When built, this investment in renewable energy will double NV Energy’s existing renewable production.
Every three years, NV Energy is required to submit its long-term plan to meet the state’s energy needs to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. For the first time, NV Energy will be submitting one plan for both northern and southern Nevada. This historic plan also includes unprecedented investments in renewable energy, including more than 1,000 megawatts of new solar power and 100 megawatts of battery storage.
The plan proposes development of six new solar plants in Nevada. These six facilitates alone will make up 10 percent of NV Energy’s power generation by 2022, making renewable energy almost a third of the utility’s total energy production. Three of the new plants will have associated energy storage, allowing NV Energy to meet demand with clean solar energy, even when the sun isn’t shining. The plan also includes a significant investment in energy efficiency programs, which will put NV Energy back on track to reduce Nevada’s overall energy use.
This plan will boost our state’s economy and create good jobs, save consumers money on expensive out-of-state fossil fuels while taking advantage of our own homegrown renewable resources, and reduce the health and environmental impacts of power plant pollution. With solar power and other renewables cheaper than ever before and battery storage making solar energy available 24/7, this is a good deal for Nevada consumers. Nevada has always been on the forefront of renewable energy innovation and this investment will continue our clean energy leadership.
Economic impacts and demand for clean power: Consumer demand for clean energy in Nevada is nothing new. Neither is the economic power of renewable innovation and investment. With clean energy prices continuing to fall, big businesses in Nevada have taken the lead on developing their own renewable power because they know clean energy makes good economic sense. Companies like Apple and Tesla have chosen to locate innovative manufacturing facilities in our state because of the abundance of clean power. All Nevada consumers deserve the same opportunities to access affordable, reliable power from renewables and the good jobs that come with it. NV Energy’s new long-term plan will move us toward that future.
Health and Environmental Benefits
This investment in clean energy means NV Energy can accelerate closing the polluting Valmy coal-fired generating station in northern Nevada, reducing pollution that causes asthma, heart disease, and other illnesses, particularly for children and elderly people.
While we would like to see Valmy closed completely immediately, shuttering half the plant and replacing its generation with solar and storage resources is a step in the right direction. This plan also means less of the carbon emissions that cause climate change and drive wildfires, droughts, and other extreme weather in Nevada and across the West. The result will be healthier families and communities, cleaner air and water, and a Nevada outdoors that will be pristine for future generations of hikers, hunters, and bikers.
NV Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan is an important step forward for clean energy in our state. Clean energy advocates will participate in the planning process at the Public Utilities Commission over the coming months. Stakeholders will vet the proposal and the PUC will make a final decision by the end of the year.
This commission has been a strong advocate for renewables and helped restore rooftop solar in Nevada. We are confident the PUC will approve and implement the strongest possible resource plan and affirm its economic, environmental, and public health benefits.
What about the Energy Choice Initiative?
Nevada voters are demanding access to affordable clean energy and efficiency regardless of the outcome of the Energy Choice Initiative, which would reshape the state’s energy market. We need to ensure clean energy resources are a vital component of our state’s energy supply and preserve important gains in solar, energy storage, electric vehicles, efficiency, and more made during last year’s legislative session. That’s why we must go further, guaranteeing consumers get a minimum percentage of their power from clean sources through a strong renewable energy standard. Some clean energy advocates are working to qualify a ballot measure that would make sure half of Nevada’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030 regardless of the energy market structure.