News Releases

New Transmission Infrastructure to Bring Power to Nevada

Mar 5, 2001

Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Karl Walquist or Faye I. Andersen
Phone: (775) 834-3891; (775) 834-4822

For Immediate Release

Sierra Pacific Resources today said there are as many as 14 new power plants that could be developed in Nevada by competitive generation companies, if the state is prepared to send a strong signal about its commitment to expand much- needed transmission systems to move that power. The transmission systems to support the first of these power plants could transmit enough electricity to supply as many as three million homes.

For its part, the company is finalizing plans to dramatically and rapidly invest in new transmission systems if it is able to secure financing for the proposed project. The plans, which are tied to the company's Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) now before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN), anticipate as much as $300 million to be invested in new high-capacity transmission networks, including a major transmission system that could carry as much as half of the electric demand in Las Vegas over the next three years.

"These kinds of complex infrastructure projects are only built when there is a shared commitment by business and government of the need to invest for the future needs of Nevada," said Steve Oldham, senior vice president Corporate Development and Strategic Planning."For our part, we have clearly signaled our interest by developing transmission plans that could allow this power to move to market when it comes on line. The governor's plan, current discussion by the legislature and involvement by local government also show there is growing support to take decisive action and avoid a repeat of the delays in California that led to their crisis. As well, we believe there is growing recognition that having strong utility companies allows them to go out into the capital markets and attract capital to make these investments."

The company's largest projects would be centered around Apex, some 15 to 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and would link as many as six different power plants that could provide new power supplies to the Las Vegas region. Oldham added,"By timing our new transmission additions with new generation additions, the transmission can be built at little or no additional cost to our customers."

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