NV Energy to add 1 GW of solar, 100 MW storage

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June 1 (Renewables Now) - Nevada utility NV Energy Inc on Thursday said it has contracted 1,001 MW of new solar capacity and 100 MW of storage in what will be the state's largest renewable energy expansion.    

A total of six solar projects, three of them with batteries, representing a direct investment of over USD 2 billion (EUR 1.7bn), will be built in Nevada under the plan. The projects are the result of a competitive solicitation launched in January 2018 and will all be completed by the end of 2021, the company said.

NV Energy will file the resource plan with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on June 1, seeking approval of the six 25-year renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Notably, the utility also said it has the option to not proceed with the plan if Question 3 on the statewide ballot passes. Question 3, or the energy choice initiative, aims to end energy monopoly in the state.

The six projects are being developed by 8minutenergy Renewables; NextEra Energy Resources, which is working on two of the schemes; Sempra Renewables; Cypress Creek Renewables; and Techren Solar. 

The 300-MW Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm is being developed by 8minutenergy north of Las Vegas on land owned by the Moapa Band of Paiutes. 8minutenergy announced in a separate statement it has been selected by NV Energy to develop the project.

The 250-MW Copper Mountain Solar 5 project is being developed by Sempra Renewables and is located in Eldorado Valley, near Boulder City. 

The 200-MW Dodge Flat Solar Energy Center is located east of Reno and will feature 50 MW of battery energy storage. It is being developed by NextEra Energy Resources.

The 101-MW Battle Mountain Solar Project, located near Battle Mountain and including 25 MW of battery storage, is being developed by Cypress Creek Renewables. It will be the US' largest direct current (DC)-coupled combined solar and battery storage system, according to the announcement.

The 100-MW Fish Springs Ranch Solar Energy Center is located north of Reno and will integrate 25 MW of storage. The developer is again NextEra Energy Resources.

The 50-MW Techren Solar V project in Eldorado Valley, near Boulder City is being developed by Techren Solar and will add to Techren Solar I, II, III and IV, now under construction, taking the total Techren project size to 400 MW.

The planned batteries are the state's first major battery energy storage capacity, the company said.

"The six new projects position NV Energy to keep its commitment to double renewable energy by 2023 and, importantly, by diversifying our state's electricity generation portfolio, will reduce the costs to serve customers," commented NV Energy's chief executive Paul Caudill.  

The six projects will bring NV Energy's total renewable energy portfolio to more than 3.2 GW.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.856)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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