Project to Improve Grid Reliability and Open Southwest Nevada to Renewable Energy Developers
September 17, 2018 – GridLiance, an independent transmission company, and Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) today announced they have begun work on adding 72-miles of optical ground wire between Pahrump and Boulder City, Nevada. The line work is part of GridLiance’s nearly $40 million, 18-month Sloan Canyon transmission improvement project that also will include constructing a switching station and a 3.2-mile 230-kV transmission line to improve grid reliability.
The dual functioning optical ground wire being installed will act as a shield wire against lightning strikes and improve communications between interconnected substations, increasing transmission reliability for VEA’s member-owners once completed in December. The 230-kV transmission line work will begin in 2019 and connect Sloan Canyon Switching Station, which will be constructed near Boulder City, to the rest of the transmission system controlled by the California Independent System Operator.
“We are continuing the tradition of VEA’s excellent service and reliability in southwest Nevada in launching the Sloan Canyon improvement project,” said Calvin Crowder, president and CEO of GridLiance. “We also are excited to be building the future foundation for additional renewable energy development in the region.”
GridLiance has already begun site preparation for the installation of the optical ground wire, performing right-of-way maintenance for an access road in various locations along the existing line route and moving equipment into place for the construction of the switching station, which will start in October. As part of the ongoing project work, residents also may notice construction crews working to perform additional right-of-way maintenance on access roads and installing the optical ground wire that will traverse public lands in the vicinity of the communities of Jean, Good Springs, Sandy Valley and Pahrump. GridLiance also may rely on helicopters to install portions of the wire atop transmission towers scattered across the desert mountains.
“Valley Electric is proud to partner with GridLiance on another project that will benefit VEA member-consumers,” said Angela Evans, VEA CEO. “The Sloan Canyon project will serve to improve reliability and should eventually provide more access to affordable renewable energy for VEA members.”
In Sept. 2017, GridLiance completed its acquisition of more than 160 miles of 230-kV transmission lines and related substation equipment and the 230-kV transmission line project.
GridLiance is an independent electric transmission utility holding company. GridLiance partners with electric cooperatives, public power, and renewable energy developers to plan for the future of the grid, invest in electric infrastructure, and implement strategies that meet its partners’ ownership, capital investment, and operational goals. Based in Dallas, GridLiance operates hundreds of miles of transmission lines and related substation facilities in Nevada, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The company has long-term partnerships with utility partners operating in Missouri, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, and Kansas. GridLiance is a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE:BX), a leading energy infrastructure investor. For more information about GridLiance, visit gridliance.com.
About Valley Electric Association
Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned nonprofit electric utility headquartered in Pahrump, Nev. While VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, the company now provides electric service to more than 45,000 people within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area located primarily along the California-Nevada border, with the majority in Nevada. Valley Communications Association (VCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of VEA, began proving high-speed communications to our member-owners in the spring of 2016. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley. For more information about VEA, please visit www.vea.coop.