Advocates for healthy communities and a vital clean energy economy in Nevada applauded plans by Idaho Power to close the last remaining utility-owned, coal-burning power plant in the Silver State.
The Valmy plant in Northeast Nevada is co-owned by Idaho Power and NV Energy. The utility companies will have to negotiate a closing schedule.
Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League, which is part of the RenewNV partnership working to enhance Nevada’s clean energy economy, noted that the Nevada Legislature is already considering a stronger Renewable Portfolio Standard to raise the percentage of power coming from clean energy.
“This is another indication that Nevada is moving from polluting fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy,” Maggi said. “The public and even energy utilities in their actions believe the future is with renewable energy. We encourage legislators to see the handwriting on the wall and pass AB 206, a bill that expands the amount of renewable energy we will use in Nevada, so our state can take advantage of the huge economic opportunities and jobs that will come with renewable energy development.”
Elspeth DiMarzio with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, which has been working to shutter Nevada’s last coal-burning plants, noted that clean energy is a Nevada winner for several reasons – home-grown jobs instead of imported fossil fuels, a healthy environment, and lower energy costs for business and residential consumers.
“The news that Idaho Power will exit the Valmy coal plant is a clear victory for the environment, but also for Idaho’s utility customers who would be saddled with the high cost of operating a coal plant as the price of cleaner alternatives steadily drops,” she said. “We hope that NV Energy will take similar steps to protect its ratepayers in Nevada. It is clear that coal is not economically competitive, and it’s time to accelerate the closure of Valmy in favor of creating new jobs in Nevada’s growing clean energy economy.”