News Releases

Nevada Public Service Commission Approves Alturas Intertie Project

Jun 18, 1996

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist/Robert Sagan
Phone: (775)834-4345

For Immediate Release

Sierra Pacific Power Company's Alturas Intertie Project received final approval June 13 from the Public Service Commission of Nevada (PSCN). The company's application for a construction permit under Nevada's Utility Environmental Protection Action was approved by a 4 to 1 vote. PSCN Commissioner Jo Ann Kelly, the presiding officer for the case, said environmental studies done for the 164- mile electric transmission line had identified the best possible route, and she stated construction of the project is in the public interest.

"We're extremely pleased with the decision and pleased with the leadership this decision provides," said John Owens of Sierra Pacific, project manager for the Alturas Intertie."We believe this decision narrows the scope of the remaining issues and are hopeful it will bring the permitting process to a successful conclusion."

Approval of the project is pending before the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission and the U.S. Forest Service.

Kelly noted the project is especially important as the electric utility industry becomes more competitive.

"This new operating environment makes the Alturas Intertie Project even more valuable than when the Commission first granted approval in the resource planning process," Kelly said."The project should be viewed as an investment in the infrastructure and future of northern Nevada."

The intertie is a 345,000-volt electric transmission line to improve electric service to customers in northern Nevada and northeastern California served by Sierra Pacific. The intertie will improve the reliability of Sierra Pacific's electric system and expand its capacity to serve the region's electricity needs.

The power line will be connected to Bonneville Power Administration's electric system near Alturas, Calif., and will enable Sierra Pacific to import an additional 300 megawatts of economically-priced electricity from utilities in the Pacific Northwest.

Project approvals have already been received from the Bureau of Land Management, the California Public Utilities Commission, the City of Reno, the Washoe County Commission, the Washoe County Health District, the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bonneville Power Administration.