Construction to Start on Nevada-Idaho Transmission Line - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Construction to Start on Nevada-Idaho Transmission Line

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Construction is scheduled to start soon on a major transmission line that could give a big boost to Nevada's growing green energy sector.

The planned 500-kilovolt line will extend from Idaho to Nevada, creating an energy channel that officials say will support renewable energy projects in rural areas by providing a way to ship it elsewhere.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar are among many officials expected to mark the groundbreaking of the Southwest Intertie Project in a brief ceremony Tuesday.

Reid has touted his support of green energy jobs on the campaign trail, where he faces a tough contest against Republican Sharron Angle.

Nevada leads the nation in unemployment. (AP)

Below are Reid's prepared remarks: 

"We all learned long ago that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  This project proves that one of the quickest and strongest routes to recovery is an energy transmission line. Nevada has renewable resources like nowhere else on Earth.  We are turning those resources into energy.  We are turning those resources into jobs. 

"That's what this transmission line is all about.  The hundreds of Nevadans who will work on this line will help us unleash Nevada's clean-energy potential – and will help us connect the northern and southern ends of our state. These are good-paying jobs that can never be outsourced.  This line will soon start to employ Nevadans, and it will always employ Nevadans. 

"This line also means two more things, first, it is evidence that the Recovery Act is doing exactly what it was supposed to do: it is helping us get back on our feet.  Even more than that, it is helping Nevada become a leader once again. 

"When that bill became law, we invested $67 billion to develop clean energy, and half a billion dollars to train a new green-collar workforce.  These Americans will go to work every morning making our nation more energy efficient and energy independent. And it is because of the Recovery Act that the Department of Energy can provide low-cost financing to make this project possible. 

"Second, this project is the result of a private-public partnership.  It demonstrates what is possible when business and government – a utility and a merchant company – come together for the common good of our state. Big projects like this take a lot of people, time and cooperation to move forward.  This one is going to get done a lot faster than almost every other transmission project in the country. 

"That's because of the hard work of Interior Secretary Salazar, Deputy Energy Secretary Poneman, Jonathan Silver, and of course my friends Michael Yackira and Mike Segal.  Thank you to all of you. Because of your vision, we're growing a new industry in this state.  And when we do, we'll see renewable energy renew Nevada."

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