220-MW Searchlight Wind project in Nevada wins key approval

Searchlight Wind Energy LLC, which is developing a 220-MW wind project in Nevada, has gotten a project-related approval from transmission provider Western Area Power Administration (Western), part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Western had received a request from Searchlight Wind Energy to interconnect its proposed Searchlight Wind Energy Project to Western’s Davis-Mead 230-kV transmission line. The project would be located in southern Clark County, Nev., near the town of Searchlight. Searchlight Wind Energy is a project affiliate of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

In December 2012, the Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project was published in the Federal Register. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was the lead federal agency for the EIS. Western was a cooperating agency in preparation of the EIS.

“After considering the environmental impacts, Western has decided to allow Searchlight’s request for interconnection to Western’s transmission system on its Davis-Mead transmission line and to construct, own, and operate a new switching station to accommodate the interconnection,” said Western in a notice to be published in the May 16 Federal Register.

The new switching station would be on BLM-administered land located just west of Western’s existing Davis-Mead 230-kV transmission line, about 7.5 miles east of the town of Searchlight, and approximately 150 feet north of a National Park Service fee station on Cottonwood Cove Road.

Searchlight proposes to construct and operate a utility-scale wind energy facility in an area encompassing around 18,949 acres on BLM-administered lands. The facility would generate up to 220 MW from wind turbine generators (WTGs).

The proposed facility would include 37.6 miles of improved and new access and service roads, up to 96 WTGs, electrical collection lines, two step-up substations, communications system, operations and maintenance building, and meteorological monitoring towers. A new 230-kV single-circuit electrical transmission tie-line would be constructed between the project and Western’s proposed switching station at its existing Davis-Mead transmission line.

Western is a federal agency under the DOE that markets and transmits wholesale electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 western states.

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.