U.S. Geothermal announced that it has acquired geothermal property for evaluation of a new project at Vale, Oregon.

The site is located 12 miles east of the Neal Hot Springs geothermal power plant.

The new leases encompass 368 acres of geothermal energy and surface rights acquired from private landowners, Malheur County, and the City of Vale. The property is within the Vale Butte geothermal resource area and provides the opportunity to evaluate development of a known geothermal resource. A prolific, shallow reservoir located along the north edge of the leasehold area has been used for many years in an agricultural drying facility and a mushroom growing operation.

An extensive database of geophysical and geological information from previous geothermal exploration in the Vale Butte area was used in the evaluation of the prospect. Geochemical analysis of samples taken from shallow, hot wells results in a calculated geothermometer that indicates a potential reservoir temperature of 311ºF to 320ºF.

Past exploration drilling near the site by Trans Pacific Geothermal and Sandia National Laboratory encountered temperatures in excess of 300°F in the basement rocks.

The Company is developing a staged geophysical and exploration drilling program to evaluate the potential for commercial power production. Fault structures and hydrologic characteristics have been identified that are similar to the Neal Hot Springs site, and are wholly contained within the newly acquired lease package.

"We are excited to acquire this collection of properties in the Vale Butte resource area, which is close to our current operating facility at Neal Hot Springs. This project adds to our pipeline of choice development opportunities and continues to build on our growth strategy for the Company," said Dennis Gilles, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Geothermal Inc. "Vale Butte is close to transmission lines, and is in a great location to serve the Pacific Northwest energy market."