September 2, 2008
AltaRock Energy Finalizes Deal With Weyerhaeuser to Explore Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) Potential on 667,000 Acres in California, Oregon and Washington
SAUSALITO, Calif., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- AltaRock Energy Inc. announced today it had finalized agreements with Weyerhaeuser Company and the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation allowing it to explore the potential for developing geothermal projects in California, Oregon, and Washington.
The geothermal rights, totaling nearly 667,000 acres, include approximately 25,400 acres in Northern California, 378,500 acres in south-central and western Oregon, and 263,000 acres in western Washington. AltaRock will be granted an exclusive option by Weyerhaeuser to assess the geothermal potential and can convert up to 40 percent of the acreage rights to geothermal development leases within two years.
AltaRock CEO Don O'Shei said, "We're pleased to be working with Weyerhaeuser. AltaRock is confident in its ability to put this land to an environmentally friendly use that benefits both companies and the region. These geothermal rights will provide us with a pipeline of development projects to showcase our innovative technology, and generate jobs and clean, renewable energy."
Weyerhaeuser said the agreements support its strategy of finding innovative ways to release the full potential of its land holdings.
The agreements will further AltaRock's goal to develop EGS in a cost-effective manner in order to provide baseload renewable energy to U.S. power markets, and to meet the renewable portfolio standard needs of utilities in states such as Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada.
About Engineered Geothermal Systems
Geothermal energy is clean, renewable energy that offsets CO2 emissions of electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Typically, geothermal plants generate electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Emerging EGS technology has the potential to facilitate geothermal development in areas across the country that do not have conventional geothermal resources. EGS also has the potential to reduce the "dry hole" risk associated with conventional hydrothermal development, which requires locating existing fractures containing high flows of hot water. EGS projects produce electricity using heat extracted with engineered fluid flow paths in hot rock. In the first portion of the EGS power generation cycle, a fractured reservoir is created at a depth where the rock is hot. Water is continuously injected down a well into the engineered fractures that then heat up the water as it flows through. The water is then brought to the surface via production wells, and its heat is extracted to generate electricity in power plants. Finally, the water, depleted of its heat, is re-injected to be heated again.
A 2007 study led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that with suitable investments and improvements to existing technology, EGS could supply up to 10 percent of the country's electricity needs within 50 years at prices competitive with fossil-fuel fired generation. The report, "The Future of Geothermal Energy -- Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States in the 21st Century," may be found online at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/future_geothermal.html.
About AltaRock Energy Inc.
AltaRock Energy is a renewable energy development company focused on the research and development of Engineered Geothermal Systems. Its principals include Don O'Shei, Chief Executive Officer, and Susan Petty, President/Chief Technology Officer and an AltaRock Energy founder. The company has its corporate headquarters in Sausalito, Calif., and its technology development office in Seattle, Wash.
AltaRock Energy Inc.
CONTACT: Kim Van Hall, +1-206-729-2400, for AltaRock Energy Inc.
Web site: http://www.altarockenergy.com/