By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

NV Energy has postponed plans to build a coal-fired power plant in eastern Nevada due to “increasing environmental and economic uncertainties surrounding its development,” the company announced.

Instead, the company will focus on construction of a 250-mile transmission line to link northern and southern Nevada in hopes of transporting energy from “renewable and other energy production facilities,” NV said in a statement. And it will ask the state regulatory agency to approve accelerated construction of the line.

“We firmly believe the plentiful sources of renewable energy – primarily solar, geothermal and wind – that either already exist or most certainly can be developed within our state make it imperative that we press forward on an expedited basis with transmission facilities so that Nevada and its citizens can benefit from these resources as soon as possible,” said Michael Yackira, president and chief executive officer of NV Energy, in the statement.

NV wants the transmission line in place by 2012, and will be asking the Nevada Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to consider the transmission line separately from the request for the coal plant, known as the Ely Energy Center. The two had been tied together. But NV now says it would not build the coal plant until affordable technology is available to capture and store its greenhouse gas emissions and it predicts that that “is not likely before the end of the next decade.”

The Ely Center has been delayed previously over permitting issues, which resulted in NV Energy replacing the power anticipated from that coal-plant with cost-efficient natural gas facilities.

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