NV Energy enters partnership for solar-power projects

Local power utility NV Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with renewable-energy developer Solar Millennium and construction and engineering company MAN Ferrostaal to build solar-power projects in Southern Nevada.

The first project the partners will consider is a 250-megawatt thermal-storage plant in Nye County. The plant would produce energy after sundown during the summer months, when demand for power peaks. Plans call for a completion date in 2013 or 2014, depending on permitting, financing and government approvals, including a review by the state Public Utilities Commission.

Solar Millennium already deploys thermal storage technology in Spain. MAN Ferrostaal has built more than 5,000 projects worldwide.

"Solar technologies have been making great strides in the last several years," said Michael Yackira, president and chief executive officer of NV Energy, in a statement. "It is now reasonable to believe projects like this one will be capable of providing reliable power supply as part of a mix of resources that will include other types of renewable resources as well as clean and efficient traditional generation such as natural-gas fired plants. Such a product as the one being studied in Nye County would also provide a boost to the local economy."