Raser (RZ) Runs Into Roadblock At Its Hatch Geothermal Plant

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10:45:14 am on September 18, 2009

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Raser has run into a roadblock at its Hatch Geothermal Plant. Initially, the company believed that new technology would allow it to harvest power from wells with water temperature of 180 degrees Celsius or higher. However, even though the water in Raser’s wells is hotter than that, it’s still not hot enough to generate power efficiently, and the company has been using almost as much electricity to keep the plant running as the plant has produced.

Raser is currently making some changes to the plant and reworking the wells, changes that will cost about $10 million but will hopefully have the plant producing at capacity, according to the Tribune.

However, one analyst quoted in the article, David Phillips, isn’t convinced, telling the paper that

“For Raser, everything is always going to be better next quarter. It is a lot like the shifting sand. They always are off pointing to the next big thing. And I’m sure they’re not through raising money yet.”

A company spokesman, Issa Arnita, defended Raser’s efforts in the article, telling the Tribune “We’ve run into a few challenges with some of our wells, but we now are reworking them to try and optimize the heat we’re getting. Also, we will soon be bringing another [geothermal] well on line.”

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