Boise-based U.S. Geothermal said this week it has begun development drilling at the Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Project in eastern Oregon at a 10-square-mile site about 90 miles northwest of Boise. The company hopes the project will produce about 26MW of power once developed. U.S. Geothermal is already selling more than 10MW of geothermal power from its Raft River site near Malta to Idaho Power, and plans to sell a similar amount from Raft River to Eugene Water and Electric Board in Oregon. Raft River is the first commercial-scale geothermal generation project in the Northwest.
At Neal Hot Springs, U.S. Geothermal said the first well is currently drilled to about 300 feet on the way to a total depth of about 2,800 feet. A total of three large-diameter wells are planned in the current project, the company said.
“Further definition of the Neal Hot Springs geothermal resource is a significant part of our company’s growth plan,” U.S. Geothermal President and CEO Daniel Kunz said in a news release. “These drilling programs are expected to maintain our current project development schedule and help define a geothermal reservoir needed to construct a power plant that will deliver 22 megawatts of electricity.” In Idaho, a megawatt is roughly enough power to supply about 700-800 homes or more, depending on the season.
By Ken Miller, Snake River Alliance, (Sun Valley Online) – http://www.sunvalleyonline.com/news/article.asp?ID_Article=7506