Letters From the West

Gilles replaces Kunz as U.S. Geothermal CEO

U.S. Geothermal Chief Executive Officer Daniel Kunz will step down with three operating power plants in place.

Kunz will step aside of the Boise-based renewable energy producer, making way for a geothermal industry veteran, Dennis Gilles.

U.S. Geothermal just opened its Neal Hot Springs power plant in Oregon earlier this year. It also has plants at Raft River, and San Emidio, Nevada.

The company s developing a geothermal prospect near Guatemala City.

His exceptional contributions in financing, building, and leading U.S. Geothermal over the last decade has created a leading independent producer of clean geothermal power,

Chairman of Board, John Walker praised Kunz.

“His exceptional contributions in financing, building, and leading U.S. Geothermal over the last decade has created a leading independent producer of clean geothermal power,” Walker said.

Gilles was formerly senior vice president of Calpine Corp., and retired from Calpine in 2011 after 23 years of service. Mr. Gilles was part of the expansion and growth of Calpine from its very first megawatt to what is now the largest independent power producer in the United States at 750 megawatts.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

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