December 17, 2007
Washington, DC— Continuing his efforts to make Nevada the leader in renewable energy, U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada today sent a letter to the president of the Southern California Edison to encourage converting the Mohave Generating Station (MGS) from a coal plant into a solar power plant.The plant, located in Laughlin, was shut down in December 2005, because the plant’s owners, Southern California Edison (SCE) and other utilities including Nevada Power, refused to install required pollution controls. There are no plans to restart the plant, which was a key source of jobs for the Hopi and Navajo tribes. “When the plant closed down, the local communities and Native American tribes lost valuable jobs,” said Reid. “I am urging Southern California Edison to convert this plant and its assets into a vibrant solar power producer to give the area an economic boost. The site’s existing infrastructure could easily be used to promote renewable energy. I stand ready and willing to help facilitate the conversion. It’s the right thing to do.”
A copy of the letter is below.
December 17, 2007
Mr. John R. Fielder
Southern California Edison
2244 Walnut Grove Ave.
Rosemead, California 91770
Dear Mr. Fielder:
I write you today regarding the future of the Mohave Generating Station (MGS) in Laughlin, Nevada. There is a clear opportunity to mitigate the job and revenue losses caused by the shutdown of MGS by replacing the facility’s lost generating capacity with clean renewable energy. I hope that I can be of assistance in facilitating that transition.
As I mentioned in my letter to you dated December 14, 2005, the approximately $40 million in proceeds from the sale of MGS’s 50,000 tons of sulfur dioxide allowances should be invested in renewable electricity generation at the site, and possibly other nearby areas. Southern California Edison should seek proposals for developing solar thermal or solar PV energy facilities at the site, which would not only replace some of the generating capacity lost by MGS’s shutdown, but also mitigate some of the economic losses that local communities are experiencing.
I encourage SCE to cooperate with the Navajo and Hopi Tribes, local government, other stakeholders, and potential retailers or purchasers of clean power from MGS to turn the plant’s closure into a win-win-win situation for all parties. MGS’s transmission assets, the intense solar resource, and the human capital of the surrounding communities are extremely valuable and should not be left untapped.
I am also willing to play a role in facilitating this transition, and would be pleased to assist the parties in identifying possible federal financing opportunities for developing renewable energy generating capacity at MGS. One federal program that could potentially help finance the transition of the MGS site to a renewable energy facility is the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) program, which provides interest-free bonding authority for municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives. Additionally, federal tax incentives for renewable energy property, such as the Business Energy Tax Credit and the Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) for renewable energy projects could help make this transition cost effective.
Converting MGS or viable parts of it to clean renewable energy generation would be a great symbol to the Southwest and a real badge of honor for the plant's owners. Please let me know if we can work together to achieve these beneficial goals.
cc: Joe Shirley, President, Navajo Nation
Benjamin Nuvamsa, Chairman, Hopi Tribal Council
Board of County Commissioners, Clark County
Michael Yackira, CEO, Sierra Pacific Resources
Sumner J. Koch, Senior Attorney, Southern California Edison
H. David Nahai, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Richard H. Silverman, General Manager, Salt River Project
RenoBruce R. Thompson
Courthouse & Federal Bldg
400 S. Virginia St, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Washington DC522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Toll Free for Nevadans:
Carson City600 East William St, #304
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-REID (7343)
Las VegasLloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard
South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101