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Nevada Energy, Ely Energy Center

STATUS: Canceled

TYPE: Coal

OPPOSITION: Sierra Club, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevadans for Clean Affordable Reliable Energy, Nevada Conservation League, Progressive Leadership Alliance, Western Resource Advocates, Citizen Alert, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Nevada Clean Energy Campaign


BACKGROUND: The developer planned a 1,500-MW conventional coal-fired power plant in White Pine County, Nevada and a 250-mile transmission line from Ely, Nevada to Las Vegas in November 2006 at an estimated cost of $5 billion.

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) gave the company regulatory approval to begin development in 2006.  In April 2007, the developer filed its air permit application with the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  In October the DEP released the draft construction permit. In December, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) delayed the project claiming it needed more time to prepare the draft environmental impact statement.

In January 2008, the Sierra Club submitted written comments on the draft air permit with regard to greenhouse gas emissions. The National Park Service submitted comments as well regarding the unacceptability of the plant, citing foul air and water and the destruction of scenic viewsIn February Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to the DEP challenging its evaluation of potential emissions from the proposed plant.  In July, the final air permit was placed on hold due to U.S. EPA concerns about the plant's potential carbon dioxide emissions on sensitive corals in the Gulf of Mexico.  At that point, estimated project costs exceeded $5 billion.

On February 9, 2009, the developer announced that it would not move forward with construction of the plant until CO2 sequestration was commercially feasible.

SOURCES: http://www.nvenergy.com/company/projects/ely/

LAST UPDATED:November 29, 2010