Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today hosted a press conference call where he announced final approval of the financing agreement on the ON Line transmission project, which will allow construction to go forward to connect the northern and southern Nevada grids for the first time. The project will create 400 construction jobs in the short term and lead to the creation of hundreds if not thousands more following this first major step toward making Nevada energy independent and a net exporter of clean, renewable power.
Senator Reid was joined by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira and LS Power Chairman Mike Segal on the call.
“This Recovery Act-financed project will create hundreds of jobs for Nevadans and make our grid more reliable and capable of delivering low-cost renewable energy to market,” said Reid. ”This transmission line is a major step toward unlocking Nevada’s vast clean energy potential and creating thousands of jobs that will stay in Nevada and cannot be shipped overseas. This loan guarantee is exactly the kind of public-private partnership that Nevada and the nation need to help us lead the world in clean energy jobs. “
The agreement finalized a $343 million loan guarantee that Senator Reid secured as part of the Economic Recovery Act to fund development of the clean energy project. This the first transmission project to receive a loan guarantee from the Department on Energy. The project benefits will exceed $800 million in reliability improvements, low-cost renewables, and optimizing generation.
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 (SWIP) which, when fully completed, will carry approximately 2,000 megawatts 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.