Nevada coal plant may close a decade earlier than planned

RENO — Idaho Power has announced its intention to close a Nevada coal plant it co-owns with NV Energy 10 years sooner than planned, a move that would shutter both units at Nevada’s last utility-owned, coal-burning power plant by 2025.

Idaho Power said in filings with state regulators in Boise on Wednesday it will work with Nevada-based NV Energy to reach an agreement to stop burning coal at the North Valmy plant near Battle Mountain under the new timeline.

Conservationists have pushed for the expedited closure for years. They say current plans to keep one unit operating until 2035 would waste tens of millions of ratepayers’ dollars, primarily because coal now costs significantly more than alternative energy sources.

Elspeth DiMarzio of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Nevada says it’s a clear victory for both the environment and ratepayers.

NV Energy was already planning to end its use of the North Valmy plant by the end of 2025.

In March, the utility shut down the last unit at its coal-fired The Reid Gardner Generating Station, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The only other coal-burning power left in Nevada is the one Newmont Mining built in Eureka County in 2008 to supply energy to its gold and copper operations.

Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Henry Brean contributed to this report.

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