Construction of a 3-megawatt geothermally-based power generation plant near Paisley is slated to begin this month.
According to Surprise Valley Electrification Corporation spokesman Lynn Culp, the power generation plant is pre-built and is slated for arrival on Monday, Nov. 18, for installation on the site’s foundation.
The plant utilized geothermally-heated water underground to generate steam to operate a turbine-based generator for the creation of electricity.
Piping as well as the plant’s cooling tower will be shipped as separate components and assembled on site, Culp said.
Colorado TVC, based in Fallon, Nev., is the contractor that won the bid for the project, and one of three firms that issued a bid, Culp said.
The project, estimated by Culp in overall value at $20 million, dates back about four years in development. The target date for coming online is spring of 2014, he said.
Feasibility testing was performed by Colahan Enterprises, prior to Surprise Valley Electric’s involvement as the project developer, which commenced as of 2009, Culp said.
The plant is located on the property of Colahan Enterprises.
A power purchase agreement is currently in the works with Pacific Power, but has not yet been signed, he said.
Long-term goals include utilizing the power generated to offset costs to the Alturas, Calif.-based cooperative’s customers.
“Our goal is to be able to bring this power back to our members at some point,” Culp said. “We don’t know what that date is, yet.”
This status affords a three-year abatement on property taxes for such economic development-based projects.
At that time, the foundation for the plant had been poured, Culp told the Commissioners, and a foundation for the plant’s cooling tower was soon to be done, as well.
Culp said a part-time maintenance position would likely be hired once operational.
“That’s what we see as our part of it, as far as employment,” he said.
Culp also said that the City of Paisley has an option for future geothermal heating usage off of the production written into the lease agreement.
Commissioner Dan Shoun said at that time that the project could potentially serve as a “launch pad” for other businesses to utilize geothermally-based energy.
A general informational meeting was held in Paisley on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 12, to provide general updates on the project for the general public, Culp said.