U.S. Geothermal Update on Project Development Efforts

U.S. Geothermal Update on Project Development Efforts San Emidio geothermal power plant, Nevada (Source: U.S. Geothermal)
Parker O'Halloran 15 May 2017

U.S Geothermal released their first quarterly report of 2017 with a number of highlights on their operating plants in the U.S.

U.S Geothermal (NYSE: HTM) released their first quarterly report of 2017 with a number of highlights on their operating plants in the U.S.

U.S. Geothermal plans to develop more than 100 MW to be operational from late 2018 until mid-2020 at an estimated development cost of more than $560 million.

Development Projects Update:

  • Purchased and installed a production pump and associated equipment into well RRG-5 at Raft River (Idaho). The well was put into operation on March 21, 2017 and is producing 1,100 gpm. Production from the Raft River plant is now operating at 1.2 MW over the 2017 plan.
  • An updated reservoir model for the San Emidio II (Nevada) reservoir identified the potential size of the resource as up to 47 net megawatts – up from 10 megawatts.
  • Permits were received for the deepening of 3 wells in the San Emidio II reservoir. Drilling will proceed this spring once weather and ground conditions allow access.
  • A power plant development permit application for San Emidio II, with up to three power units, was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on March 29, 2017.
  • Received a $150,000 Small Business Vouchers grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and evaluate the installation of an integrated solar topping turbine at Raft River, which would create a profitable Geothermal-Solar hybrid cycle.
  • Began advance resource evaluation work at both San Emidio II and Crescent Valley associated with the recently awarded $1.5 million SubTER grant from the Department of Energy. This has provided exceptional information for optimal drill targeting that is anticipated to begin late 2017.
  • Drilled third water well at Neal Hot Springs (Oregon), which was determined to be uneconomical. A fourth well was drilled that is capable of providing an estimated 80 gpm (300 lpm) of fresh water for hybrid cooling. Negotiations are underway to acquire surface water rights in the area and testing of a brine treatment system that would provide cooling water is continuing.
  • Completed second round of negotiations at The Geysers (California) with short listed bidders for the turbine generator supply, and the final negotiations with a single bidder for the equipment supply in parallel.

Notable achievements during first quarter of 2017 include:

  • High operating availability achieved at each plant (excluding planned maintenance hours) as follows: Neal Hot Springs – 82.5%, Raft River – 100%, and San Emidio – 98.6%.
  • Generated a fleet wide total of 89,613 megawatt-hours for the quarter, as compared to 93,787 megawatt-hours in the prior year. Difference in the years is due to the following issue at Neal Hot Springs.
  • Neal Hot Springs Unit 1 suffered a forced outage on January 5, 2017 during extreme cold weather, resulting in failed and damaged tubes in the vaporizer from freezing.  The unit was restarted on February 12, 2017.

Source: U.S. Geothermal Inc. Reports First Quarter 2017 Results and Reaffirms 2017 Guidance