The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 19 accepted an Interim Joint Dispatch Agreement that allows sister utilities Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power to for the first time jointly dispatch their power plants.
There has been a transmission gap between the systems of the two utilities, a gap which is now being filled with the imminent startup of the ON Line Transmission project.
The joint dispatch deal is only an interim step until such time as the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada acts on a proposed internal reorganization under which the applicants will be merged into a single corporate entity.
The Dec. 19 FERC order also accepts revisions to the open access transmission tariff of NV Energy, the applicants’ parent, to be effective on the later of Jan. 1, 2014, or the in-service date of the One Nevada Transmission Line, which will directly interconnect applicants.
In 2009, applicants, along with Great Basin Transmission LLC entered into discussions to jointly develop the ON Line. FERC then found that the ON Line accomplished the consolidation of the separate Sierra Pacific and Nevada Power balancing authority areas into a single balancing authority area, through which applicants will provide single-system transmission service in a manner that provides increased capacity, cost savings, and increased reliability.
Notable is that FERC on Dec. 19, in a separate decision, approved the takeover of NV Energy, Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power by MidAmerican Energy Holding.