FERC accepts Nevada Power interconnect deal for 200-MW Playa Solar project

This is one of a cluster of solar projects in this area of Nevada

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 31 accepted a Feb. 25 filing by Nevada Power d/b/a NV Energy of an executed Large Generator Interconnection Agreement with Playa Solar LLC for a 200-MW solar photovoltaic project.

To accommodate all of the interconnection requests in a cluster, including this one, significant network upgrades are required, the utility noted in the filing. The total estimated cost of the cluster upgrades is $14,425,000 of which Playa Solar will pay it’s pro rata share. Given the extensive nature of the upgrades, it is anticipated that the upgrades will be completed in December 2016.

The Playa Solar project, with a targeted commercial operation date at the end of 2016, will be in three phases:

  • Playa Solar 1, 100 MW net at Point of Interconnection;
  • Playa Solar 2, additional 50 MW net at Point of Interconnection; and
  • Playa Solar 3, additional 50 MW net at Point of Interconnection.

The Point of Interconnection will be at the point where the Playa Solar's 230-kV line from its solar farms intersects the Nevada Power’s existing Harry Allen Substation.

A project contact is: Playa Solar LLC, Attention: Kathryn Arbeit, Director, Development, 135 Main Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, Phone 415-935-2487, Fax 415-894-6207, Kathryn.Arbeit@firstsolar.com.

Playa Solar had filed an amended application in December 2014 at the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada on this project, to be located about 14 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Clark County in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ). Playa Solar noted that its name was recently changed from NV Dry Lake LLC, which was its name in September 2014 when it notified the commission that this project, now called the Playa Solar Project, was going through a federal review.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on June 1 announced the approval of the first three solar energy projects to benefit from the streamlined permitting process of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Western Solar Plan. When built, the three solar energy projects on public lands in Clark County, Nevada, will generate up to 440 MW. The new projects – Invenergy’s Harry Allen Solar Energy Center, First Solar’s Playa Solar Project, and NV Energy’s Dry Lake Solar Energy Center – were submitted for approval by the three successful bidders to a competitive auction BLM held in June 2014. The auction was part of the competitive leasing process required for solar energy zones under the terms of the Western Solar Plan.

Interior said that First Solar proposes to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission this project, consisting of up to a 200 MW (ac) solar PV facility on approximately 1,700 acres of BLM-administered land in the Dry Lake SEZ. The major onsite facilities are comprised of solar array blocks of First Solar PV modules, a substation, and operation and maintenance facilities. The offsite facilities include a 3,500-foot (0.7 mile) 230-kV generation tie transmission line (gen-tie), access roads, well and water pipeline, andelectric distribution and communication lines. Power produced by the Playa Solar project would be conveyed to the Nevada Power bulk transmission system via the gen-tie, which would interconnect to the Harry Allen Substation.

Barry Cassell
About the Author

Barry Cassell

Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 26 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Barry can be reached at barryc@pennwell.com.

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