Sierra Geothermal Power receives environmental approval and drill permits for Alum project

Alexander Richter 24 Jul 2009

Sierra Geothermal Power announces it has received environmental approval and drill permits for its Alum project in Nevada, with a potential power generation capacity of 70-150 MW.

Sierra Geothermal Power announces that it has “received an Environmental Assessment (EA) decision with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its Alum geothermal power project located in Nevada, USA.

The FONSI was reached following the BLM’s review of SGP’s proposed project plans for Alum and the anticipated environmental impact was determined to be non-significant. The FONSI represents the final stage in the federal environmental review process.

Along with this favorable decision on the EA, the BLM has approved drill permits for deep temperature gradient holes and production assessment wells at Alum.

SGP’s President and CEO, Gary R. Thompson said, “We are pleased that permitting for the Alum project is behind us and we can now focus on drilling activities to move the project to bankable feasibility. Today SGP submitted several applications for grant funding under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. One of these applications, under the Geothermal Technologies Program, Validation of Innovative Exploration Technologies DE-FOA-0000109, is for grant funding of up to US$5 million for the Alum project. With the Alum project being drill-ready and having a positive EA, we are hopeful that the US Department of Energy will approve stimulus funding that would contribute toward the capital required for the next stage of the project’s development.”

About The Alum Project: The Alum geothermal project is comprised of 7,198 acres in Esmeralda County, Nevada, between Reno and Las Vegas. The project is one of three within SGP’s Paymaster Geothermal District. SGP recognized and determined this area as a district play for geothermal power in 2006 and coined the “Paymaster District” name. Exploration to date at Alum includes 48 temperature gradient wells drilled to a maximum depth of 600 meters with bottom-hole temperatures of 120 degrees Celsius. Recent gravity geophysics and detailed structural mapping combined with the gradient drilling data have identified many favorable drilling targets on the Alum property. Chemical geothermometry analysis of boiling water samples on the project indicates commercial resource temperatures of 150 to 225 degrees Celsius. On June 10, 2009, the BLM approved SGP for the development and operation of the Alum Unit Area. GeothermEx’s 2008 independent report on the Alum anomaly as a whole provided a ninety percent probability of generating 73 MW and a fifty percent probability of generating 150 MW. A 70 MW geothermal resource can generate enough power to supply 56,000 homes.

Source: Company announcement via E-Media world