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HAWAIIAN ELEC : Puna Geothermal Venture and HELCO Sign Agreement to Deliver Additional 8MW of Dispatchable Geothermal Power

02/10/2011 | 05:20pm US/Eastern

HILO, Hawaii, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO) and Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA) today announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to add more renewable energy, with pricing independent of oil prices, to the Hawaii Island grid.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20040422/LATH066LOGO)

As part of the contract, Ormat Technologies' wholly-owned Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) agrees to provide an additional eight megawatts (MW) of dispatchable geothermal power at fixed prices for over 20 years, providing a valuable hedge against fluctuating oil prices that benefits Hawaii Island electric customers. PGV, located in the lower Puna district of Hawaii Island, currently provides approximately 30 MW under two contracts.

The PPA is subject to approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), with input from the Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy. The construction of the power plant is substantially complete and is expected to reach full commercial operation after HELCO completes electric grid modifications by the third quarter of 2011.

"Our continued partnership will help us reach our clean energy goals even sooner," said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light Company president. "With long-term pricing that's not tied to the price of oil, this contract will help stabilize electricity bills as fuel prices move higher."

Hawaii Island is a world leader in renewable energy, with more than one-third of the energy supplied to its customers from geothermal, wind, hydro-electric and solar resources. Future renewable energy sources also include biomass as well as the use of sustainable biofuel in existing HELCO generating units.

"This agreement reinforces our commitment to increase our diverse portfolio of renewable energy resources," Ignacio said.

Puna Geothermal Venture has provided baseload power to the island's grid since 1993. Ormat, a world leader in geothermal technology, acquired PGV in 2004 and has been continuously investing capital to improve efficiency and environmental controls.

"We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with HELCO and are grateful for its support of geothermal power. Ormat is committed to providing Hawaii's market with the best geothermal technology, working with the community and sharing with it the benefits of the new development," said Yoram Bronicki, president and COO of Ormat Technologies. "The power that the expansion will contribute will be generated from a more efficient utilization of the resource which allows us to reduce the overall cost of power and to provide improved stability to the overall electrical grid of the island."

About Hawaii Electric Light Company

Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) provides more than one-third of its energy from renewable sources including geothermal, wind, run-of-river hydro, concentrated solar and solar photovoltaic sources. At times, more than half the energy HELCO provides to its 80,000 customers is from renewable sources. HELCO is focused on diversifying its renewable energy portfolio and weaning its dependence on fossil fuels. HELCO continues to move forward with the grid integration of variable generation to support even more renewable energy on all Hawaiian Islands, with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Labs, the Office of Naval Research, EPRI, NERC, and other utilities. HELCO is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Company, which is owned by Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE). The Hawaiian Electric companies are signatories to an energy agreement under the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a statewide effort to obtain 70 percent of the State of Hawaii's energy for electricity and ground transportation from clean sources by the year 2030.

About Ormat Technologies, Inc.

Ormat Technologies, Inc. is the only vertically-integrated company primarily engaged in the geothermal and recovered energy power business. The Company designs, develops, owns and operates geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants around the world. Additionally, the Company designs, manufactures and sells geothermal and recovered energy power units and other power-generating equipment, and provides related services. The Company has more than four decades of experience in the development of environmentally-sound power, primarily in geothermal and recovered-energy generation. Ormat products and systems are covered by 75 U.S. patents. Ormat has engineered and built power plants, that it currently owns or has supplied to utilities and developers worldwide, totaling approximately 1,300 MW of gross capacity. Ormat's current generating portfolio includes the following geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants: in the United States - Brady, Brawley, Heber, Mammoth, Ormesa, Puna, Steamboat, OREG 1, OREG 2, OREG 3 and OREG 4; in Guatemala - Zunil and Amatitlan; in Kenya - Olkaria III; and, in Nicaragua - Momotombo.

Ormat's Safe Harbor Statement

Information provided in this press release may contain statements relating to current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about future events that are "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally relate to Ormat's plans, objectives and expectations for future operations and are based upon its management's current estimates and projections of future results or trends. Actual future results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see "Risk Factors" as described in Ormat Technologies, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 8, 2010. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


    MEDIA CONTACTS:

    Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO)     Ormat Technologies, Inc.
    -------------------------------------     ------------------------
    Jose Dizon                                Dita Bronicki
    General Manager                           CEO
    (808) 969-0341                            (775) 356-9029
    jose.dizon@helcohi.com                    dbronicki@ormat.com

SOURCE Ormat Technologies, Inc.

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