Hazen solar plant opens
The new Cyrq Patua Solar Plant grand opening Aug. 31 celebrated the $25 million, 10-megawatt solar facility near Hazen becoming fully operational for nearby markets.
Cyrq Energy, owner and operator of the Patua and Soda Lake geothermal plants in Northern Nevada, completed work and commissioning of the solar plant in July, adding to its already functioning, adjacent geothermal site. Cyrq said the solar portion is fully integrated with the geothermal and will run efficiently and in harmony with it.
“I think it’s another big win for Churchill County,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval before the ceremony.
Sandoval added the power the investment will produce is already 100-percent purchased, in addition to the economic boost the local construction project lent. He also said outreach has occurred, and Patua has definitely done a good job being a good neighbor.
In addition to the governor, local elected officials, industry officials, contractors, vendors and local supporters were in attendance for the ribbon cutting and tours. Also, representatives from Sens. Dean Heller and Catherine Cortez Masto’s offices presented Cyrq Patua Solar with certificates of recognition.
Cyrq CEO Nick Goodman said the solar panel installation took about 90 days, while the geothermal aspect took several years. He added the electricity being produced powers thousands of homes.
“I’m really competitive, and I always want Nevada to be the best — and the best in renewable energy,” Sandoval said during the ceremony. “Churchill County is ground zero when it comes to renewable energy … All this didn’t happen overnight.”
Sandoval thanked those involved and also explained how the Nevada Department of Energy and the state’s tax abatement program contributed. He said over six-and-a-half years $730 million was provided in tax abatements. He said that’s a lot, but the return on investment has been 10:1. He added we can stand next to any state in renewable energy.
The new solar plant, on 84 acres of land, has more than 45,000 solar panels (made in Oregon) — with sun tracking for greater efficiency and glare mitigation.
During development of the 100-percent renewable energy facility that shares land and a control room and with the geothermal side, every vantage point was examined for glare and calibrated accordingly. Cyrq added the panels track the sun’s intense glare and absorb it to avoid any impact on U.S. Highway 50 drivers or possible neighbors.
The project created more than 100 construction jobs. Cyrq said many of the contractors were local or regional Nevada companies.
Cyrq runs three geothermal energy plants in Nevada; Soda Lake I and II near Fallon, and Cyrq Patua, situated on the same site as the new Hazen solar facility. Cyrq also owns and operates geothermal plants in Utah and New Mexico.
One representative noted this specific 100-percent renewable energy work of art takes up the space of 63 football fields.
Christal Park Keegan’s professional experience includes working as an attorney for the National Judicial College in Reno and for the Chapman Law Firm in Northern Nevada.