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$4.24B NV Energy transmission project takes step forward

Updated June 11, 2024 - 10:24 pm

A portion of NV Energy’s massive proposed energy transmission project took another step forward in the federal approval process this week.

The Bureau of Land Management finished its final environmental impact analysis of the Greenlink West project, which would include the building of 472 miles of transmission lines between the Las Vegas area and Reno. The results of the analysis haven’t been released yet but could be made available later this week.

If built, the Greenlink West could transmit up to enough clean energy to power 1.2 million homes, BLM said.

This analysis is needed before BLM officials can approve construction for Greenlink West. The BLM said the Greenlink West project would go through several Nevada counties including Clark, Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey and Washoe.

Getting a final environmental analysis from the BLM puts the Greenlink West project “very close” to starting construction, NV Energy CEO Doug Cannon said at an event on Tuesday with the U.S. Department of the Interior.

But this analysis isn’t the final step, the analysis will have a protest period that ends on July 15 and a 60-day governor’s consistency review that ends on Aug. 13, the BLM said. A final decision on the route of Greenlink West should be issued later this year.

Greenlink West is targeted to be completed by the end of 2026.

The Greenlink West project is just one of two major transmission lines that NV Energy is trying to build for its Greenlink Nevada project, which aims to create a loop of large scale transmission lines throughout Nevada. NV Energy said the Greenlink infrastructure will make it easier for the state to add renewable energy resources.

“(Greenlink West) will improve electric reliability for customers to ensure the lights stay on during the times our customers most need the energy,” Cannon said. “In addition, this project is going to unlock thousands of acres of land that previously was available for renewable energy development but couldn’t be developed because there was no transmission to get the energy to where it could actually be used.”  

Although Greenlink can boost renewables in Nevada, the cost of the project has increased rapidly in recent years. NV Energy said the pricetage of the project has grown to $4.24 billion, up from $2.5 billion in initial estimates for the project.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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