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Nevada Coal Plant Proposals

Nevada currently receives approximately 50 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, and plans are in place to build more. Here is a list of the current proposals. Follow the links to find out more about each proposal and the efforts underway to oppose them:

1. Toquop
2. White Pine
3. Ely Energy Center

1. Toquop


Location: Near Toquop Indian Reservation

Company: Sithe Global

Type: Supercritical pulverized coal

Megawatts (MW): 750

Customer: Merchant Power Provider

More information: The Toquop plant was originally proposed as a 1,100 MW natural gas plant in 2003, but due to rising prices of natural gas, was re-proposed as a coal plant. Sithe Global stated they hope to begin construction of the plant in 2007 and have it online by 2011. While the company assures it will install the latest pollution control technologies at the plant, they maintain that carbon dioxide is not an air pollutant and should therefore not be regulated. The plant would cost $1.2 billion to build and would be located on 200 acres in Lincoln County, 12 miles northwest of Mesquite.

A draft air permit was issued to Sithe by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection. A draft environmental impact statement was issued by the Bureau of Land Management in 2007. The final air permit and environmental impact statement may be issued at any time.

Contact: Charles Benjamin with Western Resource Advocates at cbenjamin@westernresources.org or Lydia Ball with the Nevada Clean Energy Coalition at lydia.ball@sierraclub.org.

2. White Pine


Location: Ely

Company: LS Power and Dynergy

Type: Conventional pulverized coal

Megawatts (MW): 1,590

Customer: Merchant Power Provider

More information: In April 2007, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), assessing the environmental impacts from the proposed plant. The DEIS reported that the plant would emit, among other pollutants, 330 pounds of mercury, 4,812 tons of nitrogen oxides and 6,071 tons of sulfur dioxide per year. In addition to these dangerous pollutants, the plant and the nearby Ely Energy Center would consume over 2.6 billion gallons of water each year – an amount that would greatly affect an arid state already struggling with water issues. The Nevada Clean Energy Campaign (NCEC) is mobilizing the residents of the area against the proposed plant. The National Park Service has also raised serious concerns about the plant, based on the large impact it would have on nearby Great Basin National Park. Nevada has the second strongest renewable energy standards in the country, but Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific have yet to meet all the requirements of the law. Nevada has the opportunity to lead to the nation in renewable energy, but allowing the construction of additional coal plants would lead Nevada away from reaching its renewable resource potential.

The Bureau of Land Management issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the White Pine Energy Station on Friday October 4, 2008. LS Power is still expecting additional permits from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. If fully approved, construction of the $2.5 billion facility could begin as early as late 2009.

Contact: Charles Benjamin with Western Resource Advocates at cbenjamin@westernresources.org or Lydia Ball with the Nevada Clean Energy Coalition at lydia.ball@sierraclub.org.

3. Ely Energy Center


Location: Ely

Company: Sierra Pacific Resources

Type: Conventional pulverized coal

Megawatts (MW): 1,500

Owner: NV Energy

More information: Like the other proposed Nevada coal plants, the construction of the Ely Energy Center would lead Nevada away from the renewable energy future that is possible. It would also have significant effects on the air and water quality in Nevada. The state is already a major producer of mercury emissions due to mining, and the Center would add 87 pounds of mercury to the air each year. Its other annual emissions would include 10.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 3,044 tons of nitrogen oxides, 3,044 tons of sulfuric oxides, particulates and other dangerous pollutants. Combined with the proposed White Pine plant in Ely, the two plants would consume over 2.6 billion gallons of water each year – an amount that would greatly affect an arid state already struggling with water issues. The Nevada Clean Energy Campaign (NCEC) is fighting the plant through mobilizing grassroots support, public education and the media awareness.

A draft air permit has been issued to Sierra Pacific by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection for the facility. A draft environmental impact statement is not expected until 2009.

Contact: Charles Benjamin with Western Resource Advocates at cbenjamin@westernresources.org or Lydia Ball with the Nevada Clean Energy Coalition at lydia.ball@sierraclub.org.