As early as the third quarter of 2010, the energy company will start the "reconstruction and relocation" Phase 1 component, replacing the old plant with one of four 8.6 MW water-cooled binary cycle power plants which will total 35 MW of geothermal energy upon completion of Phase 2.
The two-phased San Emidio Project is comprised of approximately 22,944 acres of private and Bureau of Land Management administered land that contains a proven geothermal reservoir estimated to be capable of producing up to 44 megawatts of power at a 90% probability, based on an independent estimate from Black Mountain Technology.
Costs should run an estimated US$200 million, but so far only the US$35 million Phase 1 has been approved. Phase 2's approval will be subject to successful well drilling, technological upgrades, and the necessary required permits.
Though most of the funding has been procured through long-term financing, U.S. Geothermal also qualified for $3.7 million of federal funds from the Department of Energy's Innovative Exploration Grant [pdf].
The grant is designed to enable geothermal companies to seek solutions to the many obstacles facing geothermal drilling.
In this case, U.S. Geothermal will be developing an exploration strategy to find faults in geothermal reservoirs -- preexisting access points through which geothermal fluids flow. To date, approximately 80% of the geologic mapping is complete.
Learn more about Geothermal Power on EnergyBoom's Geothermal Energy Learning Page.
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