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Nevada PUC approves first phase construction permits for two solar projects

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Nevada PUC approves first phase construction permits for two solar projects


Fish Springs Ranch Solar phase one comprises 100-MW portion

Copper Mountain Solar phase one involves infrastructure

Cooper Mountain Solar 5 also amends application

  • Author
  • Kassia Micek
  • Editor
  • Keiron Greenhalgh
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power
  • Topic
  • Energy Transition Environment and Sustainability

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved July 27 two construction permits for up to 550 MW of solar generation in the state.

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The PUC approved an application filed June 26 to start phase one construction of the 300-MW Fish Springs Ranch Solar project located about 45 miles south of Reno. Phase one consists of the first 100-MW portion of the project.

The PUC also approved an amended application for the 250-MW Copper Mountain Solar 5 Project to be constructed in five phases, as well as the issuance of five Utility Environmental Protection Act permits for construction of the project once the necessary permits are obtained.

Fish Springs Ranch Solar

Fish Springs Ranch Solar filed a notice of application June 14, 2018 with the PUC for a construction permit for an about 300 MW alternative current photovoltaic solar facility, a 345-kV generation tie and associated facilities, according to the filing.

A Utility Environmental Protection Act permit application was filed May 15 to construct the project after the completion of the final environmental assessment, according to the filing. The project will be built on 2,170 acres of non-contiguous private lands and 21 acres of federal lands. It will connect with the system of Sierra Pacific Power, doing business as NV Energy, at its Ft. Sage Switchyard.

The construction of Fish Springs Ranch Solar will be carried out in four phases, each requiring a separate UEPA permit from the PUC, according to the filing. Phase one will cover the first 100-MW portion of the project, while phase two will construct the first 100-MW portion of the battery energy storage component, which could be up to 300 MW, and the site substation. Phase three will build the 345-kV generation-tie line that will connect to the on-site substation built in phase two. Phase four will built the remaining 200-MW solar portion of the project.

NV Energy previously executed a power purchase agreement with the project, which the PUC approved.

Fish Springs Ranch Solar filed an updated application June 26 that it had obtained all the required permits and approvals to start phase one construction.

Copper Mountain Solar 5 Project

Copper Mountain Solar 5 LCC filed a UEPA permit April 8, 2019 to construct a 250-MW solar facility and then filed June 17, 2019 to change the plans from six phases to four phases of construction, which the PUC approved July 2, 2019, according to the filing.

On May 5, Cooper Mountain Solar 5 filed a request with the PUC to revise the previous order to allow for a fifth phase of construction consisting of new operations and maintenance facilities, and to grant a UEPA permit issued in five phases to start construction of the solar facility, including optional battery energy storage system, about 2 miles of existing and to-be built 230-kV generation-tie line and associated facilities, according to the filing. This would allow Copper Mountain Solar 5 to commence construction on the first phase while obtaining the other required permits and approval for the other phases of the project.

The project will be located on about 1,145 miles of non-federal land within Eldorado Valley in Boulder City, Nevada.

Phase one includes temporary construction facilities/grading and construction of an access road, communication facilities and water lines.