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April 20, 2014

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Large solar energy plant to be built near Boulder City

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.

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  1. Let's hope this one stays in business....

  2. This is absolutely fantastic news! Boulder City has become the model that all of Nevada is carefully watching, and we should be not only thankful, but supportive of them in any way that we can. As we observe, we can learn many lessons that will improve our attempts in bringing sustainable green energy production to other communities and cities throughout the state.

    It would be a plus IF the actual solar units could be produced here in Nevada. Since Nevada is spearheading renewable, sustainable, green energy production for in the West (East has already implemented their versions, including tidal generation). The wild western frontier would benefit greatly with keeping the means of production of all green energy devices in the state. But does Nevada have an adequately educated workforce or industry plant for such? Doubtful. Nevada has historically been about gaming and mining, and some ranching. Old timers did not care to plan, as this was the Nevada desert or Nevada Wilderness. That mentality is slowly dying off with its propagators.

    Time for Nevada to be forward thinking, proactive, and carefully using our resources that are both plenty and scarce. Ensure that children receive an education that is balanced, that also includes sustainability of resources. And when we educate and train them, let's make sure there are actual jobs in Nevada. Please and thank you!