The heavy electrical transmission lines of the mighty Ivanpah Solar Power Generation System, located in California’s Mojave Desert at the base of Clark Mountain and just south of this state community on Interstate 15, are seen July 15, 2022 near Primm, Nevada. The Ivanpah system consists of three solar thermal power plants and 173,500 heliostats (mirrors) on 3,500 acres and has a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW).
George Rose | Getty Images News | Getty Images
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management said this week that it has advanced two transmission projects proposed by utility NV Energy that would facilitate the development and delivery of renewable energy in Nevada.
The agency will initiate an environmental review of the Greenlink North project, which will span more than 450 miles to connect Las Vegas and Reno, and issue a draft environmental impact statement for the Greenlink West transmission project, which will span 232 miles. from Ely to Yerington.
When completed, the projects will connect eight gigawatts of clean energy to the western power grid. The plans would reinforce the Biden administration’s goal of deploying 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands and waters by 2025 and achieving a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035.
The announcement comes as Congress debates federal energy authorizing the revisions, with Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., introduction of a measure earlier this month to accelerate the authorization of fossil fuel and renewable energy projects.
The transmission projects involve the expansion of high-voltage lines that carry renewable energy to populated areas and will play a critical role in accelerating the clean energy transition while meeting growing electricity demand.
The BLM aims to finalize proposed documents and develop a decision record for the Greenlink West project by the end of 2024. It will also release draft environmental planning documents for the Greenlink North project for public comment later this year. year.
“Our public lands have a critical role to play in the clean energy transition,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said in a statement.
The agency said it has approved 35 clean energy projects over the past two years, including solar, geothermal and gen-tie facilities, which are expected to generate 8,160 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 2, 6 million homes.
Some projects include the SunZia Southwest transmission project in New Mexico and approval to build the Sunlight Storage II battery storage system in California. The agency is also reviewing projects such as Utah’s Star Range Solar Project and Nevada’s Bonanza Solar Project.