Great Basin Transmission, an affiliate of independent power producer LS Power, received a finding that the line would have no significant environmental impact.
The transmission line would carry electricity some 250 miles from White Pine County to Las Vegas.
Mark Milburn, project development director for LS Power, says the company wants to build the power line even if the company doesn't build a coal-fired power plant near Ely.
He says the 500-kilovolt line, dubbed the Southwest Intertie Project, would let utility company Nevada Power Co. of Las Vegas tap power from northern Nevada geothermal energy sites.
And Sierra Pacific Power Co. of Reno would be able to get power from solar power plants in southern Nevada.