Playa Solar seeks Nevada PUC approval for 200-MW project

Playa Solar LLC filed an amended application Dec. 16 at the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada under the Utility Environmental Protection Act on a 200-MW (ac) solar photovoltaic project to be located about 14 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Clark County in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ).

Playa Solar noted that its name was recently changed from NV Dry Lake LLC, which was its name on Sept. 3 when it notified the commission that this project, now called the Playa Solar Project, was going through a federal review. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a draft environmental assessment on the project on Dec. 8, the application noted. That draft EA is out for public comment until Jan. 8. The company said it is a subsidiary of First Solar Development LLC.

Said the draft EA about the project: “The Applicant proposes to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the Project, consisting of up to a 200 MW ac solar PV power generating facility on approximately 1,700 acres of BLM-administered land located within parcels 2, 3, and 4 of the Dry Lake SEZ in Clark County, Nevada. Project components include onsite facilities, offsite facilities and temporary facilities needed to construct the Project. The major onsite facilities are comprised of solar array blocks of First Solar PV modules, a substation, and operation and maintenance (O&M) facilities. The offsite facilities include a 3,500-foot (0.7 mile) 230 kilovolt (kV) generation tie transmission line (gen-tie), access roads, well and water pipeline, andelectric distribution and communication lines. Power produced by the Project would be conveyed to the Nevada Power bulk transmission system via the gen-tie, which would interconnect to NV Energy’s existing Harry Allen Substation.”

As part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan and BLM’s Western Solar Plan, the BLM on Dec. 8 released three EAs analyzing impacts for three proposed utility-scale solar projects in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone. Following public comment, the BLM will proceed with final consideration of the projects.  The projects, which propose to generate a combined total of 480 MW on 3,083 acres within the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, are the first to reach this stage of permitting under the Western Solar Plan.

The environmental reviews were completed in less than six months, compared to reviews under the previous project-by-project system that took on average 18 to 24 months to complete, BLM noted. The reviews also include consideration of the first offsite mitigation requirements for Solar Energy Zone projects.

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.