Raser Technologies, Inc. (NYSE Arca: RZ), a leader in geothermal power generation, yesterday inaugurated its first commercial-scale power plant, in Beaver County, Utah.
The Beaver County plant, called Thermo, was built in only six months using a modular construction design, which greatly reduced the time typically required for traditional plant development and construction technology. The plant’s output has already been committed to supply electricity to Anaheim, California.
Raser uses technology developed by UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, to generate electricity from underground water at temperatures significantly lower than other technologies. This opens the door to vast resources of underground, heated water that previously were thought to be useless for generating electricity.
"This is a momentous occasion," said CEO Brent M. Cook of Raser Technologies at the plant’s ribbon cutting ceremony. "This power generation plant with its ground-breaking, rapid-deployment design and construction system and UTC Power’s low-temperature technology can make geothermal a mainstream source of energy for the nation."
Cook noted that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recent report estimates that the nation has approximately 150,000 MW of identified and unidentified shallow geothermal resources, enough to meet approximately one-third of the nation’s electrical demand.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said, "In May of this year, I stood at this very spot and broke ground for a new kind of geothermal power plant. Today, just six months later, I stand here again and look around in amazement to see a complete power plant. Raser’s new modular power plant design has begun a revolution in the power industry. If Raser can continue to replicate this successful model, it will unlock this country’s most abundant and practical sources of renewable energy."
Using its rapid-deployment construction system, Raser Tech took 50 binary cycle units manufactured by UTC Power and linked them together like a computer network to create the 10 MW facility.
Raser has seven other plants in the works for the western U.S. with another underway in Indonesia.
On Monday, Raser announced that Prudential Capital Group, an institutional investment division of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), purchased the permanent debt financing for the Thermo power project, from the original project financier. The approximately $31 million of non-recourse debt financing helped construct the Thermo geothermal power plant which completed major construction elements last week. The tax equity capital was retained by the tax equity partner entitling them to most of the tax benefits provided by the renewable energy project.
Ric Abel, Managing Director of Prudential Capital Group, said, “We are excited to be a part of this unique renewable energy project. We believe Raser’s rapid deployment strategy positions them to play a leading role in the future of America’s energy independence. We are seeking to expand our involvement in this important burgeoning industry and plan to work closely with Raser as this project is brought on line.”
About Raser Technologies
Raser is an environmentally focused technology licensing and development company operating in two business segments. Raser’s Power Systems segment is seeking to develop clean, renewable geothermal electric power plants and bottom-cycling operations, incorporating licensed heat transfer technology and Raser’s SymetronTM technology developed internally by its Transportation and Industrial Technology segment. Raser’s Transportation and Industrial Technology segment focuses on extended-range plug-in-hybrid vehicle solutions and using Raser’s award-winning SymetronTM technology to improve the torque density and efficiency of the electric motors and drive systems used in electric and hybrid-electric vehicle powertrains and industrial applications.