small piece of geothermal in their businesses, and, being in that catbird’s seat, it looks awfully expensive at a trailing PE near 90.

But you’re not here to hear more about Ormat … they’re fairly high profile, and you can pretty easily find out everything you want about them.

What’s the little 38 cent one?

Our clues:

It’s 72 miles north of San Francisco — or at least, the “slow volcano” is.

It’s the only pure play on California’s stringent new renewable and non-polluting electricity generation requirements.

And that’s pretty much it.

Not enough for the Gumshoe, you say? Nonsense! says he … this little company is almost undoubtedly …

Western GeoPower (WGP in Canada, WGPWF on the pink sheets).

The “slow underground volcano” north of San Francisco is called the Geysers, and it’s the most active geothermal generation site in the US. By far, I imagine. This company has one plot there for their project, though they haven’t yet even built a plant and they’re at least a few years, on an optimistic construction timetable, from generating any electricity.

Thanks, no doubt, to the heavy volume of promotional emails on this one, the shares have already gone up a bit — to about .45 cents today, up from .38. Perhaps they didn’t really sequester that idea until November 20th after all. And I’ve seen articles about geothermal power investing in the mainstream financial press with some regularity of late, so pretty much everything attached to geothermal is going up.

I’ve actually written a little about this one before, though it was for a somewhat different teaser — that one was back in August.

And I’d point you to the Stock Gumshoe Forum, where this stock and some other geothermal names have been bandied about quite a bit. Interest among the Gumshoe faithful perked up after US Geothermal (which is the “Slow Volcano Dynamo #1” supplemental pick from the teaser, with the 10.8 square miles of land in southern Idaho) shares took off to the top of the Gumshoe tracking spreadsheet. US Geothermal is quite a ways ahead of Western GeoPower in terms of actually getting their plant built, but they don’t have the advantage of being near a major city in California.

Finally, there are lots of interested investors in the geothermal space — there was an excellent article by Tom Konrad that went up on Seeking Alpha a few weeks ago that summarizes most of the key points about geothermal electricity generation, and what investors might want to consider before jumping in.

Other ones that were teased, just to throw in a couple quickies for those who are interested in geothermal power? The Latin American geothermal play is likely Polaris Geothermal (PGTHF), the one with 15 sites in Nevada is probably Sierra Geothermal (SRAGF), and the other Nevada one likely Nevada Geothermal Power (NGLPF).

The only other small geothermal company I’ve ever looked at is Raser Technologies (RZ) which is trying to license its technology for lower-temperature geothermal and buy up rights to sites that had previously been considered not efficient enough. And the other one that gets a lot of press is Calpine, which is coming out of bankruptcy probably later this year and runs most of the sites in the Geysers (they’ve estimated that shareholders might get up to $1.94/share when they get out of bankruptcy, which is more than the shares are trading for now, but the agreement is still in dispute by bondholders and there’s certainly no guarantee that common shareholders will get anything when they finish reorganizing and get a new ticker symbol. Investing in companies undergoing bankruptcy reorganization is extremely risky and is an easy way to lose all your money, in my opinion, but I might be interested in the “new” Calpine when they exit bankruptcy)

I’ve been a little interested, but don’t own any shares of any of these companies.

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15 Comments on "“Slow Volcano Power”"

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
November 15, 2007 2:15 am
Taipan is promoting some sort of currency “easy” traiding:Dear TFN Reader, My friend and colleague Louis Basenese has discovered a great new way to make money. It’s a simple method of transferring an extra $5,250 into your bank account every month. What I love about this system is that it lets you collect your money NO MATTER WHAT. Every day, you can get a little richer — regardless of the stock markets… regardless of the dollar… or the Fed… or the credit crunch… or real estate — just like clockwork. How? Louis reveals all the details — including how you… Read more »
steve-the-professor
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steve-the-professor
November 15, 2007 4:29 pm
Here’s the complete solution to the “Slow Volacano Power” as well as the “Navy Insider…” teases — all 5 are identified, except I could not identify the South American firm. Here they are:The ‘SLOW VOLCANO” and “Navy Insider…” teasers of 20071112: Candidates: Price 11-13-07 NTAH — Nevada $1.12 ORA — Ormat with Holdings in Nicaragua & Nevada $50.72 UGTH — Raft River in Idaho $3.65 WGPWF — Geysers & Western Canada $0.4565 SRAGF — Sierra Geothermal Power $0.6065 NGLPF — Nevada Geothermal Power $1.10 PGTHF — Polaris Geothermal $1.16 1) Western “Slow Volcano” Dynamo #1: Likely to be “UGTH” at… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
November 15, 2007 5:02 pm

Here’s a wild guess but food for thought. I wonder if it could be what is referred to as “the bankers close”. I would have to find and review some notes I took over year ago, but basically it’s a currency maneuver that balances out the banks in London and Germany… and it happens every day when the banks close. It is early morning here in the US. more info when I dig it up.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
November 15, 2007 5:47 pm

The Geysers geothermal area north of the San Francisco Bay Area is in the Mayacamas mountains, not the Sierra Nevada.

Federico.Rampaldi
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Federico.Rampaldi
November 15, 2007 6:45 pm

Mr. Anonymous,
In trying to duplicate the code for the 5200 that we all can get…. I dont find in my pc the sign used after TOT [X] looks like an inverted B or a #3 to the right with a small t attached,any idea how to reproduce such symbol?
Also i know is Louis but what i got was from Kramer is he on this too?…Thanks ,Life can be a lot of fun. F

Anonymous
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Anonymous
November 16, 2007 9:54 pm

Ever since I have found and used the Stock Gumshoe website and has literally saved ne thousands of dollar that I would have paid to some one else. The money I have saved, I have invested very wisely. I want to thank Stock Gumshoe for everything.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
November 19, 2007 7:49 pm

To the first poster, about the teaser on the Secret Banking Pass Code – if you read through his promo, he tells you what this strategy is – investing in companies just prior to them being taken over. He sells info on how to determine from large transfers of money (his ‘secret pass code’) which companies are about to be taken over, and you invest several weeks before everyone else knows about it. He also gives you recommendations in his newsletter, which is between $300-$400 for a year.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
December 15, 2007 9:39 pm

“Secret Pass Code” is just watching the option activity, to see what stocks are likely to be taken over.

His current list is:
VOLC
CNB
GENZ
MSTR
UPL
WBD
AA

Jolly Roger
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Jolly Roger
January 9, 2008 9:09 am

If Federico.Rampaldi
still needs this info from
November 15, 2007 1:45 PM :
——————–

The Pound sign is “£”.

It ascii code in decimal is 156.

So as for all ascii codes
one can build it up from the keyboard by holding the left ALT key and punching the numerical keypad “156”.

Patricia A. Lowe
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Patricia A. Lowe
March 19, 2008 9:22 pm
Calpine is also a supplier of Geothrmal energy. It is an electric Utility which got into trouble over its entanglement with Enron and dealings with overpriced power supply agreements for the state of California, and has only recently emerged from bankruptcy. I’ve owned the stock since it was $20 a share. It was a Tobin Smith Changewave recommendation a few years back. My 100 shares has been reduced to 10 shares. Regarding Geothermal Energy, I quote from their website: [Calpine operates]natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants. …Calpine adheres to stringent standards for safe, efficient plant operations. Calpine is North… Read more »
Bill
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Bill
August 24, 2008 3:09 pm

I love reading teasers and trying to figure out the stocks. Gumshoe rocks; all the teasers sent to me are represented here. Hope all y’alls having as much fun doing this as I am.

Paul
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Paul
August 26, 2008 5:27 pm

I subsribe to the same Agora, and then found this site. Good work to you!

Johnman
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Johnman
August 22, 2008 10:06 pm

I receive severak emails a week on this money making scheme. Can anyone explain it or verify its success?

Johnman
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Johnman
August 22, 2008 10:09 pm

Please excuse the type errors. It is late, and it has been a demanding day.

Bigg Fredd
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Bigg Fredd
October 3, 2010 1:44 am

ß is alt+0223 on the numeric keypad. Or you can just copy and paste.

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