Ram Power, Corp. (TSX: RPG), a renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, is pleased to announce the commercial operation of its newly completed Phase II expansion of the San Jacinto-Tizate project (the Phase II Expansion).
The Phase II Expansion is continuing to undergo a series of operational and performance tests required by the Company's turbine supply contract with Fuji America and its Phase II Expansion loan documentation, including turbine performance tests, a capacity test, a 7-day reliability test and a 30-day availability test.
The 72 MW (net) San Jacinto Project (the Project) broke ground in December of 2009, and replaces the original 10 MW geothermal power plant installed in 2007. The 9,800 acre San Jacinto-Tizate geothermal area is considered by geothermal industry experts to be one of the most productive volcanic reservoirs in Latin America. The Project sells all of its energy and capacity to Disnorte-Dissur, a Gas Natural Fenosa company, under a long term power purchase agreement.
Nicaragua's National Development Plan calls for 94% of the country's electricity needs to be sourced from renewables by 2017. The Project is an essential component for Nicaragua's continued infrastructure development, selling power at 37% below the average wholesale electricity price in Nicaragua. The Project will generate approximately 17% of Nicaragua's total electricity needs, helping Nicaragua to meet its 2013 goal of providing 50% of its total electric energy from renewable sources. The Project created more than 600 jobs during peak construction and will have approximately 100 full time employees during operations.
"We are pleased with the on-budget performance of our team during the Phase II Expansion," stated Tono Rodriguez, Vice President and COO of Latin America for Ram Power. "The Project's Fuji America turbines have exceeded our expectations in terms of their efficiency and performance."
As previously announced, the Company plans to continue exploring the expansion at San Jacinto with the addition of a binary unit or "bottoming cycle" which has the potential to add approximately 10 MW net of additional capacity.
"The Company and its capable San Jacinto team have greatly benefited from the collective experience acquired during Phase I construction, commissioning and sustained operation, making the Phase II construction and commissioning program a much more efficient and effective experience," stated Shuman Moore, President and CEO of Ram Power.