Nevada Senator Harry Reid began his time as host of the fourth National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas yesterday by announcing the world’s first hybrid solar-geothermal power plant — to be built in his state! The plant will be located on the site of the current Stillwater Geothermal Plant and though the solar component is small, it is a great leap forward in the combining of renewable energy sources. The addition of solar panels to the geothermal power plant will take about a year to complete and once finished, power from the facility will be sold to NV Energy.

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The new solar-geothermal hybrid power plant is being built by Enel, one of the world’s largest power plant developers and is being used as a test run for more projects like it. The solar-retrofit of the Stillwater Geothermal Plant is supported by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, who noted in a press conference about the new project that “this is an incredible new technology that can be used across the country.” The plant will create 250 jobs in the local area.

In talks with reporters before the Summit, Reid said “our dependence on foreign oil is making our nation less secure, and is certainly damaging the health of our citizens.” Vice President Joe Biden was also on hand at the Summit in support of clean energy goals. “There’s no reason why the United States can’t lead the world in clean energy,” he said. He noted that the United States could become a leader in the production of renewable energy and renewable energy technologies. If we don’t push forward on these innovations, he noted, the alternative is “spending $300 billion a year on imported oil, and sending the money to nations that don’t like us very much. If we don’t lead in clean energy, we’ll follow. I’d hate to see us replace the importing of foreign oil with the importing of foreign technology.”

Via Las Vegas Sun