Raser Technologies, a technology licensing company working in geothermal and electric motor efficiency, has inked an agreement with Merrill Lynch that will see the investment bank finance up to 155 megawatts of Raser’s geothermal power plants. Merrill Lynch has committed $44 million to fund the construction of the company’s first geothermal power plant, which Raser says will generate 10.5 megawatts of power. Financial terms of the overall agreement were not disclosed.
While most geothermal power plants are located on extremely hot geothermal wells, Raser (RZ) is looking to capitalize on low- and medium-temperature sites. Raser cites a USGS survey that identifies 120,000 megawatts of untapped, low-temp geothermal opportunities as proof of the market opportunity. Raser is able to exploit these cooler resources by using UTC Power’s PureCycle binary geothermal power systems, which require lower temperatures than the traditional flash or dry steam geothermal technologies.
This agreement with Merrill Lynch brings Raser towards its goal to install 100 megawatts of geothermal power per year for the next three years and then 150 megawatts of power for each year thereafter. Through their partnership with UTC, Raser says it can rapidly deploy modular geothermal plants much faster than traditional geothermal plants, which require custom engineering for each site and can take three to five years to construct. Raser says it can complete construction in a mere 12 to 18 months.
Raser has an ongoing video series on its web site called “Up To Speed” in which CEO Brent Cook sits in what looks like the Sears photo studio giving Raser strategy updates. The latest installment, which was released in December, shows Cook explaining the company’s strategy of exploiting lower-temp sites:
. . . you can win far more games by consistently hitting a lot of singles and doubles rather than trying to hit a home run every time . . . our primary focus is on a game winning strategy of consistently and reliably hitting singles and doubles with the abundant lower temperature sites.