RGJ: Reports reveal clean energy, small business on rebound

Ormat has a Galena 3 binary geothermal plant at its Steamboat facility in Reno.

Two reports timed with the Labor Day holiday reflect Nevada’s modest rebound in employment health, notably in its clean energy and small business sectors.

The nonpartisan group Environmental Entrepreneurs has ranked Nevada eighth in the top 10 states for new clean-energy and clean transportation projects in the second quarter of 2013.

The report released last week by the Washington, D.C.-based organization said more than 38,600 industry-related jobs were announced nationwide for at least 58 projects this year.

The report cited several initiatives underway this summer in Southern Nevada, including a battery plant in Henderson, a 350-megawatt solar-photovoltaic generation plant in Boulder City and a 20,000-panel solar system on the roof of the Mandalay Bay off the Las Vegas Strip.

But the state has its share of geothermal and solar-related projects underway farther north as well.

Reno-based Ormat Technologies Inc., which operates 12 geothermal sites in Nevada, including its main complex in south Reno, is building the Wild Rose geothermal plant west of Gabbs in central Nevada that’s expected, when completed by year’s end, to generate 16 megawatts of electricity.

The project is employing 140 in construction-related work and will have seven full-time employees when operational, according to Ormat.

And three previous projects in Nevada in the past four years employed 300 to 450 people during construction and up to 50 in operational jobs.

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