Solar Plant Brings Jobs to Nevada - 8 News NOW

Solar Plant Brings Jobs to Nevada

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IVANPAH, Nev. -- Hundreds of Nevada construction jobs are being created with a new solar power plant near Primm. The plant is just across the state line in California, but the company that is building it says it has big plans for Nevada.

A crane is now helping to build a 450 foot tall tower that's part of a new solar plant. Nevada subcontractors, from paving to ironworkers, are crossing state lines to build the project.

Brightsource Energy will run the new solar plant. It will power 140,000 homes. All of the energy will go to California, since their utility companies are the ones paying the transmission contracts. But Brightsource says they're waiting to build a similar power plant just northeast of Las Vegas that would power Nevada homes.

At it's peak, 1,400 construction workers will be on site. The majority of the construction workers are commuting from the high desert of California. But Bechtel Construction says Nevadans can get work here.

"If I was in the Las Vegas area looking for employment, I would try to identify employers that are supporting our site from Las Vegas, contact those companies -- Las Vegas Paving, Aggregate Industries, some other companies out of the Nevada area that support us. If they're a craft worker, they should be in contact with the dispatching organizations of the unions out of San Bernardino and make sure that they know they're on the out of work list out there," said Bob Regalado with Bechtel Construction.

Once complete in 2013, the solar plant will be the largest of its kind in the world. Solar dishes will reflect light to a tower that's almost as high as the Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower. Water inside that tower will get hot enough to power an turbine that generates electricity.

Brightsource hopes to highlight the California and Nevada solar energy plans at Tuesday's Clean Energy Summit at the Aria with Vice President Joe Biden.

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