First Solar subsidiary files transmission application in Nevada

Aiya Solar Project LLC, a subsidiary of First Solar, on April 8 filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to build a short 230-kV transmission line to connect its planned 100 MW photovoltaic facility on the Moapa River Indian Reservation with NV Energy’s Reid Gardner substation.

The application noted that the Bureau of Indian Affairs on March 10 issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the solar project.

The generation tie transmission line would have single-circuit and double-circuit segments, starting on tribal land, crossing private land and federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM portion would be 0.9 mile in length and the private land portion would be 0.5 mile in length, Aiya Solar said.

The transmission line would connect the solar field with the existing Reid Gardner substation in Clark County, Nev., or a new NV Energy switchyard near the substation.

The application involves an expansion of the Reid Gardner substation, including a bay expansion and ancillary facilities, as well as the BLM and private lands portions of the transmission line and ancillary facilities, Aiya Solar said.

The proposed facilities include transmission structures, conductors, protective relays, fiber optic communication cables and other equipment, along with access roads and temporary construction areas.

BLM is expected to provide a grant for a right of way in 3Q16, with other state and county permits expected at the same time, Aiya Solar said.

Construction of the transmission line is expected to take four months, and the expansion of the Reid Gardner substation is expected to take four months as well.

On July 31, 2015, FERC accepted NV Energy’s large generator interconnection agreement with Aiya Solar. The utility noted that the solar project is within a cluster of projects that plan to interconnect around the same location, with Aiya Solar paying for its share of the cost for network upgrades to accommodate the interconnections.

NV Energy is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.