The Silver State North Solar Project is located near Primm in Nevada, 40 miles south of Las Vegas in the US. The project has an installed capacity to generate 50MW. It is the first solar power project ever sanctioned for construction on public lands in Nevada.
The project was developed by First Solar and is owned by Enbridge. Enbridge acquired 100% interest in the project from First Solar in March 2012. First Solar will operate and maintain the project under a long-term contract.
The Silver State power plant generates 122,000MWh of clean electricity, which is enough to power 9,000 homes in the local area annually. It reduces 42,000t of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, which is equivalent to taking 8,000 cars off the road.
Silver State North Solar development
The Silver State North Solar project was initially developed by NextLight Renewable Power. The company continued the development until it was acquired by First Solar in July 2010. The project was completed by First Solar in early 2012.
The Silver State North Solar project was built on more than 600 acres of public land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Clark County.
The BLM issued a final environmental impact statement in September 2010. The US department of the interior issued a ‘Record of Decision and Right of Way Grant’ for the project in October 2010, giving the go-ahead for construction to start.
The Silver State North Solar Project will generate significant revenues in the form of state and local taxes. The project created about 300 jobs during its construction and will also provide employment for qualified local residents during monitoring and operations.
The project will help the initiative of large-scale generation of alternative energy on public lands. It will allow the state of Nevada to attain a 25% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2025.
Construction of the Silver State North solar power facility
The Phase 1 of Silver State included the construction and operation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and other facilities on 618 acres of public land.
More than 800,000 advanced thin film PV modules have been installed at the site. The modules were mounted on metal racks at a height of less than seven feet.
The developer plans to expand the capacity at the site by 350MW.
First Solar modules installed at Nevada renewable energy plant
The plant is installed with First Solar’s advanced thin film solar modules, which can withstand high winds and floods. The solar modules generate more electricity than the conventional modules, in real-time conditions due to superior temperature invariance.
The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant being developed near Tonopah in Nye County, Nevada, US.
The First Solar modules are well-suited to hot climates. The output of typical crystalline silicon solar modules is reduced by 20% at a module temperature of 65°C, while that of First Solar’s advanced thin film solar modules is reduced by up to 10%.
First Solar modules comply with UL (North America), CEC (Australia), Golden Sun (China) and MCS (UK) standards, and are certified by third party laboratories.
Grid network connection for Primm solar power plant
The project site is located next to the transmission line corridor and near to a major transmission hub. NV Energy has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to purchase the project’s output. The Silver State North Solar power plant is connected to NV Energy’s existing electrical grid.