By Dave Maxwell
Lincoln County Record
A few minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve, the One Nevada Transmission Line Project was energized. It culminates more than six years of planning and three years of construction work, plus extensive testing of the line operation equipment and associated primary and backup communications.
Mark Sullivan of NV Energy made the report at the regular meeting of the Lincoln County Commissioners Jan 6.
He said it’s important to note use of the line “now brings into service a connection between our northern Nevada service area with our southern Nevada service area for the first time.
“We opened up the pathways for renewable energy in remote parts of Nevada to flow to where it is needed by our customers (eight geothermal projects, three solar, one biomass and one wind); and we now have the ability to finally share our generating resources throughout the entire state for the reliability and cost savings benefits of our customers.”
The 500kv transmission line spans 231 miles with 844 towers, and extends from the Harry Allen substation near the U.S. 93 turnoff off I-15, to a 40-acre $80 million substation 20 miles west of Ely.
In addition to the transmission line, 13 new microwave towers on some quite remote and elevated peaks in Nevada were built as well as upgrading seven others to serve as a backup communications network.
Sullivan said 12 new cattle guards were built to help farmers and ranchers facilitate some of the construction traffic and help contain cattle within their grazing areas.
Current actives, Sullivan said, are various construction clean-up activities, recontouring all temporary construction pads and construction areas and putting the top soil back in place, reseeding with native seeds, and transplanting salvaged cactus and yucca plants that had been removed and cared for at certain nursery areas.
A formal dedication of the transmission line is planned for the Harry Allen substation Jan. 23.
In mid-December, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada unanimously approved the $5.6 billion sale of NV Energy to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., owned by multi-billionaire Warren Buffet.