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June 15, 2011

DOE Offers Conditional Loan Guarantee for Nevada Geothermal Project

DOE announced on June 9 the offer of a conditional commitment to provide a partial guarantee for a $350 million loan for a geothermal power generation project. The project, sponsored by Ormat Nevada, Inc., is expected to produce 121 megawatts (MW) of base-load power from three geothermal power facilities. And, it will increase geothermal power production in Nevada by nearly 25%. The company estimates the project will create approximately 330 construction jobs and nearly 65 permanent jobs.

The geothermal facilities feature Ormat Energy Converter modules, which draw hot water from wells deep below the Earth's surface, and the water's thermal energy is used to heat a secondary fluid that is vaporized and then forced through a turbine to generate electricity. The project is expected to avoid nearly 580,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, an amount equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of over 110,000 vehicles. The project is also expected to produce over one million megawatt hours of power annually, enough to power nearly 88,000 homes. The project's total output is expected to be sold to Nevada Power Company under a long-term power purchase agreement. See the DOE press release and DOE Loan Programs Office website.