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Nevada Solar One, the Largest Solar Thermal Plant in 16 Years, Goes Online Today

Acciona Solar Power, a world leader in the design, development and ownership of solar thermal technologies, has announced that its Nevada Solar One project, the largest-capacity solar power plant built in the world in 16 years and the third-largest of its kind, has begun supplying power to the Nevada Power grid. The plant represents an investment of more than $250 million.

Acciona Solar Power, a majority-owned subsidiary of Acciona Energy, a world leader in renewable energies, built Nevada Solar One over the course of 16 months. The 64-MW solar thermal power plant covers 400 acres in the Eldorado Valley and utilizes large-scale, parabolic trough technology to enable heat transfer from the sun's rays to ultimately generate up to 134 million kW hours of electricity per year, enough to power 15,000 households annually.

All of the plant's electricity production is being sold to Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs). The PPAs will ensure fixed costs for the electricity, making solar power an economically feasible energy alternative over time.

"We are extremely pleased to be a part of this breakthrough project with Acciona," said Roberto Denis, senior vice president of energy supply for Sierra Pacific Resources, parent company of Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power. "Not only is solar energy a perfect fit in a state with such an abundant amount of this natural resource, it helps us to diversify our energy mix which ultimately benefits our customers."

Utilizing Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology to concentrate the sun's rays and proprietary tracking technology to track the sun's location during peak demand hours, Nevada Solar One's parabolic troughs collect heat from the sun and transfer renewable power during times of greatest need. Solar thermal technology ultimately provides clean and reliable energy when and where it is needed most.

Planned testing and additional ramp-up procedures are currently in process, with commercial operation expected to commence within approximately a week's time.

"Solar thermal technology is one of the most exciting renewable energy sources emerging today that is scalable and commercially viable," said Pete Duprey, CEO, Acciona Energy North America. "Nevada Solar One represents a new opportunity for large-scale renewable energy production in the United States, and Acciona looks forward to continuing our efforts in providing greater fuel diversity options in the North American market."

Acciona's official dedication ceremony for the Nevada Solar One plant is expected to occur in fall 2007. Concurrently, the company is helping to develop several additional solar plants in Spain.

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