NV Energy recently announced its plans for Greenlink Nevada, a transmission and renewable energy initiative that will transform Nevada's clean energy landscape, create thousands of jobs, promote economic development, and position the state to achieve its environmental and carbon reduction goals.
Greenlink Nevada comprises two distinct transmission line segments that, once completed, will allow access to and future development of Nevada's renewable energy resources, will increase electric reliability for Nevadans, and will position Nevada as an energy leader in the western United States for decades to come. The project will also provide the infrastructure needed to support the growth of new and expanding businesses in Nevada from west Henderson to Apex in North Las Vegas to Innovation Park outside of Reno.
Construction on Greenlink Nevada is slated to begin in 2020 and expected to be fully complete in 2031.
"Greenlink Nevada is essential to unlocking Nevada's clean energy potential and meeting Nevada's renewable and decarbonization goals by providing access to new in-state solar and geothermal resources and creating opportunities to maximize renewable resource opportunities across the west. Nevada's recently enhanced renewable portfolio standard calls for 50% of energy used in Nevada to come from renewable energy resources, and these transmission lines are timed in order to meet this mandate and to make significant advancements to meet the state's 2050 carbon reduction objectives," said Doug Cannon, NV Energy president and chief executive officer. "Our customers will reap the environmental and economic benefits of greater transmission capacity and increased renewable energy including cleaner air, business growth, improved reliability, and lower energy costs."
The transmission initiative also aligns with NV Energy's plan to support Nevada's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Greenlink Nevada, if approved, will immediately start to generate an estimated US$781 million in economic activity and support more than 4000 jobs during its 11-year construction period.
"Greenlink Nevada will bring substantial economic benefits in the form of jobs, increased business opportunities, and significant tax revenue for rural counties at a time when our state needs it the most," said Cannon. "Jobs would be created immediately with designing, permitting, engineering, and project scoping work. The projects will be constructed using skilled labor to ensure they are constructed in a high quality manner that ensures decades of benefits for Nevada."
Greenlink North, the first major segment, will be a 525-kV line that spans approximately 235 miles from Ely to Yerington. Greenlink West, the second major segment, will be a 351-mile, 525-kV line from Las Vegas to Yerington. Greenlink Nevada will also include three 345-kV lines from Yerington to the Reno and Innovation Park areas to support new economic development.
Greenlink Nevada is being filed as part of NV Energy's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) and is subject to PUCN approval. NV Energy anticipates a decision by year-end.
NV Energy also announced three new solar plus storage projects as part of its IRP filing. The projects, which will be built in southern Nevada, total 478 MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 338 MW of battery storage, and have the capacity to power more than 107,000 homes. They will create more than 700 temporary jobs using a highly qualified workforce.
"These three projects represent NV Energy's continued commitment to bring the benefits of low-cost solar energy and storage to our customers," said Cannon. "These projects as well as Greenlink Nevada will create jobs while helping us meet our state's renewable portfolio standard of 50% by 2030, and contribute to NV Energy's long-term goal to serve customers with 100% renewable energy."
The recently announced projects will be added to NV Energy's current portfolio of 53 geothermal, solar, hydro, wind, and biomass projects both in service and under development, including 2191 MW of new solar energy and nearly 700 MW of battery energy storage systems.
Each of the three newly announced projects is expected to be completed and serving customers by the end of 2023:
Dry Lake Solar Project: 150-MW solar PV project with a 100 MW, four-hour battery storage system. The project will be located in Clark County, 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas in a designated Solar Energy Zone on land leased from the Bureau of Land Management. It is being developed by NV Energy and will become its second and largest company-owned renewable project.
Boulder Solar III: 128-MW solar array that includes a 58-MW, four-hour battery storage system. The project will be built in Clark County, in the Eldorado Valley south of Boulder City. It is being developed by 174 PowerGlobal and KOMIPO America Inc., who have vast experience developing over 550 MW of utility-scale solar generation plants in the Eldorado Valley. 174 PowerGlobal's solar energy and battery storage project pipelines in North America exceeds 10 GW, including 2 GW contracted and another 1.5 GW in operation.
Chuckwalla Solar Project: 200-MW (ac) solar PV array coupled with a 180-MW, four-hour battery storage system. The project will be located in Clark County, 25 miles northeast of Las Vegas within the Moapa River Indian Reservation. It is being developed by EDF Renewables North America, an independent power producer and service provider with 35 years of expertise in renewable energy. EDF Renewables' North American portfolio consists of 16 GW of developed projects and 11 GW under service contracts.