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You are here: > News > November 7, 2008

Top 100
Raser Plant Ribbon-Cutting Ushers New Geothermal Clean Energy Era

This wasn't just a ribbon cutting for the first operating geothermal plant by Raser; it was a worldwide inauguration of a new breed of energy that is clean, renewable, reliable, and competitive.

by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2008

Raser Plant Ribbon Cutting, Nov. 6

Left: John Fox, general manager of geothermal operations for United Technologies Corporation (UTC), which has been making the basic turbine design for years for industrial air conditioning industry.

Next: Gary Herbert, Utah's Lt. Governor

Next: Brent M. Cook, Raser CEO

Right: Orrin Hatch, Utah Senator

Photo by Sterling D. Allan

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THERMO, UT, USA -- (NYSE Arca: RZ) Braving near freezing temperatures and a crisp wind, around two hundred diplomats, partner executives, shareholders, construction workers, financers, and local citizens gathered in a remote location west of Beaver, Utah Thursday to mark the completion of the first geothermal plant by Raser Technologies of Provo, Utah.

Senator Orrin Hatch, after whom the plant is named, praised the development as opening a new chapter in energy independence -- one based on clean, renewable, and affordable electricity.  He sees the Raser approach as opening the door for geothermal power in the United States, and even the world, to eventually account for as much as a third of the entire electricity production.

Typically, when people think of renewable energy, they typically think of expensive supplemental stuff that is transient, not constant.   Solar is only available about 1/3 of the 24-hour day, in the best locations; wind is typically only being harnessed around 10% of the time.  Ocean waves vary in intensity.  Tides are periodic, both daily, and seasonally.

Not so with geothermal.  It's constant.  Hence, like nuclear, it can provide base load power capacity.  But unlike nuclear the Raser system produces no pollution or emissions.  Also, with Raser's approach, geothermal becomes cheap and quick to implement, as demonstrated by this first plant.

I will be recommending to the New Energy Congress that they consider bumping Raser up in the Global Top 100 Clean Energy Technologies listing.  The company was already in the top 20.  This is a profound milestone in the history of renewable energy.

Sunset at Raser plant.  A solar farm would be closing down, whereas with a geothermal plant, it just keeps on going and going and going.

This ribbon-cutting took place just six months after ground was broken on May 9 -- unheard of in the industry where plants of comparable output might take five to seven years to build.

The 10-11-Megawatt (net) plant, costing $50 million, is the first phase of what could eventually be a 500 MW plant, harnessing the geothermal resources that have been discovered in that area.  The modular nature of the plant lends itself to phased expansion.

The company announced that the next step will be to add twenty five more modules to gather waste heat on the back end of the process, generating an additional six MW from the same inflow, without even drilling any more holes.

Seven other plants, tapping into Raser's geothermal resources, are in the works for the western U.S. with another underway in Indonesia.  Prior to this full plant in Thermo, Utah, two modules were installed in Alaska, two in New Mexico and one in Guatemala, to prove and test the concept for full-scale deployment, now accomplished in Thermo.

A new diagrammatic video was completed for this ribbon-cutting event, playing on a loop near the front of the tent, and will be made available from the company website and YouTube in coming days. 

In addition to shareholders, the company has been financed by Meryll Lynch and Prudential.

When the plant is commissioned in a few weeks, following final testing, the electricity will be sold to the city of Anaheim, which has a power purchase agreement for 7.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

# # #


Photo Gallery

Photos by Sterling D. Allan. Video pending.

People milling around just prior to ribbon cutting.  Cooling towers are shown in background.
Senator Hatch is being interviewed in the background.
Two rows of 25 modular turbines by United Technologies Corporation.  When the site is commissioned, each module will produce 280 kilowatts constant output.  One module needing servicing ban be worked on without taking the entire system down.  UTC guarantees the turbines for 35 years -- something they can do because a slightly varied design has been used in the Air Conditioning industry for decades.
The larger pipes are the primary artery and vein coming from and going back to the geothermal wells.
News helicopter in front of covered modules that will be installed on the other side of the cooling towers to harness an additional 6 MW of electricity from the heat on the back end of the system.
An aerial view of the plant was displayed toward the back of the tent where visitors arrived.
CEO, Brent M. Cook, in discussion with Senator Orrin Hatch upon his arrival.
Various posters were displayed throughout the tent highlighting Raser processes, personnel, partners, advantages, timeline.
I was there.  It was nearly a five hour drive, one way, for me, coming from the Salt Lake City area.  Well worth the drive.  'Very glad I went (and glad I wore long johns).


Killer Combination

On Nov. 7, 2008, New Energy Congress member, Mark Snoswell, wrote:

This does look impressive – I like their no nonsense approach and use of off the shelf parts. Combine this modular approach with the immanent hydrogen jet drilling technology and you have a killer combination that could see an explosive expansion of geothermal power generation.

* * * *


On Nov. 7, 2008, New Energy Congress advisor, Chris Patton, wrote:


This is how you power America...drop Pickens plan dead. This is the only thing that can use phase change gasses for low level heat exchange as well. This should be every one's focus.

I'm putting a lot of focus on this in the film right now. I may pop out there to get a tour.

Good coverage.

* * * *

Related Coverage

Video Courtesy of; November 8th, 2008

Previous PESN Coverage

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Nov. 6, 2008
Last updated December 24, 2014




"It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom." // "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right." -- Albert Einstein

ADVISORY: With any technology, you take a high risk to invest significant time or money unless (1) independent testing has thoroughly corroborated the technology, (2) the group involved has intellectual rights to the technology, and (3) the group has the ability to make a success of the endeavor.
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   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

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of the crowd you're a genius.
When you're two steps ahead,
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