Rural Cooperative Geothermal Development Electric and Agriculture Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Rural Cooperative Geothermal Development Electric and Agriculture
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies Program
Project Type / Topic 2 Geothermal Energy Production from Low Temperature Resources, Coproduced Fluids from Oil and Gas Wells, and Geopressured Resources
Project Type / Topic 3 Low Temperature Resources
Project Description Surprise Valley Electrification Corp. seeks to develop geothermal electric power on the Ranch of one of its existing members. The resource is an existing irrigation well that produces 1200 GPM of water at 239oF. This well has been in use since 1981 during the irrigation season. The rancher cascades the water through two cooling ponds to dissipate the heat prior to irrigating the alfalfa, it would kill the alfalfa if used directly. A feasibility assessment completed (Oct 2008) under the USDA Value Added Producer Grant Program that concluded the resource was viable for both electric production and aquaculture operations.

This project is the beginning – the catalyst that inspires development of the small low temperature resources throughout the region.

State Oregon
Objectives Develop a fully operating geothermal electric power plant and cascaded businesses that serve as an example of what communities can do when they work together, an example that will be the starting point for many other projects.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Surprise Valley Electrification Corp.

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000109
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $2,000,000.00
Awardee Cost Share $7,513,522.00
Total Project Cost $9,513,522.00

Principal Investigator(s) Roy Mink

Targets / Milestones This project is the centerpiece of development for the rural ranching community of Paisley, OR. The water will continue to be used for irrigation purposes and the Ranch Family plans to develop a Tilapia business which will add to the economic activity created by this development. The geothermal resource will add competitively priced electrical base-load energy and a low cost source of heat that is key to developing the Tilapia based aquaculture.

The geothermal power plant will create up to 30 jobs during construction, and one permanent maintenance job. The Tilapia operation will create 8-10 permanent agriculture jobs over the next two years. This development is about a community and its electric cooperative working together to bring real solutions. The implementation team and project plan are in place and ready for immediate implementation.

Location of Project Paisley, OR

Impacts Demonstrate economic feasibilty of remote, low-temperature resources.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs