News Releases

Sierra Pacific Power Files Electric Resource Plan

Jul 9, 2001

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist
(775) 834-3891
Bob Sagan
(775) 834-4834
Phone: see above

For Immediate Release

Sierra Pacific Power Co. has filed its 20-year Electric 2001 Resource Plan with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN). The plan outlines how the utility intends to meet the long-term electrical needs of its Nevada customers.

In testimony submitted to the PUCN, Steve Oldham, Sierra Pacific's senior vice president of Corporate Development and Strategic Planning, explained how recent events in regional power markets, legislative changes, and other Nevada initiatives concerning regulation, plant divestiture, competition, customer choice, and renewable energy had shaped the Resource Plan's development.

Support and Approval Needed
In his testimony, Oldham also touched on key elements of the plan. He said Sierra Pacific is prepared to do its part, but will need full Commission support and timely approval of the plan's key elements. Included among those elements are:

  • Approval to execute long-term power purchase contracts that would provide maximum value and lowest cost to customers
  • Acceptance of the company's plans to continue construction of the Falcon-Gonder transmission project located between Carlin and Ely, Nevada.
  • Approval to re-power the number one generating unit at the Tracy Power plant by 2005, which would increase generating capacity
  • Approval to spend $100,000 over a three-year period to study an interconnection between Sierra Pacific and its sister subsidiary, Nevada Power Company, which would provide for more competition in the state and help open markets to customer choice
  • Approval for the company to spend up to $1 million over three years to study the feasibility of constructing new coal-fired plants, including a third unit at its North Valmy station in northeastern Nevada

Renewable Energy Levels Required
With respect to renewable energy (geothermal, solar, wind, etc.), the 2001 Resource Plan will seek to use a competitive process with qualified renewable energy developers to secure future supplies of renewables. Recently passed Senate Bill 372 requires that 5 percent of Sierra Pacific's energy mix will be provided by renewable energy sources by 2003. That number increases to 15 percent by 2013.

PUCN hearings on the 2001 Electric Resource Plan are expected to begin later this summer.

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