By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 8
– Enbridge (U.S.) Inc. will invest as much as $23.8 million in the 35 Mw Neal Hot Springs geothermal project in eastern Oregon, said developer U.S. Geothermal Inc., Boise, Idaho.

Enbridge’s equity investment in the project will fully fund the remaining equity share of the construction costs. The balance of the construction costs being funded by the previously announced US Department of Energy conditional commitment for a project loan. Subject to adjustment, Enbridge will acquire 20% direct ownership interest in the project and will receive 24% of the investment tax credit cash grant.

U.S. Geothermal has already invested $13 million in USG Oregon LLC, its subsidiary that owns the project. A total of up to $36.8 million in equity, together with up to $102.2 million of project debt provided under the loan guarantee program from DOE, is now invested in or available for completion of the $124.3 million project.

At Neal Hot Springs, USG Oregon LLC is constructing a new modular, air-cooled binary cycle power plant manufactured by TAS Energy Inc., Houston, with gross capacity of 35 Mw and an average annual output subject to seasonal and other variations of 23 net Mw of electricity (OGJ Online, Sept. 23, 2009). Commercial operation is set for the fourth quarter of 2012.

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