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U.S. Geothermal Inc. has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, USG Oregon LLC, has achieved commercial operation at the Neal Hot Springs project located near Vale, Ore.

Under the terms of a power purchase agreement, electricity generated by the three-module power plant will now be sold to Idaho Power Co. at the rate of $96/MWh for the remainder of 2012 and at the rate of $99/MWh during 2013. Currently, two power modules are operating on a continuous basis, producing approximately 16 to 18 net megawatts per hour, U.S. Geothermal says.

The third power module is scheduled to begin commissioning and start-up activities by the end of this month. With three modules operating at full capacity, the project is expected to generate between 165,000 to 185,000 MWh of electricity each year.



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