U.S. Geothermal picks up renewable plant components at major discount

U.S. Geothermal Inc., the Boise, Idaho-based renewable energy company, has acquired all the materials to build three new geothermal power plants at a steep discount.

The company picked up the equipment from another geothermal developer that had to scale back a project from six power plants to three. The major long lead equipment for the three abandoned projects was purchased by U.S. Geothermal for $1.5 million, a 95 percent discount of what the materials would have cost to order new.

The power plant components are all new and unused, with the other company keeping them in storage prior to the recent sale. The deal works out well for U.S. Geothermal, which plans to significantly expand operations in coming years.

The company’s plants currently have a capacity 45 megawatts (MW), which is slated to grow to 135 MW over the next three years and to 200 MW by 2020. The new equipment will account for 35 MW of that growth once it comes online.

The discounted equipment gives U.S. Geothermal a leg up on those growth goals. It comes from the same manufacturer and fits the same design as the materials already used by some of the company’s current power plants.

"Since we already operate this same equipment at two of our projects, it will fit in perfectly with our existing operations" Dennis Gilles, U.S. Geothermal CEO, said. “This equipment gives us the ability to expand our megawatt output at our existing portfolio of advanced stage development projects at significantly lower cost, and in much shorter construction time frames."

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