Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2015

Currently: 80° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Power plant developer will use natural gas instead of coal

The developer of a planned coal fired power plant in Mesquite has announced it is formally withdrawing its application with the Bureau of Land Management and is reverting to an earlier plan for a natural gas fired power plant on the site.

Sithe Global is now planning to build a 700 megawatt natural gas fired power plant, called the Toquop Energy Project, near Mesquite. The plans for the natural gas plant were approved by the BLM in 2003. The company is planning to amend the original natural gas plant plans to incorporate up to 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power at the site. That will require a new BLM evaluation of the project.

The Toquop power plant project is expected to break ground next year and will employ about 1,000 workers during the three-year construction phase.

The solar plant should be operational by 2012 and the natural gas plant is expected to be completed in 2015.

Sen. Harry Reid, who has encouraged the company to switch to natural gas with for the past year, said this move will be a cleaner option for Nevada.

Natural gas plants release about 60 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal plants, Reid said. He also said the switch from American coal to American natural gas will help free the country from its dependence on foreign oil.

"Natural gas is a bridge to secure clean energy future," Reid said.

The company hopes to sell the electricity to NV Energy and has had some preliminary discussions with the utility but is not close to signing a power purchase agreement, the company said.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.