United States

United States

Nuclear test site plant moves ahead

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After nearly a year of talks, Nevada Power has signed a 17 year power purchase agreement with MNS Wind Company for 85 MW of wind power that will be located at the Nevada nuclear test site (Windpower Monthly, December 2001). The project is only five miles from the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility, where the Bush Administration recently announced a plan to store spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

The agreement will help Nevada Power meet its obligations under the state's renewables portfolio standard, which requires the utility to meet 5% of its power needs with renewables by 2003 and 15% by 2015. Nevada Power president Mark Ruelle says the company has "long been interested in utilising renewable technology."

MNS Wind says it will begin construction early this summer and have all 57 NEG Micon 1.5 MW turbines in operation by late 2003. MNS Wind is a joint venture of Global Renewable Energy Partners, NEG Micon's development division set up last year, and Siemens Energy and Automation. The Department of Energy expected to have completed an environmental impact study last month for public review.

Tim Carlson of the NTS [Nevada Test Site] Development Corp, which is responsible for commercial development of the test site, has said the only issues raised in the study have to do with Native American cultural resources. The agreement still needs Public Utilities Commission approval.

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