Sierra Pacific Power seeks approvals for power deals with two solar projects

Sierra Pacific Power d/b/a NV Energy on Nov. 30 applied with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission for approvals of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with two solar projects.

In one case, the utility wants to buy 65% of the output from the 79-MW (ac) Playa Solar 1 project of Playa Solar 1 LLC, which is an affiliate of First Solar. This contract is designed to meet the needs of an NV Energy power customer, Switch Ltd. Switch, which is a data center operator, will buy all of the portfolio energy credits (PCs) from this project from both Sierra Pacific Power and sister company Nevada Power, which also does business as NV Energy. Nevada Power separately wants approval from the commission to buy the remaining 35% of the project’s output.

The Playa 1 project is located in Clark County, Nevada, in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, and would interconnect to NV Energy’s Harry Allen substation. This is a 20-year PPA with a first year price of $38.70/MWh, escalating by 3% per year.

In the other case, Sierra Pacific wants to buy all of the output under a PPA with Boulder Solar Power II LLC from the 50-MW (ac) Boulder Solar II project. Boulder Solar Power II is an affiliate of SunPower. The utility noted that this PPA will help support incremental power demand from computer company Apple in northern Nevada. Apple is one of many tech companies putting an emphasis on buying renewable energy. NV Energy noted that the PPA gives Apple the right to become the direct power purchaser from this project under certain circumstances.

The Boulder II project would be located in Boulder City, Nevada, near the recently-approved, 100-MW Boulder Solar LLC project of SunPower. This power would be fed into NV Energy’s Nevada Solar One substation. This is a 20-year PPA, with a first-year price of $39.90/MWh, escalating at 3% per year.

NV Energy asked that these power deals be approved by March 16 of next year, allowing the project developers time to complete the projects by the end of 2016 in time to qualify for tax credits.

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.