Nevada cooperative joins California ISO, opening path for more renewable power

Folsom, Calif., August 26, 2011 — A member-owned utility cooperative in Nevada has taken the first step to join the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the agreement it entered into was given the go-ahead by the ISO Board of Governors August 25.

Linking up with Valley Electric Association's transmission system, based in Pahrump, Nevada, is a very efficient route for getting remote desert solar resources on the grid.

There are nearly 3 GW of solar energy resources planned in Valley Electric's backyard, some of which are located in California and have power purchase agreements with California utilities. The abundant renewable power is sought after by utilities to help meet California's 33 percent renewable portfolio standard.

Valley Electric's service territory runs along Inyo County and a large portion of Mono County, extending into a small portion of California near Bishop. The ISO and Valley Electric entered into a memorandum of understanding earlier this month to outline the framework for the nonprofit to become a participating transmission owner, utility distribution company and load-serving entity in the ISO balancing authority effective January 1, 2013.

Valley Electric's interconnection rights at the Mead Substation and a new interconnection planned for the Eldorado Substation in 2015 will provide vital access for renewable resources coming on line in California and the West.

The authorization by the ISO Board of Governors gives authority to ISO management to enter into a transition agreement with Valley Electric, consistent with the MOU signed earlier this month and to make all necessary filings with FERC to implement the agreement.

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