NV Energy’s Northern Nevada plant earns safety record
Yerington – The Fort Churchill Generating Station, which is owned and operated by Nevada-based NV Energy, has reached a safety milestone of operating 30 years without a lost-time accident.
According to the Edison Electric Institute, the 226-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant has the longest safety record of any fossil-fueled generating station in the nation. The plant, which is located near Yerington, Nev., employs about 25 people and can produce enough electricity to serve approximately 135,000 Nevada households.
The Edison Electric Institute recently presented the utility a “Safety Achievement Award” for operating more than two million safe work-hours with no lost-time incidents. The record dates back to the plant’s last lost-time accident, which occurred March 30, 1987.
To put that time in perspective, the last time a lost-time accident was recorded at the power plant a gallon of gasoline sold for under $1, Ronald Reagan was president, and the average home price was just $98,000.
NV Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Caudill noted the long-term safety record didn’t happen by chance. “Our company’s most important core value is to create a safe environment, on a daily basis, for customers, the general public and for fellow employees.”
The company’s Generation Executive Dariusz Rekowski emphasized how remarkable the safety record is at the Fort Churchill Generating Station, as employees work around the clock in a high-temperature, high-pressure and high-voltage environment.
“We continue to emphasize the safety risks of being in a hurry, taking chances, being distracted, and failing to look for hazards. I am so proud of our employees at Fort Churchill who exemplify safety awareness and watching out for each other,” Rekowski said.
Over the years, Fort Churchill Station employees have made nearly 2,000 safety suggestions, which have surfaced through safety audits, safety committee recommendations, individual contributions and “good catch” or “near miss” reporting.
The first generating unit at the power plant went into service in 1968, followed by a second unit in 1971. The planted is fueled by natural gas and can produce up to 226 megawatts of electricity. Water from the plant’s cooling pond helps sustain wetlands in the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area.
With median home prices topping $500,000 in Reno and nearly $520,000 in Minden/Gardnerville, 2021 is shaping up to be quite the sellers’ market for Northern Nevada. As for housing supply, that’s another story, reports the NNBW’s Kaleb M. Roedel.