The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved the sale of the Iron Point and Hot Pot Solar PV and battery storage projects in Humboldt County, Nevada, northeast of Reno.
Primergy Solar owns and is developing the projects, which include 600 MW of solar paired with 480 MW of battery storage capacity. Battery chemistries were not revealed, but, assuming a standard four-hour duration, the total capacity could be around 2 GWh. The projects are planned to replace the coal-fired North Valmy Generating Station.
NV Energy sought approval from state regulators to buy the projects from Primergy in July 2021.
Iron Point Solar Project is a 250 MW system to be paired with 200 MW of storage capacity and is expected to be commissioned in December 2023. The Hot Pot Solar Project is a 350 MW system and will be paired with 280 MW of battery storage. Hot Pot is expected to be in service by December 2024. Both projects will have the capacity to power 127,000 homes in Nevada, Primergy said.
The North Valmy coal plant has two operating units and is jointly owned by NV Energy (50%) and Idaho Power (50%). Unit 1 went into service in 1981 and produces 254 MW with a Babcock & Wilcox Boiler and a Westinghouse turbine. Unit 2 went into service in 1985 and produces 268 MW with a Foster Wheeler Boiler and General Electric turbine. NV Energy and Idaho Power agreed in late-2019 to retire both units by 2025 at the latest. Since that time Idaho Power suggested it would look to retire the plant’s Unit 2 “as early as year-end 2022.”
With Iron Point and Hot Pot, Primergy’s Nevada portfolio now exceeds 1,300 MWac of solar and 3,330 MWh of battery storage. Construction of the company’s most notable project, Gemini Solar, is under way in the state, with operations scheduled to start in late 2023. The $1.2 billion project will be one of the largest solar ventures in the U.S.
The 690 MW Gemini Solar project will include 34.5 kV overhead and underground collector lines, a 2-acre (0.8-hectare) operation and maintenance facility, three substations, internal access roads, access roads along generation tie-lines, a perimeter road, perimeter fencing, water storage tanks for fire protection, drainage control features, a potential on-site water well or a new water pipeline and improvements to the existing NV Energy facilities to support interconnection.