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Idaho Power Company Names U.S. Geothermal Successful Bidder for 45.5-Megawatt Power Purchase

US Geothermal, a renewable energy development company, has been named as the successful bidder for Idaho Power Company's request for geothermal electricity.

Negotiations for a 25-year power purchase agreement ("PPA") between U.S. Geothermal and Idaho Power for an annual average of 45.5 megawatts will now begin, said Daniel Kunz, President and CEO of U.S. Geothermal Inc.

"We're very pleased that Idaho Power recognizes the value of our proposal and may ultimately purchase a significant amount of electricity from us," Kunz said. "We look forward to expanding our existing relationship with Idaho Power by completing an agreement for this power. Considering our current negotiations with a utility in the Pacific Northwest for the full output from the planned 13 megawatt Unit 2 plant at Raft River, this PPA will provide our company up to 65 megawatts of sales under long term agreements forming a strong foundation for growth in the coming years."

U.S. Geothermal was Idaho Power Company's selection for final negotiations regarding Idaho Power's request for proposals for up to 100 megawatts of geothermal power. A number of competing proposals were submitted in response to Idaho Power's August 2006 request for proposals.

U.S. Geothermal's proposal to develop an annual average of 45.5 megawatts with a seasonal peak of 52 megawatts for Idaho Power Company includes:
  • Full output, all hours of the year, for 26 megawatts from U.S. Geothermal's Neal Hot Springs property in eastern Oregon
  • Full output, all hours of the year, for 13 megawatts from Unit 1 of U.S. Geothermal's Raft River project, a 13-megawatt power plant under construction that will be online later this year. Idaho Power has already signed a Power Purchase Agreement with U.S. Geothermal for the first 10 megawatts of electricity from that plant
  • Full output, all hours from June through November, for 13 megawatts from Unit 3 of the Raft River project
The company is currently negotiating with a utility in the Pacific Northwest for the full output from Unit 3, all hours from December to May.

While U.S. Geothermal's proposals are contingent upon the viability of geothermal resources at Raft River and Neal Hot Springs, Kunz said current drilling results and other technical studies of the resources show promise of surpassing the requirements for the proposals.

"Flow tests and other studies of the Raft River hot water reservoir -- designed to help us develop an understanding of the extent of the geologic resource -- is consistent with our early modeling and seems to be quite promising," Kunz said. "We're optimistic development of this resource and Neal Hot Springs will yield strong returns for our investors."

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