Nevada commission staff recommends Copper Mountain Solar 3 approval

Nevada Public Utilities Commission staff filed a March 25 memo with the commission recommending approval of four requested permits for Copper Mountain Solar 3 LLC for an uprated solar power project in Boulder City, Nev.

When the company first applied with the commission in December 2010, this was a 120-MW solar photovoltaic project. Then in July 2012, the company filed an amendment upping the nominal capacity to 250 MW, while also including in the amendment plans for a new 500-kV, 5.6-mile tie-in line that would connect the project to the Marketplace Substation. A Feb. 22 amendment was then filed with the state commission that includes a U.S. Bureau of Land Management environmental assessment on the project.

The staff memo noted that the company wants to build the project in four phases so it can get the first phases done that much quicker. Staff said that under a power purchase agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority, Copper Mountain Solar 3 needs the first 125 MW of capacity at this project in commercial operation by the end of 2014.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power said on Dec. 12, 2012, that the cities of Los Angeles and Burbank have approved a 20-year agreement to purchase 250 MW of solar power from Copper Mountain Solar 3. The agreement provides the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with most of the power produced by the solar power plant – 210 MW – through an agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). SCPPA is a joint powers authority consisting of 11 municipal utilities and one irrigation district that finances power and transmission resources on behalf of its members. LADWP is one of the members of that authority as is the city of Burbank. Burbank will purchase the remaining 40 MW. 

Power will be delivered from the plant to Southern California through a substation and transmission lines operated by LADWP. Copper Mountain Solar 3 and its two adjacent Copper Mountain Solar facilities will combine to create one of the largest solar power complexes in the Southwest.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.