NV Energy CEO: ON Line will facilitate utilities’ merger

NV Energy’s (NYSE:NVE) One Nevada, or ON Line, transmission project will allow the company to merge its two utilities, Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power, CEO Michael Yakira said Nov. 8.

When the project is complete, NV Energy will be able to jointly dispatch the generation fleets of the two utilities, Yakira said at the 46th EEI financial conference in Orlando, Fla.

“After the transmission line is complete, there is really no need to have the two separate utilities,” Yakira said. “We’re going to be making a filing at the end of this year to ask the [Public Utilities Commission of Nevada] to formally and legally merge Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power into one company.”

The CEO added that he expected a decision from the commission by mid-2012. The merger will also need FERC approval, he said. 

The transmission line has an in-service date of 2012 and is part of the Southwest Intertie project, a 500-mile transmission line from Idaho to southern Nevada being developed by Great Basin Transmission.

The ON Line project is a 235-mile, 500-kV line that will link the northern and southern systems by running from the Harry Allen substation north of Las Vegas to the Thirtymile substation west of Ely, Nev.

In addition to connecting the northern and southern electric systems in Nevada, ON Line will enable geothermal development in the state. 

There is more geothermal development, about 1,700 MW, in northern Nevada than the northern electric system can take, Yakira said. 

“Without the ON Line transmission line, that geothermal development either wouldn’t get developed or would go somewhere else outside of the state,” the CEO said. “We are happy that that’s going to remain in the state and keep our costs for renewable energy as low as possible.”

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.