Solar Research Facility Announced for Nevada - 8 News NOW

Solar Research Facility Announced for Nevada

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LAS VEGAS -- The construction of a federally-funded solar research facility at the Nevada Test Site -- that will potentially create thousands of jobs -- is planned to begin within months.

Sen. Harry Reid, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the announcement in Las Vegas on Thursday.

"We're going to create almost a thousand jobs here just building the first test project site, once it's up and running, thousands of more jobs will follow. For solar developers, laborers construction trade people including electricians and of course science and the service industry, entrepreneurs and more," said Sen. Harry Reid, (D) Nevada.

The test lab will concentrate on new technologies. Unlike the standard solar panels seen behind the assembled speakers, the solar panels at the test site will be different.

"This is a form of solar panel where you either run essentially steam-type engines or you heat up hot oils that can store the heat and can generate electricity many hours after you absorb the heat," said Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy.

UNLV's president sees the announcement as a victory for the university's research efforts.

"We're helping to train workers, we're helping to create new technologies, we have fundamental R&D," said Neal Smatresk, UNLV president.

Reid says it's good for the Nevada Test Site, to once again, be put to good use.

"It's good for the test site, because we have a huge infrastructure out there. A billion dollar infrastructure and it's not being used to it's potential. This is going to be a big help towards that," said Sen. Reid. 

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