Idaho’s Raft River plant by U.S. Geothermal covered by Renewable Energy World
Renewable Energy World is looking at the Raft River geothermal power plant by U.S. Geothermal, the first geothermal plant in Idaho. It provides an interesting overview of the history of this project, including financing and prospects.
A long article of Renewable Energy World is looking at the Raft River geothermal power plant by U.S. Geothermal, the first geothermal plant in Idaho.
“U.S. Geothermal’s successful start-up of a new 13 MW net geothermal power plant at Raft River wasn’t the first time the Earth’s heat produced electricity at this remote site, 200 miles southeast of Boise. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) drilled the geothermal wells there in the 1970s to test binary cycle power technology and experiment with direct uses of geothermal fluid for agriculture and aquaculture.
“We proved the reservoir and successfully operated a 5 MW power plant for several months in 1980-82, but scrapped it when project funding ended,” said Idaho National Laboratory Renewable Power Engineer Greg Mines.
Since then, binary geothermal power plants flowered across the American West and around the world, with increasingly efficient technologies and equipment from ORMAT International Inc. leading the way. Indeed, binary cycle equipment is often the technology of choice for producing electrical power from moderate-temperature geothermal resources.
A 1985 Bonneville Power Administration geothermal study (“Final High-Temperature Ranking: Pacific Northwest”) put Raft River in first place among sites across the region. A review of DOE data on Raft River resources by independent consulting firm GeothermEx Inc. estimated that the geothermal reservoir has a power production potential of 110 MW (50 percent probability of 15.6 MW per square mile).
The study confirmed U.S. Geothermal’s enthusiasm for building a commercial power generation facility at Raft River. With backing by Canadian investors and a cost-sharing agreement with DOE for Lang Drilling/Boart Longyear to reopen, clean and flow test geothermal wells at the site, the company set out to make that dream a reality. Initial public offerings on the TSX Venture Exchange in 2003 provided U.S. Geothermal with the capital it needed to begin developing Raft River and other geothermal projects.
The article continues going into details regarding the financial structure and other projects of the company.
To read the full article, click below.
Source: Renewable Energy World