Wind damage knocks NV Energy project off schedule

NV Energy said Friday that recent wind damage would delay completion of its $510 million One Nevada Transmission Line that will connect the electricity grids in Southern and Northern Nevada.

The utility said in a regulatory filing that the One Nevada line, known as "ON Line," was previously expected to be in service by the end of this year. The delay is expected to be three months or more. The 500-kilovolt line will run about 236 miles from the Las Vegas area to a new substation near Ely.

Las Vegas-based NV Energy didn't immediately say whether the delay would result in higher costs or whether those costs would be passed to ratepayers; and spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht said she had no additional information on those issues.

"We are still determining what project modifications, if any, are necessary to proceed," she said.

The delay in connecting the north/south grids won't cause any electricity shortages, the company said.

"This delay will have no impact on reliability," Schuricht said.

"The delay is attributed to addressing recent wind-related damage to some of the tower structures. As a result of the damage and as a precautionary measure, the ON Line owners have directed construction crews to lay down certain existing tower structures and cease erection of further tower structures until the owners have completed an assessment of the situation. Other construction activities that are focused on safety and are unrelated to the wind-damage are continuing while the owners work to resolve and repair the wind-related damage, ascertain the root causes of the damage and otherwise determine what project modifications will be necessary to ensure project safety and reliability," NV Energy said in its filing.

The ON Line project is jointly owned by NV Energy and Great Basin Transmission South LLC, an affiliate of LS Power.

NV Energy also said Friday that because of the ON Line delay, it is delaying the merger application of its two utilities, Sierra Pacific Power Co. in Northern Nevada and Nevada Power Co. in Southern Nevada.

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