BOISE, IDAHO--(Marketwired - Feb. 24, 2014) - 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 it has finalized the strategic and financial partnership with a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. (NYSE:ENB)(TSX:ENB). The Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Plant, located near Vale, Oregon, was developed and is being operated by USG Oregon LLC, a subsidiary of U.S. Geothermal. Enbridge, a North American leader in delivering energy, acquired an equity position in the project, which achieved Final Completion on August 1, 2013. The Enbridge equity investment, along with a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE"), funded the remaining construction costs. Total investment in the development and construction of the project by U.S. Geothermal was USD $14 million.
Following the receipt of the previously announced Section 1603 Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) cash grant payment, and the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit funds, and after the receipt and disbursement of all remaining construction reserve funds, which was finalized on January 27, 2014, the final ownership interest in the Neal Hot Springs project was calculated in accordance with the terms of the partnership agreement. Ownership interest in the project is final with 60% for U.S. Geothermal and 40% for Enbridge. As a result of the final agreement, U.S. Geothermal has received a USD $6.2 million cash distribution from the partnership.
"Our strategic partnership with Enbridge has proved beneficial for both parties, allowing for the successful construction and operation of the Neal Hot Springs geothermal project," said Dennis Gilles, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Geothermal Inc. "We look forward to a long and successful partnership with Enbridge on this and potentially other geothermal projects in our portfolio of quality geothermal resources."
"As an energy delivery company, Enbridge is proud of its growing list of renewable and alternative energy projects," said Chuck Szmurlo, Vice President, Alternative and Emerging Technology, Enbridge Inc. "Over the past decade we've invested more than $3 billion in a variety of green power projects, creating a strong base of assets which now includes interests in wind, solar and waste heat recovery facilities that, together, have the capacity to generate over 1,700 megawatts of emissions free energy. Neal Hot Springs represents our entry into geothermal energy, which we believe will play an important role in North America's shift toward a greener energy production mix. We look forward to our relationship with U.S Geothermal and the potential to find further opportunities to partner together."
The Neal Hot Springs facility was the first geothermal project to obtain a loan guarantee under the DOE's Title XVII loan guarantee program, which was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to support the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies. The project deployed the first of its kind binary cycle process, utilizing a supercritical cycle that uses R134a refrigerant as the working fluid, and an innovative air-cooled condenser, as well as pre-fabricated, modular construction of major plant components.
About U.S. Geothermal Inc.:
U.S. Geothermal Inc. is a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy and is operating geothermal power projects at Neal Hot Springs, Oregon, San Emidio, Nevada and Raft River, Idaho. The company is currently developing a second phase project at San Emidio Nevada, as well as El Ceibillo, an advanced stage, geothermal prospect located within a 24,710 acre (100sq km) energy rights concession area located 8.5 miles (14 km) from Guatemala City, the largest city in Central America.
The information provided in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the definition of the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on U.S. Geothermal Inc.'s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those described, including but not limited to, the results from the exploration, production and injection well drilling at El Ceibillo and San Emidio II. Readers are cautioned to review the risk factors identified by the company in its filings with Canadian and US securities agencies. Forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations, beliefs and opinions on the date the statements are made. U.S. Geothermal Inc. assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if management's expectations, beliefs, or opinions, or other factors, should change.
The NYSE MKT and the TSX do not accept responsibility for the adequacy of this release.
About Enbridge Inc.:
Enbridge, a Canadian Company, is a North American leader in delivering energy and has been included on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking for the past five years. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a significant and growing involvement in natural gas gathering, transmission and midstream businesses, and an increasing involvement in power transmission. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. As a generator of energy, Enbridge has interests in 1,700 megawatts of renewable and alternative energy generating capacity and is expanding its interests in wind and solar energy and geothermal. Enbridge employs more than 10,000 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. and is ranked as one of Canada's Greenest Employers and one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit www.enbridge.com.