Toquop Coal Plant Abandoned in Favor of Cleaner Natural Gas and Solar in Nevada
March 31, 2010
In March 2010, Blackstone Group LP and its subsidiary Sithe Global officially announced that it was dropping plans for its 750-MW coal plant near Mesquite, Nevada in favor of cleaner natural gas and solar power. The developers will build a 700-MW natural gas plant with a 50- to 100-MW photovoltaic solar plant instead. In its announcement, Blackstone/Sithe Global cited environmental impacts from the coal plant, such as massive emissions of carbon dioxide and the consumption of large amounts of water, for the switch. Constructing the natural gas/solar plant is estimated to cost $1.4 billion and create as many as 1,000 jobs.
Sierra Club and a number of allies have fought the Toquop coal plant for years by educating the public about the adverse environmental and health impacts associated with burning more coal, and advocating for cleaner and safer renewable energy alternatives. We also participated in a number of approval proceedings before the state’s Public Utilities Commission and Department of Environmental Protection.
Blackstone/Sithe Global’s decision to scrap the coal plant follows a string of recent cancellations of other proposed coal plants in Nevada. In March 2009, LS Power Associates/White Pine Energy withdrew plans for its 1,600-MW coal-fired White Pine Energy Station due to economic conditions and regulatory uncertainty. A month earlier, NV Energy abandoned plans for its 1,500-MW coal-fired power plant near Ely, citing the infeasibility of capturing and storing greenhouse gas emissions.
See other "Stopping the Coal Rush" cases.