Sierra Geothermal Power Corp.

Sierra Geothermal Power Corp.

January 15, 2010 09:56 ET

RiskMetrics Supports Incumbent Sierra Geothermal Board

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2010) - Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SRA) ("SGP") today reported that the independent proxy advisor RiskMetrics Group recommends that Sierra shareholders support the incumbent Board of Directors in a proxy contest.

"RiskMetrics represents important, independent support for our view that shareholders should vote in support of Sierra's board and management," said Gary Thompson, Sierra's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Now it is crucial for all shareholders to actively deliver their green proxies to prevent directors with conflicting loyalties from controlling Sierra's board."

In its report dated January 14, 2010, RiskMetrics said the incumbent board and management's actions appear reasonable and "the intricate business relationships among the dissident nominees appear to be worrisome."

Said RiskMetrics, "The board has the right strategy of becoming a major independent producer of geothermal power. Two future milestones: (i) 50 MW bankable feasibility by the end of 2010 and (ii) power production by 2012, have been conveyed to the market. $20 million out of the $50 million required for (i) have been secured. A future financing plan has also been outlined. There is no contrary evidence to prove Sierra is not on track now."

RiskMetrics closely analyzed the relationships between the dissident nominees and Sierra's competitor Ram Power, Corp, which was formed by a merger last year. RiskMetrics also carefully considered the July 2009 discount price takeover proposal, which was supported by the dissident and would have resulted in Sierra's participation in the Ram Power merger.

Said RiskMetrics, "we lean toward the management's explanation that they did the right thing not to participate in the Ram Arrangement. In this sense, Sierra, standing alone, has outperformed the merger by approximately 41% since July 2009."

RiskMetrics also stated that if the dissident's plan is successful, "the size of the board will be more than doubled, which is disproportionally large for a venture issuer and will result in increased expenses and cumbersome administrative process. Given that the dissident has not met the burden of proving that such a dramatic change is warranted…this proposal does not warrant shareholder approval."

Concluded RiskMetrics, "In our view, the dissidents have not met the burden of proving that a majority change of the Sierra board is warranted. We have decided to support management for the following main reasons:

(1) we acknowledge that the Sierra board has the right to question a seemingly discount offer in the case of the Ram Offer and the subsequent strong stock performance (of Sierra) has further proved the board's cautionary approach in July 2009.

(2) management's actions appear reasonable and they have not made any major strategic missteps (other than missing the equity financing window in early 2008, partly due to shareholder opposition).

(3) a slate of dissident nominees comprised entirely of directors connected to a business combination forming a competing company (where the dissident has much larger investment) does not sufficiently safeguard the interests of minority shareholders of SRA.

Therefore support for the dissident nominees is not warranted."

Mr. Thompson, the President and CEO of Sierra, added "In my own discussions with shareholders during this proxy contest, many have voiced concerns similar to those raised by RiskMetrics about the dissident campaign. I believe many shareholders have heard our position and support it, and I urge all of you to vote your Green proxies to ensure that your company does not fall to the dissidents."

RiskMetrics is an independent voting advisory service whose recommendations are followed closely by many institutional shareholders. It recommended that shareholders use management's GREEN PROXY to vote against the dissident's resolution to increase the size of the board to 13 from six, and to vote withhold on the election of seven new dissident directors. RiskMetrics added that shareholders should NOT VOTE the dissident's proxy.

How to Cast Your Vote

The Management Circular and related proxy materials, including the GREEN proxy, have been mailed to persons who were shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 15, 2009. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of these documents on our website at at the Canadian securities regulators web site and by mail.

You can request the materials by contacting Anthony Srdanovic, Sierra Geothermal Power Corp., Suite 500 – 666 Burrard Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V 6C 3P6, or by telephone: 604-642-6179, or by email or follow the web link

Sierra and its directors, executive officers and other members of its management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from Sierra's shareholders in connection with the proposed acquisition. Information concerning the interests of Sierra's management who are participating in the solicitation is set forth in the Management Circular.

If you have any questions or need assistance in completing your GREEN proxy, please call Laurel Hill Advisory Group at toll free 1-888-534-1149 or email at and they will be happy to help.

About Sierra Geothermal Power Corp.

Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. is a renewable energy company focused on the exploration and development of clean, sustainable geothermal power. It is based in Vancouver, British Columbia and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol SRA. Its portfolio of geothermal projects located in Nevada and California exceeds 365 square kilometres (90,000 acres) and has a combined total estimated capacity of greater than 500 MW. Sierra intends to finance development by utilizing a combination of corporate equity, joint venture partnerships and project debt, with the support of US government grants and loan guarantees. To find out more about Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SRA) visit our website at

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Gary Thompson, P.Geo
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director


This news release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated by reference in this news release are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding activities, events or developments that Sierra expects or anticipates may occur in the future. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "may", "would", "could", "expect", "intend", "plan", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe" or "continue" or similar words or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements that Sierra's milestones include (i) 50 MW bankable feasibility by the end of 2010 and (ii) power production by 2012 and that a future financing plan has also been outlined.

There can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which these forward-looking statements are based will occur. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include general economic and market conditions, changes in the law, actions of competitors, drill results and other changes in circumstance, and Sierra's ability to implement business strategies and pursue its business plan. In addition, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties detailed in Sierra's filings with the applicable Canadian securities commissions, copies of which are available at We urge you to carefully consider these factors.

All of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and Sierra undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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