Thursday, March 16, 2017

USA, Nevada: One Remaining Coal-Fired Plant Left in State

NV Energy pulling plug on coal-fired power plant near Vegas (Rock Hill Herald)

Environmental advocates and members of an Indian tribe who live nearby hailed the closure Thursday of an embattled coal-fired NV Energy power plant 40 miles north of Las Vegas.

Officials from the state's dominant electric utility marked the occasion by flipping a transformer switch to disconnect the fourth and final unit of the Reid Gardner Generating Station near Moapa from the regional power grid. The first three units shut down in late 2014.

The closure leaves just one coal-fired generating station in the state — a plant that NV Energy co-owns near Valmy in northern Nevada. It is due to close by 2025.

NV Energy also plans by the end of 2019 to give up its 11.3 percent stake in the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station east of Page, Arizona. That plant is operated by Phoenix-based SRP.

NV Energy has shifted production since 2005 toward renewable sources, including 19 geothermal, 14 solar, six hydroelectric, one wind and several biomass and methane plants in Nevada, said Starla Lacy, company environmental services executive. She said carbon emissions have been cut 44 percent over the same period.

Many of the about 320 Moapa Paiute tribe members who live near Reid-Gardner complained for years about respiratory ailments. They blamed plant emissions and coal ash dust that advocates said contained high levels of mercury, arsenic, chromium, lead and other toxins.

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