Nevada Regulators Approve Geothermal Power Deals

February 8, 2007

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada said on Thursday it approved three energy contracts for geothermal power for the Nevada Power Co. subsidiary of utility holding company Sierra Pacific Resources. The contracts cover 73 megawatts of geothermal power from plants in northern Nevada operated by Ormat Technologies Inc.  and Nevada Geothermal Power Co.

The contracts include Nevada Geothermal's 25 megawatt Faulkner 1 Power Plant and Ormat's 24 megawatt Buffalo Valley Project and its 24 megawatt Carson Lake Project. Terms were not disclosed. The three plants are expected to begin commercial production in 2010. The commission said the deals are for the purchase of renewable energy credits by Nevada Power to comply with the state's renewable portfolio standard.

Sierra Pacific Power, another unit of Sierra Pacific Resources, will receive the energy from the geothermal plants until a transmission line connecting Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power is completed in 2011. Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power must generate or purchase 20 percent of renewable energy for their customers by 2015.

© Reuters 2007.