News Releases

Sierra Pacific signs contracts for renewable energy supplies

Nov 26, 2002

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Faye I. Andersen
Phone: 775-834-4822

For Immediate Release

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE: SRP) announced today that its utility subsidiary, Nevada Power Company, has signed six contracts with renewable energy suppliers that could furnish up to 227 megawatts* of electricity to its utility subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Co. More than half of the 227 megawatts consists of wind generation, and the remaining amount is from electricity generated by geothermal resources.

The company said it is negotiating to meet its solar requirements. The company will now make a filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, which will review the contracts and apply the pertinent law and regulations before determining whether they should be approved.

The contracts are a first step in bringing the utilities into compliance with legislation that requires the use of a certain percentage of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal and biomass) to generate electricity for customers within the state. The legislation contains an escalation provision that requires providers of electric service to increase the use of renewable energy, by two percent every third year, until the provider's portfolio accounts for 15 percent of its total energy sales. These contracts are expected to satisfy the utilities'forecasted requirements for the years 2005 and 2006. Additional contracts will be necessary to satisfy requirements for 2007 and beyond.

"We're very pleased to be able to reach agreements with these leaders in renewable energy,"said Walt Higgins, chairman, president and CEO for Sierra Pacific Resources."Electricity generated by renewable energy resources is a welcome addition to our power portfolios and will help us as a state meet the needs of the growing energy demands of Nevada's communities."

As a result of these contracts new generating plants will be built at a variety of locations around the state. The plants will employ a variety of new and tested technologies to produce electricity.

Higgins emphasized that the electricity produced by the projects will benefit customers from throughout the state and at the same time will help Nevada Power meet its renewable energy requirements.

Following are the suppliers with whom Nevada Power has contracted for renewable power supplies.

  • Desert Queen Wind Limited Partnership, a wind generation plant under development in Clark County, by Cielo Wind Power, an affiliate of Desert Queen LP. GP, to build wind generation plant in Clark County.
  • Advanced Thermal Systems, to build a Kalina cycle binary geothermal plant in Washoe County.
  • Earth Power Resources, Inc., to build a binary geothermal plant in Elko County.
  • Subsidiaries of Ormat Nevada, Inc., to build flash-steam and binary geothermal plants in Churchill County.
  • Ely Wind Company LLC, to build a wind generation plant in White Pine County.

* One megawatt will serve approximately 750-1,000 homes and/or businesses.

Headquartered in Nevada, Sierra Pacific Resources is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries are Nevada Power Company, the electric utility for most of southern Nevada, and Sierra Pacific Power Company, the electric utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California. Sierra Pacific Power Company also distributes natural gas in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada. Other subsidiaries include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns a 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership, several unregulated energy services companies and Sierra Pacific Communications, a telecommunications network development company.