Atlas Copco highlighted by Forbes; Ormat completes NZ plant; U.S. Geothermal drilling

Atlas Copco is listed among the world’s 100 most innovative companies by Forbes magazine. Ormat Technologies announces completion of Ngatamariki, the world’s largest single-site binary geothermal power plant. U.S. Geothermal announces that drilling has started for the San Emidio Phase II Project.

Atlas Copco: Company in Forbes’ Top 100 World’s Most Innovative Companies List for Third Consecutive Year
Ormat Technologies: Ngatamariki Geothermal Plant in NZ Successfully Completed
U.S. Geothermal Inc.: Drilling Commences for San Emidio Phase II Project

Atlas Copco: Company in Forbes’ Top 100 World’s Most Innovative Companies List for Third Consecutive Year
Atlas Copco Press Release (Commerce City, Colo.) September 5 -– Atlas Copco is listed among the world’s 100 most innovative companies by Forbes magazine for the third year in a row. Forbes named Atlas Copco number 94 among its top 100 most innovative companies, based on the company’s market capitalization when compared to anticipated cash flows. According to the magazine, this calculation serves as an indicator of the expected return on investment in coming years as a result of the company’s current innovations.

“Innovation has been the driving force behind Atlas Copco’s growth for more than 140 years,” said Jim Levitt, president, Atlas Copco North America LLC. “We are continually looking for ways to be more productive and more sustainable in order to create value for all of our stakeholders, as well as make a positive impact on society through our innovations.”

Recently Atlas Copco was named a “Leader” in the FTSE4Good Index, which measures globally recognized corporate responsibility standards in environmental, social and governance practices. Atlas Copco was also recognized as one of the world’s most sustainable companies in the Global 100 list presented at the World Economic Forum and ranked one of the world’s most ethical companies by Ethisphere Institute earlier this year.

Atlas Copco has also been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and has been recognized by Thomson-Reuters and Newsweek for its commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Ormat Technologies: Ngatamariki Geothermal Plant in NZ Successfully Completed
Ormat Press Release (Reno, Nev.) September 3With 4% over capacity, Ngatamariki Becomes World’s Largest Single-Site Binary Geothermal Power Plant — Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA) announced today that it has successfully completed the 100 MW installed capacity Ngatamariki geothermal power plant in New Zealand under the $142 million Supply and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts signed with Mighty River Power (MRP) in June 2011.

Mighty River Power’s modular Ngatamariki geothermal power plant is the largest singular binary power plant ever constructed. The Ormat Energy Converters are directly fed by a high temperature (380°F / 193 ºC) geothermal fluid. Until now, on such resources, only steam turbines or Geothermal Combined Cycle plants were used. In this configuration, 100% of the exploited geothermal fluid is reinjected with zero water consumption and low emissions, minimizing the impact on the environment with no depletion of the underground reservoir.

Ngatamariki was built in a record time of 24 months from the contract award. During commissioning, the power plant generated 150GWh and produced its first income stream for MRP.

Dr. Doug Heffernan, Mighty River Power’s CEO, said “the plant near Taupo was completed within the forecast and had proven performance above design specifications in testing over the past three months. We’re delighted with a project of this scale – the largest of its type in the world – to see it successfully completed, and with power output now expected to be 3MW (4%) higher than spec, which will be positive for the plant’s economics into the future. We also expect the project to come in slightly under the total cost forecast.”

Dr. Heffernan added, “the new station would add close to 700 GWh of annual electricity production, equivalent to the electricity use of about 80,000 households.”

Dita Bronicki, CEO of Ormat Technologies, said, “We are pleased with the outperformance of the Ngatamariki power plant and we are confident that the effectiveness and reliability of Ormat’s technology will continue to benefit our clients. During the last 25 years, Ormat has installed in New Zealand approximately 350 MW in 14 power plants, 60% of the new geothermal capacity. We look forward to expanding our activity with our partners in New Zealand and share our accumulated knowledge and experience in future geothermal development in that county and around the world.”

U.S. Geothermal Inc.: Drilling Commences for San Emidio Phase II Project
U.S. Geothermal Press Release (Boise, Idaho) September 4 — U.S. Geothermal Inc. (TSX:GTH)(NYSE MKT:HTM), a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production, and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, announced today that drilling has started for the San Emidio Phase II Project.

As previously announced, U.S. Geothermal is planning to develop the San Emidio project in two phases: a repower (Phase I) and an expansion (Phase II). Phase I was completed in May of 2012, when the existing 3.6 MW plant was replaced with a new, more efficient 9 MW power plant that utilizes the existing geothermal fluid flow from the proven area of the reservoir. Phase II requires drilling new production and injection wells, and upgrading transmission to support the increased power production. The Phase II expansion may produce up to 11 MW (net) to fill the full available output allowed under the existing PPA with NV Energy. Pending a successful drilling program, the Phase II power plant is anticipated to be online in 2015.

The first well to be drilled for Phase II is located approximately 2 miles north of the operating San Emidio Phase I power plant and is planned for a depth of up to 3,000 feet. The targeted area was first identified by three water supply wells drilled for a mining operation in the l990s, which discovered a shallow, hot outflow zone from 300 to 500 feet deep with temperatures of 220 to 240°F.

As part of the continuing DOE innovative exploration program, detailed geologic mapping of the surface features, combined with a satellite survey and five seismic lines were run through the target area. These efforts identified significant fault structures and provided targeting information for the drilling program. Seven wells have been permitted in the Phase II project area. Under the DOE program, there is $991,000 of grant funds remaining that are committed to the second phase of cost shared drilling.

“We are excited to initiate drilling for this second project in the San Emidio resource area,” said Doug Glaspey, President and COO. “Moving the project forward this year will qualify Phase II for the currently available 30% Investment Tax Credit, and will take full advantage of the remaining balance in the 19.9 megawatt PPA we have in place with NV Energy.”

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