Silver State Going Green

State Overview

The population of the Silver State, Nevada is approximately 3.42 million people. Nevada is the 30th most populated state in the United States.

In 2022, Nevada’s economy was ranked 22nd in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP). The state’s economy is dependent on tourism, aerospace, defense, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing industries.

Environmental Policies

In 1997, Nevada enacted an Energy Portfolio Standard, mandating all utilities sell 50% of their electricity from renewables by 2030.

In 2019, Nevada’s legislators unanimously set the goal of the state being 100% carbon free by 2050.

Power Generation Capabilities

In June 2023, Nevada’s utilities used natural gas (47.7%), renewable energy (47.6%) and coal (4.7%) to generate electricity. Solar, hydropower, and geothermal are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Nevada.

In June 2023, the average cost of residential electricity in Nevada was 17.39¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 16.11¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in Nevada include –

  • 690 MW Solar + 1,400 MW Energy Storage Project – California solar company, Primergy Solar is continuing work on the Gemini Solar Project at a site approximately 25 miles north of the city of Las Vegas. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 557 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, New York renewable energy company, CED Southwest Holdings commissioned the latest stage of the Copper Mountain V Solar project at a site approximately 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
  • 350 MW Solar + 280 MW Energy Storage Project – Primergy Solar is continuing work on the Hot Pot Solar Project at a site approximately 400 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 300 MW Solar Project – In May 2023, California solar company, 8minutenergy commissioned the Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm project at a site approximately 35 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
  • 300 MW Solar Project – In June 2023, French utility, EDF announced plans to build the Bonanza Solar Project

at a site approximately 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

  • 250 MW Solar + 200 MW Energy Storage Project – Primergy Solar is continuing work on the Iron Point Solar Project at a site approximately 400 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 200 MW Solar + 50 MW Energy Storage Project – In August 2021, American utility, NextEra Energy commissioned the Dodge Flat Energy Center project at a site approximately 325 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
  • 200 MW Solar + 75 MW Energy Storage Project – EDF is continuing work on the Arrow Canyon solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 25 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 101 MW Solar + 25 MW Energy Storage Project – In July 2021, California solar company, Cypress Creek commissioned the Battle Mountain solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 350 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
  • 100 MW Solar Project + 25 MW Energy Storage Project – In March 2022, Florida power company, NextEra Energy commissioned the Fish Springs Ranch solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 375 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In June 2021, Illinois power company, Invenergy commissioned the Mega Solar Array project at a site approximately 30 miles north of Las Vegas.

Conclusions

Nevada has no operating coal mines. The coal used to fuel Nevada’s only remaining coal-fired power plant is imported by rail from Wyoming, Utah, or Colorado.

In 2005, 51.2 % of Nevada’s electricity was generated from coal-fueled power plants. In June 2023, only 4.7% of the state’s electricity was generated from coal. Why the decrease?

  1. Economics – The cost to generate power from wind, solar, hydropower, and even natural gas is significantly cheaper than coal. The cost to generate power from coal-fired plants is over twice the cost of wind or solar.
  2. Environment – Coal ash, the product of coal burned in a power plant contains arsenic, mercury, and lead; which are toxic. In 2019, coal ash was documented to have contaminated the ground water on 241 coal-fired plants in America.
  3. Climate Change – Coal generates 40% to 45% more greenhouse gases than natural gas.

In 2005, Nevada used renewable energy to generate only 7.8 % of the state’s electricity. In June 2023, Nevada used renewable energy to generate 47.6% of the state’s electricity!

Nevada’s utilities are on schedule to meet the state’s Energy Portfolio Standard of selling 50% of all electricity from renewables by 2030. The Silver State is going green!

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy issues.

 

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