Lyon Planning Commission OKs Mark Twain substation upgrade

Sierra Pacific Power Co. is one step closer to getting a special-use permit from Lyon County that will allow the company to upgrade its Mark Twain Substation on Six Mile Canyon Road to a 120,000-volt station.

The new line will tap into a 120,000-volt line that stretches from the Fort Churchill Power Plant to the Steamboat Substation.

Sierra Pacific spokesman Faye Anderson said the purpose is to improve the stability and reliability of electrical service in the Mark Twain area.

"It will take the load off of the Carson City system. Mark Twain is served out of Carson City," she said. "Now it will be served by the Fort Churchill and Steamboat circuit."

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the request at its regular meeting.

Anderson said the upgraded power station will use single poles and will now encompass the whole two-acre lot owned by Sierra Pacific along Six Mile Canyon Road and across from Dwight Way in Mark Twain.

A communication tower that will be 35 feet high - the same height as homes are allowed to be built - will be installed, so the substation can be remotely controlled, she said.

"If there's a problem there they can attempt to remotely connect or disconnect," she said. "It saves time lost by having someone drive out there."

The utility hopes the substation will be online by June or July, she said.

Resident Dave Lute, who lives across the street from the substation, opposes the project.

"I'm definitely against the expansion over here because it's going to cover quite an area, and it's going to mess up my view to the south," he said. "Also the noise that thing makes in the summertime. Those transformers make a loud humming noise."

He said he didn't believe the utility spokespeople who say it will improve service to Mark Twain.

"That's what they're saying, but they're getting ready for all these new subdivisions going in," he said. "There's going to be 2,000-3,000 homes to the east and more by Smith's. That's what it's for."

Lute said he would prefer if they moved it down by the park "and get it way from Six Mile," he said.

The request will next go before the Lyon County Commission in February.

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