UPDATE 1-US DOE finalizes loan aid for Nevada power line
* First transmission line loan guarantee from DOE
* Expected to begin transmitting power by early 2013
* Expected to carry some power from renewable projects (Adds details on construction, Chu quote)
WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy finalized on Tuesday a $343 million loan guarantee for a Nevada power line expected to carry 600 megawatts of electricity including from clean sources such as solar power.
The ON Line project, jointly owned by Great Basin Transmission South LLC and NV Energy (NVE.N), is the first transmission line to receive loan aid from the DOE, the department said.
"This project will create jobs, increase the reliability of the grid, and save money through greater efficiencies in the grid," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.
The project, supported by the 2009 stimulus act aimed at boosting the U.S. economy, will help integrate existing lines in the state.
Company officials told reporters construction was imminent and the project would begin operating by early 2013.
Under loan guarantees, the federal government commits to paying portions of private loans in case the companies default. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Tom Doggett; Editing by Dale Hudson)