Thursday, February 18, 2016

USA, Oregon: U.S. Geothermal Still Interested in Developing Vale Butte Geothermal Prospect

Geothermal development may happen at Vale Butte (The Argus Observer)

The geothermal power plant at Neal Hot Springs west of Bully Creek Reservoir is producing way beyond developers’ expectations, and now they would like to explore geothermal development around Vale Butte.

U.S. Geothermal’s Neal Hot Springs plant came online in 2012 and produces 22 net megawatts of power from three generation units. The plant is operating at 99 percent availability, GRC Member Scott Nichols, land and environment manager for U.S. Geothermal, said during a meeting with the Malheur County Court Wednesday.

Two years ago, U.S. Geothermal signed leases with Malheur County and other property owners around Vale Butte to explore the potential of geothermal development there. Because there is no existing market for the power, any work in the area, such as testing, is delayed, but the company is still interested in the site and in maintaining its leases, Nichols said.