Vulcan Restarts Drilling at Patua Geothermal Site

Vulcan Power Company has restarted drilling at its Patua geothermal energy project site near Fernley, Nevada, located in the northwestern part of the state. Earlier this month, the Company received a second equity investment of $108 million from Denham Capital.

“Vulcan has assembled a team of some of the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals across the geothermal industry,” said Vulcan’s acting CEO Robert Warburton. “With financing in place, we can continue leveraging their talent and begin capitalizing on the resources available at Patua.”

Vulcan’s integrated drilling, geo-science, cementing, coring, engineering and construction teams will work over the next 24 months to complete Phase I of Patua, which is expected to be the company’s first geothermal power plant, capable of producing 60 megawatts (MW) of clean energy.

The initial focus will be on geo-science activities, drilling of core holes, and drilling of full size production wells to evaluate the resource reservoir. The company is also in the process of securing permitting and transmission right-of-way for the project.

Once drilling has been completed and project financing obtained, the engineering group will begin construction and commissioning of Vulcan’s first power plant. The company projects commercial operation to occur in the first quarter of 2012. The output of the Patua plant will be sold under a 20-year term Power Purchase Agreement currently in the final stages of negotiation.

According to the Geothermal Energy Association, electricity generation capacity from geothermal energy in the United States is expected to triple within five years, supported by a federal government stimulus allocation of $400 million.  In coming years installed capacity is expected to be nearly 10 gigawatts (GW), enough to supply 10 million homes.

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