US Geothermal, a renewable energy company, has acquired geothermal property for assessment of a new project at Vale, Oregon.

The company said that the new leases cover 368 acres of geothermal energy and surface rights acquired from private landowners, Malheur county and the city of Vale.

The property is situated 12 miles east of the Neal Hot Springs geothermal power plant.

The site is within the Vale Butte geothermal resource area and provides the opportunity to evaluate development of a known geothermal resource.

For evaluation of the prospect, the company has used an extensive database of geophysical and geological information from the earlier geothermal exploration in the Vale Butte area.

Geochemical analysis of samples chosen from shallow, hot wells resulted in a calculated geothermometer that indicates a potential reservoir temperature of 311ºF to 320ºF, the company said.

Previous exploration by Trans Pacific Geothermal and Sandia National Laboratory near the site has found temperatures in excess of 300°F in the basement rocks.

"Geochemical analysis of samples chosen from shallow, hot wells resulted in a potential reservoir temperature of 311ºF to 320ºF."

A geophysical and exploration drilling programme is being developed by the company for evaluating the potential of commercial power production.

Fault structures and hydrologic characteristics, similar to the Neal Hot Springs site, were identified and are wholly contained within the newly acquired lease package.

US Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles said, "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.Vale Butte is close to transmission lines, and is in a great location to serve the Pacific Northwest energy market."