Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to announce a conditional Department of Energy loan guarantee commitment for a geothermal project that will create more than 300 jobs and increase geothermal power production in Nevada by 25 percent. Ormat Nevada Inc. is expected to produce a total of 121 megawatts (MW) of clean, baseload power from three geothermal plants in Pershing, Lander and Elko Counties.
This is the DOE loan guarantee program that Republicans tried to eliminate in H.R.1.
"This announcement means one thing for Nevada: good-paying clean energy jobs," said Congresswoman Berkley. "That's why I fought so hard to stop my Republican colleagues in the House and Senate from killing the Department of Energy loan guarantee program that made these clean energy jobs announcements possible. For some in Washington, killing Medicare to pay for billions in government giveaways to big oil companies was the priority. However, putting Nevadans back to work must always be our number one focus."
"This announcement is yet another sign that Nevada is becoming a global leader in clean energy jobs," Reid said. "The completion of these geothermal plants would be a significant achievement in Nevada's development of its renewable energy potential and will ensure that our state continues to leverage its geothermal resources for sustainable economic growth that puts Nevadans back to work."
Today's announcement comes on the heels of DOE's announcement last week to give a conditional loan guarantee commitment to Fotowatio to build a 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic generating facility in 25 miles northeast of Las Vegas; the project will create 250 jobs. Between the two projects, more than 600 jobs will be created in Nevada, the global leader in clean energy development.
Unlike coal-fired and natural gas-fired power generation plants, geothermal plants produce virtually no greenhouse gas emissions. The Ormat project is expected to avoid nearly 580,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The project is also expected to produce over one million megawatt hours of power annually, enough to power nearly 88,000 homes. The project's total output is expected to be sold to Nevada Power Company under a long-term power purchase agreement. Lender-applicant, John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA) submitted the application under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP).