U.S. Geothermal Inc.: Two of three power plant modules at Neal Hot Springs are producing up to 16.8 megawatts

BOISE, IDAHO–(Marketwire – Nov 7, 2012) U.S. Geothermal Inc. (TSX:GTH)(NYSE MKT:HTM), a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, today announced an update on the construction of its three module, 22 net megawatt geothermal power plant at the Neal Hot Springs project, located in Malheur County, Oregon.

Construction work for the air cooled power plant is largely complete and the contractor is now focused on achieving commercial operation within the fourth quarter of 2012. Current activities include:

  • For several days now Modules 1 and 2 have been operating smoothly on a 24 hour per day basis throughout the night and day;
  • Yesterday, the combined net generation reached 16.8 megawatts (“MWs”) overnight then reduced to 15.2 MWs as the daytime ambient air temperature increased;
  • Additional minor adjustments will continue to bring the two modules offline intermittently for various periods before they are deemed ready for commercial operation;
  • Three of the four production wells (NHS 1, 2 and 8) have been regulated to provide the geothermal brine required by the two modules and currently produce a total flow rate of 75% of full capacity;
  • Injection wells NHS 3, 6, 10, 11 and 13 are currently in service to accept the spent geothermal brine; and,
  • Module 3 achieved mechanical completion and will be charged with working fluid tomorrow. The contractor is also performing final system checks of Module 3 in preparation for starting and synchronizing its output to the grid.

After Module 3 begins operating efficiently the combined net power production for all three modules is projected to average 22 MWs.