U.S. Geothermal Inc. has started development at Neal Hot Springs in eastern Oregon. The first well in the program is currently at of 300 feet. The total planned depth is approximately 2,800 feet where it is expected to hit a large aperture fracture of hot geothermal fluid.
Three wells, ranging in depth from 2,300 to 3,800 feet are planned for this site. Construction of the drill pads began in August. One drill pad is complete and a second pad is currently under construction. Trinity Drilling initiated drilling on September 18.
Permits for four exploration wells were received from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries on September 11, 2009 allowing for expansion based on results. The Bureau of Land Management has issued a Record of Decision for an Environmental Assessment which allows surface access and construction to a well site that is located on federal lands that overlay private geothermal rights.
In addition to these deep, large diameter production wells, a temperature gradient well program consisting of up to 9 small-diameter wells each approximately 500 feet in depth was started. This program will acquire field data to better understand the geothermal potential at Neal Hot Springs, U.S. Geothermal said.
The new plant is designed to deliver 22 megawatts and is scheduled to come online in late 2011.