Ormat unit files notice in Nevada for 230-kV line and geothermal project

Geothermal Industry Seeing New Investments

ORNI 43, a unit of Ormat Technologies, filed a notice recently with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada stating that it will seek permission to build a 230-kV transmission line to support a planned 24 MW geothermal generating facility in Churchill County, Nevada.

ORNI 43 said it plans to file an application with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to build the Tungsten Project and related transmission line primarily on federal land administered by BLM, with a small portion on privately owned land. The company said it planned to file its application with the BLM Feb. 1.

ORNI 43 told the PUCN that the Tungsten Project, with a gross capacity of 24 MW and net capacity of 20 MW, is below the 70 MW threshold for regulation under the Nevada Utility Environmental Protection Act.

The voltage of the transmission line, however, qualifies it as a utility facility under Nevada’s statute, and the company said it will seek PUCN approval of a permit to construct the generation tie line.

“The Tungsten Project will be located in the Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Area in eastern Churchill County, about 55 miles east-northeast of Fallon, and north of Highway 50,” ORNI 43 said in the notice.

The transmission line would extend 16.5 miles, generally southwest from the proposed geothermal project to connect with facilities owned by NV Energy.

The line would be a steel monopole facility connecting to the NV Energy grid via the proposed Alpine switching station north of Highway 50 in Churchill County. The Alpine switching station would be located on the existing NV Energy line #2309, ORNI 43 said.

There is no estimate on the cost of the transmission line or geothermal project in the PUC notice.

A spokesperson for Ormat Technologies did not respond to questions about the projects by press time on Feb. 8.

Ormat Technologies, based in Reno, Nev., is a major developer of geothermal projects around the world.

NV Energy is a unit of Berkshire Hathaway.

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