Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 | 1:04 p.m.
Dry Lake Bed
A major solar energy plant is on track to be built outside of Boulder City after a large South Korean company announced Tuesday it is providing financial backing for a 300-megawatt project in the Eldorado Valley.
A subsidiary of POSCO, a multi-billion dollar steel-making corporation headquartered in Seoul, has entered into an agreement with Sustainable Energy Capital Partners of Santa Ana, Calif., and Taihan Techran, a renewable energy company also based in Seoul.
In July, Taihan Techran signed a lease with Boulder City for 2,200 acres adjacent to the Dry Lake Bed.
According to POSCO, the 300-megawatt project, when completed, would be the world's largest solar plant.
In an official statement referenced by Reuters and several other news agencies, POSCO said the project would produce enough power for 60,000 homes in Nevada. The company purchased a Norwegian manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels in August as part of an initiative to expand its renewable energy interest.
Boulder City Manager Vicki Mayes said the project would still require engineering, drainage studies, connection agreements and the construction of transmission lines before work on the plant itself could begin.
The company said it plans to open the plant by 2014.
As part of the city's agreement with Taihan Techran, Mayes said the company has agreed also to build a 2-megawatt solar plant on city land to provide energy for Boulder City. She said a site near the wastewater treatment plant was under consideration, as it would provide immediate access to the city's grid.
Boulder City distributes its own power, and the proposed plant would be the city's first solar energy source.
The 54-year lease that Boulder City and Taihan Techran signed in July is expected to bring in almost $200 million for the city over its lifetime. The POSCO site is just north of the Eldorado Energy Zone, Mayes said, which is already home to four other solar plants.