Storey County approves Sierra Pacific power station

After more than a year of contentious meetings and debates, planning commissioners approved a new substation for southeastern Storey County.

The proposed Blackhawk substation would connect to the Tracy Power Plant in north Storey County via a 345,000-volt line. Dual 120,000-volt lines will fold into another 120,000-volt line that stretches from Tracy to the Brunswick substation in Carson City.

Sierra Pacific representative William Bennett said the substation will improve electric service to Northern Nevada, including Lyon County.

The plan still needs approval from the Storey County Commission.

The proposed substation has previously faced stiff criticism from local officials and the community.

In 2007, both the planning commission and the Storey County commission rejected the proposed Emma substation in the Mark Twain area north of Territory Road.

Bennett said Blackhawk was a good alternative to Emma. "It's suitable, and its furthest from the houses and Highway 50," he said.

Mark Twain residents attending the hearing praised county officials and the company for working together for a solution.

Residents of Iron Mountain in Stagecoach complained that it was too near their subdivision.

"It's not as close as we thought, however it still impacts our properties and we need more information and input," said Stagecoach resident Eloise Albright.

Susan Breylinger of the Virginia City Highlands said the lines will cut across her property - the such parcel one along the route that has a house on it.

Some Lyon County residents complained about the lines' proximity to the Storey-Lyon county boundary.

Storey County Building and Planning Official Dean Haymore reminded them that Storey County is home to several power plants, takes garbage from all over Northern Nevada and Northern California at the Lockwood Landfill and maintains Six Mile Canyon Road, which he said was used mostly by Lyon residents.

The last time Sierra Pacific was turned down for a substation, it sued the county.

It was a different story Thursday.

"We give Sierra Pacific credit for dropping the lawsuit and coming back to the table and coming up with this compromise," Storey County Manager Pat Whitten said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.


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