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UTC Power System at New Mexico Greenhouse is First Geothermal Plant Operating in State

UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp company, today announced that the first two production units of its PureCycle geothermal power system installed in July and early August at the Burgett Greenhouse in Animas, New Mexico, are exceeding performance expectations.

The PureCycle system produces no emissions in generating electricity, and its fuel -- geothermal hot water -- is a renewable resource. The power from the units is used to displace grid electricity required to support the 32 acres of greenhouse operations at the site.

"UTC Power's New Mexico initiative offers further proof that our state is fast becoming a center for renewable technology," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "We are clearly positioned to create good jobs as our nation shifts to a cleaner economy. I congratulate UTC Power for opening up new avenues of energy production and putting its cutting-edge geothermal technology to work in New Mexico."

Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico, ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, "I am glad the UTC Power geothermal plant in Hidalgo County is proving to be a success in producing power from a renewable energy source. The United States must begin to harness all of its available energy sources to support itself. As we see in Animas, taking on this challenge can work to produce more American energy, create jobs and strengthen a local economy."

"It's exciting to see the first geothermal power plant come on-line in New Mexico," said Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association. "I believe there's tremendous potential for small-scale, distributed geothermal power generation. Implementing modular technology utilizing low-temperature resources opens up opportunities for hundreds of similar applications in the United States and abroad."

A survey recently released by the Geothermal Energy Association showed continued growth in the number of new geothermal power projects being developed in the United States, with a 20 percent increase since January of this year.

UTC Power's geothermal system can operate at temperatures -- from 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit -- that were previously thought to be uneconomical for commercial power production. The system resulted from more than six years of research and development work involving UTC Power, United Technologies Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dale Burgett, greenhouse owner, said, "The UTC Power team made a commitment to deliver PureCycle systems and have them operational in two months and they delivered on time and the performance exceeds my expectations."

Similar systems have been in operation since 2006 at Chena Hot Springs Resort in Alaska as a U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies demonstration project. Raser Technologies of Provo, Utah, has ordered 200 PureCycle systems for various projects it is developing in states throughout the Western United States.

"We're pleased that these units are performing better than our predictions in the challenging climate conditions of New Mexico," said John Fox, general manager of the PureCycle business at UTC Power. "This installation will provide valuable temperature and operational information and assist with our upcoming deployment of 50 units at the adjacent Lightning Dock geothermal site under development by Raser Technologies.

"Our innovative low-temperature technology is tapping previously uneconomical geothermal energy resources around the globe for a cleaner, more secure energy future today," Fox said.

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