Solar-power project closer to construction in Nye County

A big solar-power project in Nye County moved a step closer to construction Monday.

Power developer SolarReserve said the federal Bureau of Land Management has signed off on its Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah. The plant would generate 110 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 75,000 homes, and would use molten salt to store sun power overnight.

The company said the project will generate 450 building jobs during its construction, and 50 permanent operations and maintenance jobs once it's open. SolarReserve said it plans to break ground on the project in mid-2011.

NV Energy has signed a 25-year power-purchasing agreement to buy electricity from Crescent Dunes for 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour. State law requires the utility to buy 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.