Nevada Regulators Approve NV Energy’s 1 GW Solar Plan

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The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) has approved NV Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which includes 1,001 MW of new solar PV projects and 100 MW of battery storage capacity.

The projects, located in northern and southern Nevada, are expected to begin serving customers by the end of 2021. They represent a direct investment of more than $2 billion in Nevada’s economy, according to NV Energy, and are expected to hire 1,700 construction workers and provide 80 long-term jobs.

“Earlier this year, we made a promise to our customers that we would double our renewable energy by 2023, and [this] decision puts us closer to reaching that goal, as well as to our long-term commitment to serve them with 100 percent renewable energy,” states Doug Cannon, NV Energy’s president.

The six solar projects will be added to NV Energy’s current portfolio of approximately 50 solar, geothermal, hydro, wind, biomass and supported rooftop solar projects – bringing NV Energy’s total renewable energy portfolio to approximately 3 GW in Nevada.

As proposed in May, NV Energy’s newly approved solar power purchase agreements are for the following projects:

  • The Battle Mountain Solar Project is a 101 MW project located near Battle Mountain and developed by Cypress Creek Renewables. It includes 25 MW of battery energy storage for a four-hour period.
  • The Dodge Flat Solar Energy Center is a 200 MW project located east of Reno and developed by NextEra Energy Resources LLC. It will integrate 50 MW of battery storage for four hours.
  • The Fish Springs Ranch Solar Energy Center is a 100 MW project located north of Reno. It is also being developed by NextEra Energy Resources. The project will integrate 25 MW of battery energy storage for four hours.
  • The Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm is a 300 MW project located north of Las Vegas on land owned by the Moapa Band of Paiutes. It is being developed by 8minutenergy Renewables.
  • The Copper Mountain Solar 5 project is a 250 MW solar facility located in Eldorado Valley, just south of Boulder City. It is being developed by CED Southwest Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc.
  • The Techren Solar V project is a 50 MW facility also being developed just south of Boulder City in Eldorado Valley. Developed by Techren Solar LLC, it will be adjacent to Techren Solar I, II, III and IV, which currently are in the construction stage. With the addition of Techren Solar V, the total Techren project size will be 400 MW.

NV Energy says its IRP will benefit customers by reducing costs over the next 30 years when compared to relying wholesale power markets.

“The economics of advanced energy are undeniable – projects are penciling at record-low costs while saving money for businesses and consumers,” says Ray Fakhoury, state policy manager for the Advanced Energy Economy, a national business group. “The PUCN’s determination is another step in the right direction, ensuring Nevada diversifies its energy mix while improving the state’s regional competitive advantage as an attractive destination for the businesses of all sizes.”

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It’s interesting how this is working out. This move has allowed other power interests into markets traditionally protected by the local utility’s “regulated monopoly” status. I noticed that CED is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc.. NV Energy has heavy investment by Berkshire Hathaway which owns a large interest in Duke Energy. This is getting very cozy indeed. The energy storage system not mentioned here is flow batteries. There are manufacturers out there now trying to make inroads to what has become a lithium ion battery technology arena for utility sized energy storage. It seems like lithium ion has been… Read more »