The state of Nevada is home to several of the largest utility-scale solar projects in the U.S., while coal retirements in the region have spurred additional solar-plus-storage developments in the Silver State in recent years.

The Townsite project in Boulder City, Nev., is part of a solar-plus-storage building boom in the Silver State.
Source: Arevon Energy Inc.

Among the top six U.S. states in terms of solar irradiance and blessed with a large land area of more than 110k square miles, it should come as no surprise that Nevada is well suited for ground-mounted or utility-scale solar development. In fact, the Silver State is home to nearly 5.4 GW of solar energy resources, placing it sixth in the U.S. among solar states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Noteworthy installation

Located in Boulder City, Nev., Arevon completed construction of the Townsite Solar and Storage project in January 2022. Situated in the southern portion of the state where two of NV Energy’s coal facilities were shuttered, the 232 MW (DC) utility solar and 360 MWh storage facility provides grid stability in a region where energy consumption remains high in Las Vegas, Justin Johnson, chief operating officer of Arevon, told pv magazine USA in early 2023.

Incorporating 528,084 U.S.-made First Solar Series 6 modules, Nextracker tracking hardware and Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries, Townsite produces more than 500,000 MWh per year of clean energy, enough to power 60,000 homes per year, and serves two municipalities in NV Energy’s service territory, including Las Vegas, Johnson said. The facility interconnects underground to a 230 kV substation, before power travels overhead via a tie-in to the Mead Substation near Boulder City.

Construction of the 1,053-acre solar-plus-storage facility took 14 months, spanning from November 2020 to January 2022, with U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm visiting the facility at a January 11, 2022 ribbon-cutting event. Rosindin Electric served as Arevon’s general contractor during construction of the project.

The Townsite project was part of Gigawatt 1, a utility-scale solar project portfolio first proposed by Arevon’s predecessor Capital Dynamics, Tenaska Power Services, and Switch in February 2018. The Gigawatt 1 portfolio was designed to generate the lowest cost solar power in Nevada and generate enough clean energy to power nearly one million homes.

Since 2018, NV Energy has purchased power from 14 utility solar projects with about 3.2 GW of total generating capacity, alongside an additional 1.5 GW of nameplate capacity storage systems, according to a utility fact sheet. Over the next two years, the utility is expected to add another 1.2 GW of solar capacity from the Gemini Solar (690 MW) plus storage (1.42 GWh) facility, Southern Bighorn Solar (300 MW) plus storage (540 MWh) facility, and Arrow Canyon Solar (200 MW) plus storage (455 MWh) facility.

Read the full article: PV Magazine