Solar firm files notice in Nevada on transmission line application with BLM

Tribal Solar, a subsidiary of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), filed a notice of federal application with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on March 14, informing the PUC that it has sought federal approval to build transmission facilities in southern Nevada associated with the Fort Mojave solar power project in Arizona.

The Fort Mojave project is a 332 MW photovoltaic facility planned to be built on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Mohave County, Ariz., Tribal Solar said.

The project “is still in development phase,” a First Solar spokesperson told TransmissionHub March 21, adding that the company has not disclosed information about timing on construction.

The planned transmission facilities would include an 18-mile, 230-kV transmission line extending from the Fort Mojave project to a new 230/500-kV substation that would be built by the existing Mohave 500-kV switchyard, which is near Laughlin, Nev., in Clark County, according to the notice filed with the PUC. From there, the voltage would be stepped up to 500 kV and a two-mile, 500-kV line would be added between the new substation and the Mohave switchyard.

The transmission facilities would be located west of Laughlin, on land that is owned by the federal government, Clark County and some private landowners, Tribal Solar said.

The notice informs the PUC that the federal land is administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), and that applications with both agencies were filed in early 2015.

In addition, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is conducting the environmental review of the solar project and is expected to issue an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the PV facility, the company noted.

No later than 30 days after the issuance of a final EIS for the solar project, Tribal Solar will file an application with the PUC to build the related transmission facilities, Tribal Solar said. The company did not provide a time frame for when a final EIS is expected.