Santa Monica, Calif., December 21, 2010 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the record of decision for the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project located in Nye County near Tonopah, Nevada.
With this authorization, SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of utility-scale solar power projects, is preparing to begin construction on the plant in mid-2011, with some long-lead equipment already in manufacturing.
The project will generate about 450 direct jobs and more than 4,000 indirect and induced jobs during construction, as well as 50 permanent operations and maintenance jobs for the region.
In addition, the project has an annual operating budget estimated at more than $5.0 million, much of it expected to be spent locally, with the project forecasted to generate $40 million in sales and property tax revenues over the project’s operating period.
“Crescent Dunes joins a host of renewable energy projects on public lands in the West that are opening a new chapter on how our nation is powered,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in signing the record of decision. “Using American ingenuity, we are creating jobs, stimulating local economies and spurring a sustainable, clean energy industrial base that will strengthen our nation’s energy security.”
SolarReserve will use advanced solar energy technology developed in the U.S. by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a unit of United Technologies Corp. The facility has the ability to capture and store enough thermal energy each morning to provide electricity at full power all afternoon and for up to eight hours after sunset.
This innovative technology provides utilities with firm, stable and renewable energy from a generator that performs on demand with the reliability of a conventional power producer, but without the harmful emissions that are associated with burning coal, natural gas and oil as fuel.
Last December, SolarReserve’s wholly owned subsidiary, Tonopah Solar Energy LLC and NV Energy signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the sale of electricity from the solar energy project. The 110 MW solar power tower plant will generate enough clean, reliable electricity to power 75,000 Nevada households.