Walker Ranch Energy Overview
The Walker Ranch geothermal project (WR Project) is Agua Caliente’s first project. Agua Caliente believes it is one of the premier geothermal developments currently underway in the United States. The project is located at one of the best-known and well-studied contiguous geothermal land sites in the U.S. called Raft River and located in Idaho. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) began studying geothermal opportunities in Raft River starting in the 1950s, and the first geothermal power plant in that area began production of electricity in 2008.
The WR Project started in 2007 with Agua Caliente’s acquisition of land and leases in the Raft River region. In total, Agua Caliente acquired rights to over 15,000 acres of land through a combination of land purchases and leases. From 2009 to 2012, significant efforts were spent identifying the resources in the ground. Both geological studies, such as reservoir mapping and gravity analysis, and drilling tests for temperature and flow were performed. In 2012, the WR Project deployed additional innovative technology to reduce the risk of drilling by identifying fracture patterns in the underground geology. Through 2013, significant resources (over $30M) have been invested into Agua Caliente and the WR Project.
Walker Ranch Project Key Highlights:
Geothermal development area with third-party study estimate of geothermal availability. The WR Project is in a known geothermal resource area called Raft River Geothermal Area. The United States Department of Energy began studying and developing this area for geothermal power in the 1950s. In the 1990s, U.S. Geothermal, a publicly traded company, developed the first commercial geothermal facility in the area. As of 2013, this plant is operated at approximately 11MW capacity. Today, Walker Ranch or its parent company, Agua Caliente, owns or leases extensiveland areas surrounding this existing project. In addition, Agua Caliente and Walker Ranch have done extensive geological studies to complement existing knowledge.
Furthermore, Agua Caliente and Walker Ranch contracted with the largest independent geothermal consulting firm, GeothermEx, a division of Schlumbeger, to do an independent assessment of the potential power available in the WR Project area. GeothermEx indicated with a 90% probability that the productivity of the land in the Raft River area could produce 12MW of geothermal power per square mile.
Lowered development risk. Walker Ranch has deployed innovative exploration technology to reduce the risk of drilling. This new approach is taken from the oil and gas industry, where it has allowed advancements in oil and gas development such as shale gas and horizontal drilling. This technology allows Walker Ranch to image the geology under the surface and perform highly targeted drilling. The first three wells drilled to date have shown that using this technology can potentially provide a 20-30% cost advantage in reduced drilling costs compared to not using the technology.
Strong existing investment group and development team. Asset Management Group Investment Corporation (AMGIC), a registered investment adviser, manages and holds an investment in Agua Caliente through its investment funds. AMGIC has nearly 40 years of experience with private equity investments having a particular focus on energy, real estate, and venture capital.