Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SRA) ("Sierra Geothermal") is pleased to report that drilling has commensed at the company's Reese River Project, Lander County, Nevada. Well 56-4 is an exploration slimhole and is permitted to a maximum depth of 1200 m (4000 ft). The objective of the well is to test geothermal reservoir characteristics. The drilling program is operated by Sierra Geothermal's US subsidiary, with partial funding of US$580,000 by the US Department of Energy's GRED III program.
The Reese River project is rated by Richards and Blackwell as one of the top 15 undeveloped geothermal prospects in Nevada (Source: Geothermal Resource Council, Bulletin March/April 2002, The Forgotten Ones). Phillips Petroleum and Amax Exploration drilled 52 temperature-gradient holes during the 1970's and 1980's. Contoured data of the temperature-gradient wells outline a150 degrees C/km heat-flow anomaly that is approximately 4.8 km (3 miles) long in the northeast direction by approximately 1.6 km (1 mile) wide. The center of the anomaly reaches a temperature gradient of over 500 degrees C/km with an overall average of 225 degrees C/km. The maximum calculated heat flow at Reese River is 1117 mW/m2 (Amax 1998). Using a Monte Carlo simulation, the potential geothermal resource at Reese River was estimated to have a 90% probability of generating 13 MW and a 50% probability of exceeding 30 MW (Source: New Geothermal Site Identification and Qualification, PIER study prepared by GeothermEx, 2004). A 30 MW power plant is able to produce enough electricity to power 24,000 homes.
To help fulfill California's targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the California Public Utilities Commission announced on January 25, 2007 a ban on long-term purchases of electricity produced by coal-fired power plants. The standard applies to investment in new power plants and to contracts of five years or more. The move is expected to have a significant impact on the future electrical energy market in California. This news is positive for the geothermal industry. Sierra Geothermal has several projects located near the California-Nevada border. The State of Nevada has adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires utilities to have 20% of their electricity supplied from renewable sources by 2015.
Sierra Geothermal is a renewable energy company focused on the exploration and development of clean, sustainable geothermal power. Geothermal plants produce long-term revenues and provide continuous base-load power, often at or above 95% capacity. Sierra Geothermal recently acquired a large portfolio of geothermal projects. The company intends to advance the development of its portfolio of projects through a combination of equity and/or joint ventures, while continuing to evaluate additional acquisitions.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Gary R. Thompson
The information provided in this news release contains forward-looking statements within the definition of the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding potential energy resources and project development possibilities. These statements are based on Sierra Geothermal'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 in forward looking statements, including the risks that the resource potential of any one of our projects may be uneconomic due to the lack of a high temperature water supply, or financing will not be available for construction of the power plants, and the revenues generated will not prove sufficient to fund operations and/or service debt, among others. Readers are cautioned to review the risk factors identified by the company in its filings with Canadian securities agencies. Forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations, beliefs and opinions on the date the statements are made. Sierra Geothermal Power Corp assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if management's expectations, beliefs, or opinions, or other factors, should change.
SOURCE: Sierra Geothermal Power Corp.
Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. Mr. Gary R. Thompson, P.Geo President & CEO (403) 870-1166 or Toll Free: 1-800-563-5631 Email: [email protected] Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. Ed Muir Investor Communications Toll Free: 1-800-563-5631 Email: [email protected] Website: www.sierrageopower.com