Boise, Idaho, February 24, 2011 — U.S. Geothermal Inc., a renewable energy company focused on geothermal energy, announced the financial closing with the U.S. Department of Energy of a $96.8-million loan guarantee to construct its planned 23-MW power plant at Neal Hot Springs in Eastern Oregon.
Neal Hot Springs is the first geothermal project to complete a loan guarantee under DOE's Title XVII loan guarantee program, which was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to support the deployment of innovative clean energy technologies.
The DOE loan guarantee will guarantee a loan from the U.S. Treasury's Federal Financing Bank. The $96.8-million Federal Financing Bank loan represents 75 percent of total project cost.
When combined with the previously announced equity investment by Enbridge Inc., the loan provides 100 percent of the capital remaining to fully construct the project.
The Neal Hot Springs project will create high-quality American manufacturing and construction jobs through the construction of the power plant, which is being supplied by Houston-based TAS Energy, Inc., a provider of high efficiency modular energy systems.
U.S. Geothermal anticipates about 95 percent of the power plant's infrastructure and parts will be supplied by U.S.-based manufacturers.
About 150 construction jobs and over a dozen permanent jobs are expected to be created during the project's 18-month construction phase.
Idaho's largest utility, Idaho Power Co., previously signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with U.S. Geothermal's wholly owned subsidiary, USG Oregon LLC, for up to 25 MW of power per year.
Beginning in 2012, the base energy price is $96 per MW Hour and escalates annually. The calculated 25-year levelized price is $117.65 per MW hour.