In a press release on March 16, NV Energy announced that the fourth and final unit of the coal-fired Reid Gardner plant in Moapa was shut down, no longer providing energy to the Southern Nevada electric grid.
Originally, the closure was scheduled for later in 2017, but crews were able to shut down nine months ahead of schedule. “This represents a significant step in achieving a less carbon intensive energy future consistent with the policy objectives of Nevada,” the statement said.
“We are proud to be moving our state toward a more balanced and less carbon intense generation portfolio through coal-generation retirement and renewable energy development while keeping prices low for our customers,” said Starla Lacy, Vice President of Environmental Services. “The renewable energy capacity NV Energy has secured for customers has seven times the capacity of the generating unit that was taken off the grid today.”
The Reid Gardner plant began serving NV Energy customers in 1965 with four 257-megawatt units. At its peak operation time, “the plant could provide enough power to serve nearly 335,000 Nevada households.”
In recent history, flooding at the mega-facility contributed to an eight-hour power outage on Sept. 8, 2014 when rains poured from a tropical storm, leaving the facility under two to three feet of water, which prevented crews from immediate access to restore power.
According to the press release, none of the 40 employees for the power plant will lose their jobs. Most of them will be transferred to other NV Energy facilities while a crew will remain at the Reid Gardner to “support the ongoing decommissioning, dismantlement and environmental remediation efforts.”