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Idaho geothermal company clears loan milestone

An Idaho-based geothermal energy company said it’s cleared a key hurdle required for it to get a nearly $97 million federal loan guarantee for the 23-megawatt project it’s building in the Oregon desert.

U.S. Geothermal said April 11 it’s gotten a reservoir certificate from the U.S. Department of Energy.

That’s a technical condition required under its loan guarantee to build the power plant at Neal Hot Springs in eastern Oregon.

The company is moving ahead with its partners to build the power plant and erect a 10-mile transmission line that will be used to ship its electricity to Idaho Power Co. over the next 25 years under a previously signed contract.

Chief Executive Daniel Kunz said his company is moving quickly get the Neal facility operating come 2012.

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