Expansion of Raft River geothermal plant progressing in Idaho

Raft River plant - binary power plant, Idaho, (source: Ormat)
Alexander Richter 27 Apr 2017

U.S. Geothermal is progressing on its expansion project of the Raft River geothermal power plant in Idaho.

In a release today, geothermal developer and operator U.S. Geothermal Inc. provided an update on its Raft River expansion project.

Phase II of the ongoing plan to increase the output at Raft River from its current generation level of 10 MWs, up to its contract maximum of 13 MWs, commenced in March with the successful installation of the pump in well RRG-5.  Production from RRG-5 started on March 21, 2017 and is currently operating at the rate of 1,100 gallons per minute.  The addition of this flow to the plant has increased net power production by approximately 0.71 MWs.

“We are pleased to report success from this initial step of work at Raft River, and we expect to have additional increases in generation over the quarter as we upgrade downstream equipment,” said Douglas Glaspey, President and COO.  “We remain optimistic that the positive results at Raft River, coupled with our ongoing hybrid cooling efforts at Neal Hot Springs will move us toward our short-term goal of increasing generation from our existing projects.”

To date, the reservoir response has been significantly better than projected, with minimal drawdown in well RRG-5 and no impact to water level in the adjoining wells.  The well temperature is currently stable at over 247°F.   The next step to optimize output from the wellfield is to increase the capacity of the injection system. After an injection pump is upgraded, a further increase in fluid flow to the plant is expected, which will result in a corresponding increase in generation, plus allow for additional production well increases.

Source: Release by email