Coal-Fired Power Plant Proposed For White Pine County

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White Pine Energy Associates has proposed developing a coal-fired power plant in rural White Pine County.

Construction of the plant estimated to cost between $600 million and $1 billion could begin in 2006 and be completed in four years, the Ely Times reported.

The company estimates the plant, once built, would employ about 100 full-time workers.

White Pine County was selected for the coal plant after a region-wide search was conducted to identify suitable locations, said White Pine Energy spokesman Lawrence Willick.

"White Pine County has been selected due to the progressive attitude of the community, the availability of water for cooling purposes, the existing high-voltage electric lines in the area with the potential for additional high-voltage lines, and the plans for the city of Ely to own and operate the Nevada Northern Railroad," Willick said in a written statement.

Power generated by the facility would be sold to wholesale electric customers like utilities, cooperatives and municipalities. The size of the generation facility will be driven by market demands, the company said.

Once a specific site is selected, the company plans to begin the process of obtaining local, state and federal permits and approvals required prior to beginning construction.

"The permitting process could take at least two years to complete," Willick said.

He added that other factors, including financing and construction of additional transmission capacity, also must also be addressed before the project proceeds.