Nevada Solar One builder sues developer over bill

A giant, $260 million solar power plant in Boulder City is up and running but troubles continue to plague the project.

Lauren Engineers & Constructors, an Abilene, Texas-based company that built the plant, is seeking an $18 million judgment against Nevada Solar One, based on claims that the power plant owner has paid only $120 million of $138 million owed for the project.

The disputed $18 million is due to changes in the contract requirements and retained funds.

The construction company also is suing Acciona Energy of Spain, which controls Nevada Solar One, and Boulder City, which leased 400 acres in the Eldorado Valley to Nevada Solar One for the plant site.

Acciona declined comment. Boulder City spokeswoman Rose Ann Miele said she was unable to contact the city attorney for his views on the ramifications of the lawsuit.

Boulder City theoretically could lose its land as a result of the lawsuit, said plaintiff’s attorney Chris Wicker of the Reno firm Woodburn and Wedge. But he considered foreclosure on either the power plant or the land unlikely, because only $18 million is at stake in the lawsuit.

Nevada Power spokesman Grant Adam declined to comment on how the legal dispute might affect the electric utility, which buys power from Nevada Solar One.

Nevada Solar One, which started commercial operation on June 27, has garnered national media coverage because of its use of solar power technology.

“The project as a whole is something Nevadans can be proud to have spring up in their midsts,” Wicker said. “It’s really sad that there’s a dispute, because the project is very cool,” Wicker said.

The solar power plant has sustained generation at about 94 percent of its 65-megawatt capacity for several days, Wicker said.

Wicker said he believes the dispute only involves the $18 million in question, not any claims of construction defects.

Some renewable energy advocates fear the lawsuit could give solar power and Nevada’s energy program a black eye, but others say the dispute should not effect the image of the renewable power industry.

Dan Schochet, vice president of geothermal power developer Ormat Nevada, agreed. “Will this affect renewable energy? Not at all,” he said.

The issues are specific to Nevada Solar One and the contractor, Schochet said.

“I would be very surprised if it didn’t get sorted out,” he said.

Rick Hackman, a spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission, doubted the lawsuit would have any effect on power production.

“The commission has no reason to believe that this contract dispute between private parties is going to interfere with the output of this solar plant to Nevada Power,” he said.

Commission Chairwoman Jo Ann Kelly said she could not comment on the contract dispute. But she added: “They are up and running. They were a little delayed.”

Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power Co. contracted with the 65-megawatt Nevada Solar One in 2002 in an effort to comply with Nevada laws requiring the use of more renewable power sources. Nevada laws and regulations require Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power to use more renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal power.

Nevada Power awarded a contract to Solargenix Energy, which was later acquired by Acciona, to supply solar power in 2002, but the project was stalled by efforts to finance the $260 million project.

The solar power company, and other renewable power companies, said it was unable to obtain financing because all of the power would be sold to a utility company with junk bond ratings stemming from problems that followed the Western energy crisis in 2000.

Regulators adopted a system that provided greater security to lenders, but the project continued to be delayed, causing Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power to fail to satisfy state laws requiring the utilities to use increasing amounts of renewable energy.

The project has attracted international press attention because it is the first solar thermal power plant of its kind in about 15 years.

The power plant uses mirrored troughs to capture heat from sunlight, which is used to spin turbines to generate electricity.

Business
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Fun photo booth at World of Concrete
World of Concrete show at the Las Vegas Convention Center sponsored by DeWalt gives conventioneers a chance for photos with giant tools. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: Laserstar Technologies
Laerstar Technologies showed off their laser engraving machines, that can be used to personalize anything from guns and knives, to medical tools and household items. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center including an impact crusher, concrete pump and a self-erecting portable concrete batch plant. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Shot Show 2019: Kalashnikov USA shows off new products
Jonathan Mossberg of Kalashnikov USA talks about new products on display at Shot Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing