Liberty Utilities celebrates Luning solar plant opening |

Liberty Utilities celebrates Luning solar plant opening

Staff Reports
Liberty Utilities’ 50 MW Luning Solar Energy Center located in Mineral County.
Liberty Utilities |

One quarter of Liberty Utility’s electricity is being generated in the Nevada desert south of Hawthorne, the company announced on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the company will celebrate completion of its new 50 megawatt solar generation plant in Luning.

“We’re very excited to share this official opening with our customers and the community of Luning,” said Travis Johnson, Liberty Utilities’ VP of Electric Operations. “Since this facility came online, it has supplied 25 percent of our customers’ energy needs with clean, renewable energy.”

In addition to the solar facility itself, a 120 kV power line approximately 1.6 miles long was constructed from the solar facility to NV Energy’s existing Table Mountain Substation. The Luning Project delivers its generation at this point of interconnection on the NV Energy Transmission system in Nevada. NV Energy transmits the energy to delivery points within Liberty Utilities’ California service territory.

Prior to the Luning facility, Liberty Utilities purchased all of its power from NV Energy through a Purchased Power Agreement, except for emergency diesel-generated power. Liberty re-negotiated their PPA with NV Energy in 2015 to exclude coal-fired power whenever possible starting in 2016. Renewable resources currently comprise approximately 22 percent of Liberty’s total power mix and meet the State of California’s current mandate, which is scheduled to increase to 33 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030.

The Luning plant was approved the same time that a similar facility was being sought in Carson Valley. That project was denied by county commissioners, and its denial upheld in Douglas County District Court.