Boise, Idaho-based U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced on Aug. 30 that it has signed a contract with Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), McLean, Va., for engineering, procurement and construction for the first phase of a new geothermal powerplant at San Emidio in northwest Nevada. The design-build work will be done by a subsidiary of the Benham Cos. LLC, a unit of SAIC. The first phase of the project, set to cost $27 million and be completed by the end of 2011, will generate between 8 MW and 9 MW of power. A second phase, to cost $170 million, will add an additional 26 MW. The new plant, which will replace an existing geothermal plant at the San Emidio site that is producing 3 MW of power, will use a water-cooled binary-cycle power technology.