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U.S. Geothermal, Enbridge complete Neal Hot Springs geothermal plant in Oregon

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U.S. Geothermal and Enbridge announced the completion of the Neal Hot Springs geothermal power plant located in eastern Oregon near the town of Vale.

Developed by U.S. Geothermal, the 22MW (net) plant, which consists of three 7.33MW (net) modules, obtained a loan guarantee under the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Title XVII loan guarantee program.

The supercritical binary geothermal power plant uses R134a refrigerant as the working fluid, an air-cooled condenser, as well as pre-fabricated modular construction of major plant components, the company claims.

The project, which has created approximately 150 construction jobs and over 12 permanent jobs, will sell its output to Idaho Power under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

Earlier in September 2010, Enbridge invested up to $24m in the Neal Hot Springs project.

Enbridge alternative and emerging technology vice president Chuck Szmurlo said that the start of operations at Neal Hot Springs, the first commercial geothermal power plant to be built in Oregon, represents the company's growing list of renewable and alternative energy technology projects.