DOE gives loan to Nevada U.S. renewable transmission project

Washington, D.C., February 16, 2011 — Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has finalized a $343 million loan guarantee, supported by the Recovery Act, to develop the One Nevada Transmission Line, known as the ON Line project.

The ON Line project, which is jointly owned by Great Basin Transmission South, LLC and NV Energy, consists of a new 500 kV AC transmission line that will carry about 600 MW of electricity, including from renewable energy resources, in northern Nevada.

This is the DOE‘s first loan guarantee for a transmission project, and will help integrate existing transmission systems in northern and southern Nevada, improving grid reliability and efficiency.

The ON Line project will run 235 miles from Ely, Nevada to just north of Las Vegas, with a new substation located at the northern end of the line. ON Line represents the first phase of the Southwest Intertie Project which, when fully completed, will carry about 2,000 MW of electricity and enable wind and solar resources in Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada to power the southwest and California markets.

Project sponsors estimate that the ON Line project will contract about 85 percent of its parts and labor from U.S. companies and will create about 400 construction jobs.

The DOE, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling over $17.5 billion to support 18 clean energy projects.

Together, these projects will produce over 37 million MWh — enough clean energy to power about 3.5 million homes. Additional DOE-supported projects include two of the world’s largest solar thermal projects, two geothermal projects, the world’s largest wind farm and the nation’s first new nuclear power plant in three decades.

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