Nevada Power Plant Will be Fueled by Natural Gas and Solar, Not Coal

WASHINGTON (March 22, 2010) -- U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and The Blackstone Group announced today that a proposed coal-fired power plant in southern Nevada will instead be powered by cleaner-burning natural gas. The 700 megawatt Toquop Generating Station, as the project is known, will also be accompanied by up to 100 MW of photovoltaic solar panels at a nearby site. The Toquop coal plant would have emitted more than 5 million tons of  carbon pollution per year from burning coal, but will now emit approximately half that amount, according to energy expert Theo Spencer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Following is the statement of Theo Spencer, senior advocate at NRDC's Climate Center:

"Senator Reid is right to stand up for clean energy in Nevada by supporting Toquop’s move from conventional coal to natural gas and solar power to produce electricity for the state. These are vastly preferable alternatives to the kind of coal-fired plants that pollute our air, endanger the health of our citizens and contribute to global warming."

“This announcement is further evidence that the economic and regulatory landscape has permanently shifted. Businesses and investors understand that conventional coal plants no longer make sense. It’s decisions like this one that are giving increased momentum to efforts in Washington to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. We look forward to continuing to work with Blackstone on this and other projects in support of properly-sited investments in cleaner-burning fuels and renewable power nationwide.”

The Toquop project is being developed by Sithe Global Power—whose majority owner is private equity firm The Blackstone Group.