U.S. Geothermal completes new eastern Oregon energy plant

August 1, 2013 

Boise-based U.S. Geothermal announced Thursday that it has completed its 22 megawatt Neal Hot Springs Project in Malheur County, Ore.

The project is selling electricity to Idaho Power Company, under a 25-year power purchase agreement for up to 25 megawatts of power per year. Beginning in 2012, the base energy price is $96 per megawatt hour and escalates annually.

According to a news release, Neal Hot Springs was the first geothermal project to obtain a loan guarantee under the DOE's Title XVII loan guarantee program, which was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to encourage innovative clean energy technologies, according to a news release. The project was authorized for a loan guarantee of up to $96.8 million.

The Neal Hot Springs plant uses a new binary cycle process. U.S. Geothermal estimates that about 95 percent of the power plant's infrastructure and parts were supplied by U.S. based manufacturers, and approximately 150 construction jobs and more than a dozen permanent jobs were created during the project's 20-month construction .

"The success of this new first of its kind project at Neal Hot Springs is a major milestone for both our company and the entire geothermal industry,” U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles said in the news release.

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