Nevada Geothermal Project Secures Loan Guarantee

A geothermal developer got a big boost this week when U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a partial guarantee for a $98.5 million loan to the 49.5 megawatt Blue Mountain geothermal project in Humboldt County in northwestern Nevada.

The loan guarantee is being issued to John Hancock Financial Services to support a loan to a subsidiary of the Nevada Geothermal Power Company.

The Blue Mountain project consists of a geothermal well field and fluid collection and injection systems. The project has a 20-year power purchase agreement to sell electricity and renewable energy credits to the Nevada Power Company.

The loan guarantee was issued under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), a Department of Energy program supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus package.

FIPP is designed to expedite the loan guarantee process for renewable energy generation projects that use commercial technologies and to expand credit capacity for financing of U.S. renewable energy projects. In a FIPP financing, DOE provides a partial guarantee for up to 80 percent of a loan provided to a renewable energy project by qualified financial institutions.

Including this recent announcement, the Department of Energy has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees to support 14 clean energy projects.