Bureau of Land Management Approves
by Associated Press
ELY, Nev. -- The federal Bureau of Land Management has given the go-ahead for Nevada's main utility to build a 236-mile electricity transmission line from just north of Las Vegas to Ely.
BLM Ely district manager Rosemary Thomas said NV Energy's project will link the state's northern and southern power grids, and spur the development of renewable energy in east-central Nevada.
"This power line will be the backbone of the infrastructure necessary to make Nevada a leader in renewable energy generation," Thomas said in a written statement.
"We were careful to locate this project where the environmental impacts are minimal, and we have required the applicant to implement a set of best management practices to minimize impacts during construction," she added.
Dubbed the One Nevada Transmission Line, or On Line, the 500-kilovolt transmission line is jointly owned by NV Energy and Great Basin Transmission South LLC.
The Energy Department is lending $343 million in federal stimulus dollars for the project.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has championed the line, saying it'll boost Nevada's green energy sector and create thousands of jobs. Reid, D-Nev., said the project will attract clean energy technologies to Nevada and help the state's bruised economy.
The new line is expected to provide better access to northern Nevada geothermal energy and southern Nevada solar energy after it opens in January 2013.
The BLM's environmental impact statement concludes the line could displace some wildlife but will not have significant environmental consequences overall. The report also concludes that construction and operation of the line will create more jobs and higher wages.
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