LOS ANGELES, March 7 (Reuters) - The third phase of a transmission expansion in Nevada was completed when the 48-mile, 500-kilovolt Mead-Harry Allen transmission line was energized, its owner, Nevada Power, said on Wednesday.
The line was energized on Tuesday and completes a $309 million, 176-mile Centennial Project that mixes 500- and 230-KV lines.
The transmission lines will be able to deliver about 3,750 megawatts of electricity. The year-round average for Nevada Power is 750 homes served per megawatt.
The Harry Allen-Mean line runs between the Harry Allen Substation northeast of Las Vegas to the Mead Substation southeast of Las Vegas. At the Mead Substation in southeastern Nevada, the line connects to the Mead transmission hub operated by the California Independent System Operator, said Andrea Smith, Nevada Power.
Nevada Power is a subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources SRP.N headquartered in Nevada.
The first two phases of the Centennial Project were energized in 2003. They are the Harry Allen-Crystal Substation line and the Harry Allen-Northwest line. Crystal Substation is northeast of the Harry Allen Substation and the Northwest Substation is northwest of Las Vegas
Also at the Harry Allen Substation is the natural-gas fired Harry Allen natural gas-fired power plant that can make about 144 megawatts of electricity.
The new power lines are necessary for the fast-growing southern Nevada area, said Smith.
Nevada Power, with 790,000 customers, is adding 49,000 customers a year, Smith said.
Nevada Power plans to build a 1,500-megawatt supercritical coal-fired power plant, the Ely Energy Center in eastern Nevada, as well as a 250-mile transmission line from Ely to the Las Vegas area. Both were given initial approval by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission last November.
The Ely transmission line would connect the state’s power grid and would open in 2011. One of the Ely coal-fired units would open in 2011 and the other in 2013.
At least 300 megawatts of this line would be dedicated to moving power made from renewable sources, Smith said.
If integrated coal gasification plants become commercially viable, Nevada Power wants to construct two 500-megawatt units in the next 15 years, the utility said.