Nevada’s First Wind Energy Plant May Be the Largest in US

A gigantic wind farm with the wind power output of three or four average-sized coal plants has been been proposed by the US wind development subsidiary of the European renewable energy investor Good Energies, in Nevada.

The wind farm would be extraordinary, the largest wind farm in the US at a staggering 990 MW. But it would also be Nevada’s first ever wind farm. Wind power in the US now totals 42,432 MW of capacity. Texas is number two in the world. Iowa gets 20 percent of its energy from wind turbines.

But unlike every state on its borders, all of which have at least 128 MW of wind turbines churning out wind energy, Nevada till now has had no wind farms at all. The hold-up has been the difficulties in getting a permit.

The Good Energies subsidiary Wilson Creek Power Partners’ application to the PUCN (Public Utilities Commission of Nevada) is for a gigantic 990 MW project comprising up to 350 turbines, buried power collection lines, communication cables, access roads, meteorological towers, one or more substations and switchyards, an operation and maintenance building and an overhead transmission line.

The application cites the "above average wind speeds" at the sparsely populated region under consideration, Mt. Wilson, Table Mountain, White Rock Mountain and Atlanta Summit. The land is used mainly for cattle grazing, and would still be, if the wind farm was permitted there by the PUCN.

Good Energies says it aims to invest up to $1.5bn of development capital in North American renewable energy projects and companies. For Nevada, this would be a huge change.