Las Vegas-based utility company NV Energy has filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUC) to approve three new long-term solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) totaling 100 MW. The three new solar projects, if approved, would be built in the Silver State.
“These new projects signal an important step toward NV Energy’s commitment to partner with our customers in order to serve them with 100 percent renewable energy. Equally important to the low-cost solar energy being added to our customers’ portfolio, these projects benefit Nevada’s working families and provide another opportunity for our construction trade partners to gain skills in the renewable industry,” says NV Energy President and CEO Paul Caudill. “We are pleased that all three projects include work site agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.”
It is estimated that up to 250 construction workers and nine permanent positions would be needed for the three projects.
The largest of the three new projects is the 50 MW Turquoise Nevada solar project, to be constructed in the Reno Technology Park in Washoe County, Nev. The project will benefit from a 25-year PPA with NV Energy and is expected to be operational by the end of 2020. The Turquoise Nevada solar project is a venture of Estuary Capital Advisors and Sumitomo Corp. of Americas.
NV Energy notes it has submitted a separate request with the PUC to utilize the NV GreenEnergy Rider program to help an unidentified “major customer” offset 100% of its next phase of growth with solar energy.
“We are excited to help bring the largest solar energy field in Northern Nevada to a reality, and we appreciate the dedication many large Nevada customers have to using the NV GreenEnergy Rider program to offset their energy usage using renewable resources,” states Pat Egan, NV Energy’s senior vice president of renewable energy and smart infrastructure.
The other two new proposed 25-year PPAs are the result of a request for proposals that NV Energy issued in June. The 25 MW Techren Solar 3 project will benefit NV Energy customers in Southern Nevada, and the 25 MW Techren Solar 4 project will benefit customers in Northern Nevada. If approved, the new solar energy projects will be operational on or before Sept. 1, 2020.
The new solar resources will be owned by Techren Solar LLC and will be located adjacent to the 300 MW Techren Solar 1 and 2 projects that are in development in Boulder City’s Eldorado Valley.
“To the best of our knowledge, Techren 3 and 4 are the lowest-cost universal solar power purchase agreements entered into in the United States,” claims Egan.
Today, NV Energy says its customers are served by 19 geothermal energy plants, 16 utility-scale solar fields, six hydro projects, five biomass or methane projects and one wind farm. In total, these projects represent more than 1,600 MW of nameplate renewable energy capacity. If all were operating at the same time they would generate enough energy to serve nearly 1 million typical homes in Nevada, according to the utility company.