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Invenergy's 190-MW Lovelock solar and storage project approved in Nevada

Nevada regulators approved a permit for an Invenergy LLC subsidiary to construct its proposed 190-MW Lovelock Solar Energy photovoltaic project with energy storage in Pershing County, Nev.

The 1,735-acre project will tie into NV Energy Inc. subsidiary Sierra Pacific Power Co.'s transmission grid as a future resource for the utility, according to a Public Utilities Commission staff memo. Ivenergy affiliate Lovelock Solar Energy LLC will build the facility on private desert scrub land in a remote rural area, according to the developer's application to the commission.

The commission on Jan. 9 ordered the permit to be issued under the Nevada Utility Environmental Protection Act. The project still needs various other local and state permits, such as a Nevada Department of Environmental Protection surface area disturbance permit.

PUC Chair Ann Wilkinson noted during the PUC's decision meeting that the rest of the permit process will be "less strenuous" since the project will be built on private and not federal land. Pershing County issued a special use permit in October 2018.

Lovelock Solar said in its application that the construction of the project is slated to begin at the end of 2019 and be completed by the end of 2022. The project will interconnect at the Oreana Substation that Sierra Pacific Power will rebuild to accommodate the facility, but this transmission modification is not expected to have a significant impact on interstate transmission facilities, the developer said.

The energy storage system and modular solar production facilities will be state-of-the art, Lovelock promised. The storage system will consist of lithium ion or other battery technology and will be used to either control electric frequency or store energy from the solar project. However, the application did not disclose the size or capacity of the storage system to be installed.

The photovoltaic solar panels or modules will be installed to form about 50 blocks of nearly 4 MW each with tracking systems on 120,000 steel posts to adjust the panels to the position of the sun.

NV Energy is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.