Alternative Earth Resources (TSX-V: AER), which develops geothermal energy projects, said Sept. 24 that it has completed a restructuring process and greatly reduced its overhead over the past six months.
The company said it retains a superior property portfolio of four advanced projects prospective for geothermal development and electricity production in the western U.S. Alternative Earth said it is seeks to further strengthen its cash reserves by joint venturing or selling projects.
The company’s projects are:
New Truckhaven Project – Imperial Valley – California
Alternative Earth holds a lease position in the North Truckhaven Geothermal Area in the Imperial Valley of California, located on the west side of the Salton Sea. The Imperial Valley, one of the world’s premier geothermal areas, has about 500 MW of electrical geothermal power on-line and development potential for more than 2,000 MW, according to the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. Production and injection drilling targets have been identified and the company is seeking a development partner for a 30-MW binary geothermal plant.
Pumpernickel Geothermal Project – Humboldt County – Nevada
The Pumpernickel Project encompasses 11 square miles of contiguous geothermal leases located in north-central Nevada. An early test well to 3070 feet intersected 275°F (135°C) geothermal fluid at shallow depth in the range-front fault known as the Pumpernickel Fault. Geothermometry of hot spring and well fluids indicate hotter temperatures deeper in the geothermal system. Engineering studies and a Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) with NV Energy for grid connection at the Golconda substation 12 miles north of the project are completed. Renewable power from Pumpernickel will also gain access to markets in Southern California via the One Nevada Transmission Line currently in construction and scheduled for completion in late 2013.
North Valley Project – Washoe and Churchill Counties – Nevada
Alternative Earth’s leaseholds cover an unusually large and intense thermal anomaly outlined in 20 widespread temperature-gradient holes drilled in the first rush of geothermal exploration in Nevada. There are no surface hot springs or fumaroles but the thermal anomaly is interpreted to be caused by an as yet undiscovered “blind” geothermal reservoir presenting an opportunity to discover a geothermal system similar to, but potentially larger than Alternative Earth’s earlier discovery of the Blue Mountain geothermal resource, now under production 90 miles to the northeast of North Valley.
Crump Geyser Geothermal Project – Lake County – Oregon (Joint venture)
Alternative Earth and Ormat Nevada are equal partners in Crump Geothermal Co. LLC (CGC), formed to develop of the Crump Geyser project in 2011. The project is located 30 miles east of Lakeview, Ore., and consists of 22,590 acres of geothermal leases covering private and state lands. A resource report by GeothermEx estimates a 40 MW (net) inferred resource. A large-diameter development test well and two deep slim wells have been completed indicating 265°F thermal water at shallow depths along a fault system on the western edge of the Warner Valley Rift. An MT survey and an additional exploratory slim well, funded by Ormat and the Department of Energy (DOE) under a cost-sharing agreement, is planned for the valley adjacent to past drilling.
Market conditions are improving for baseload (but flexible) geothermal power developers in California and Nevada, Alternative Earth said. Positive factors include: that construction is underway on the One Nevada Transmission Line; 1,100 MW of baseload coal generation in Nevada is to be phased out and replaced by gas-fired turbines and clean energy; and permanent closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in southern California, creating a market hole for new energy.