Company seeks approvals for up to 600 MW of Nevada solar

Mesa Solar Energy LLC applied May 1 at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission for permits to construct three photovoltaic solar projects of up to 200 MW (AC) apiece that would be located fairly near each other in Clark County, Nev.

The projects, covered by separate applications, are:

  • The California Ridge Solar Project would be up to 200 MW (AC). The project location is about 36 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Besides the solar facility, there would also be a 3-4-mile, 230-kV aboveground transmission line from the project site, interconnecting at Nevada Power’s Reid Gardner substation or another substation nearby.
  • The Meadow Valley Solar Project would be up to 200 MW (AC) and would be interconnected to the Reid Gardner substation or another substation nearby via a 3-mile, 230-kV transmission line. The project location is adjacent to a Union Pacific rail line.
  • The Mesa Solar Energy Project would have a capacity of up to 200-MW (AC) and would interconnect to the Reid Gardner substation or another substation nearby via a 13-mile, 230-kV line. The project site is about 4 miles northeast of Overton on Mormon Mesa.

Notable is that Nevada Power parent NV Energy (NYSE: NVE) recently unveiled a plan for the phase-out of some of its coal-fired capacity ahead of a prior schedule, which would apparently open up space in the Nevada generation picture for new power projects. The plan accelerates retirement of the coal-fired Reid Gardner plant:

  • Reid Gardner #1, scheduled 2020, accelerated shutdown 2014
  • Reid Gardner #2, scheduled 2020, accelerated shutdown 2014
  • Reid Gardner #3, scheduled 2020, accelerated shutdown 2014
  • Reid Gardner #4, scheduled 2023, accelerated shutdown 2017

Reid Gardner Generating Station has four operating units. The first two (#1 and #2) nearly identical units went into service in 1965 and 1968. A third similar unit (#3) was added in 1976. Each of these units produces 100 MW with Foster Wheeler boilers and General Electric turbine-generators. The plant’s largest generating unit (#4) is jointly owned by NV Energy and California Department of Water Resources. This 257-MW unit was commissioned in 1983 and uses a Foster Wheeler boiler to drive a Westinghouse turbine generator.

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.