BOISE, IDAHO--(Marketwire - April 4, 2012) - U.S. Geothermal Inc. (TSX:GTH)(NYSE Amex:HTM), a leading renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, announced that its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor has successfully conducted a number of operational "spin" tests on the turbine and turbine/generator unit at the new 8.6 net megawatt San Emidio power plant. All components of the plant were in operation and tested during the spin test procedures.
During the turbine testing sequence, excessive vibration was found in a gear box that connects the turbine to the generator. The turbine supplier and gear box manufacturer are evaluating the cause of the vibration and will be providing recommendations to the EPC contractor for modifications to eliminate the gear box vibration. The commercial operation date of Unit I depends on elimination of the vibration but is currently expected to be during May 2012.
The EPC contractor is providing its services under a fixed price contract that includes financial guarantees for the original completion date and power output of the plant. Under the terms of the EPC contract liquidated damages began accruing November 24, 2011.
The Phase II project, a second 8.6 net megawatt power plant, was granted a Special Use Permit by the Washoe County Planning Commission on March 13 and is a designated Project of Regional Significance by the State of Nevada. Phase II will require approval from the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission prior to start of construction.
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About U.S. Geothermal Inc.:
U.S. Geothermal Inc. is a leading renewable energy development company that is operating geothermal power projects at Raft River, Idaho and San Emidio, Nevada. The Neal Hot Springs project, located in eastern Oregon, is currently under construction andwill be the company's third operating power project. The company holds geothermal energy rights to 69,500 acres comprising six advanced stage geothermal development projects.
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 San Emidio. 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.