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VALE, Ore. -- An Eastern Oregon project billed as the state's first industrial-scale geothermal plant is up and running.

The Ontario Argus Observer reports the Neal Hot Springs plant west of Vale is generating 28 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 25,000 to 28,000 homes.

The initial output target was 22-23 megawatts. Idaho Power buys the electricity.

A company official says the plant is still getting final touches from the contractor.

Several hundred people worked on construction. The plant is expected to have 20 long-term jobs.

The plant is the work of U.S. Geothermal of Boise, which also has projects in Idaho and Nevada.

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