Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 | 6:58 p.m.
NV Energy will purchase 32 megawatts of renewable energy from a planned Central Nevada geothermal plant, the utility announced this week. NV Energy signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Clayton Power 1, a subsidiary of Ram Power Corporation.
Construction on the Clayton Valley Geothermal Project is expected to begin in early 2012 and be completed by 2014. It is one of five geothermal leases that Ram Power has acquired from the Bureau of Land Management in Esmeralda County, where the developer hopes to generate as much as 160 megawatts of electricity.
Terms of the power purchase agreement, which is subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, were not disclosed.
"We’re pleased to add more clean renewable energy to our supply portfolio and to expand our use of geothermal power," said NV Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Yackira.
Geothermal energy is popular with utilities because it is relatively inexpensive compared to other renewable energy resources like wind and solar and because it can reliably produce electricity 24-hours a day indefinitely regardless of weather.
Nevada is the number two geothermal energy producer in the country, behind California. It has more future geothermal energy in the planning stages than any other state.