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Stakeholder Meeting: Chance to Grow NV As Clean Energy Leader

Advocates say NV can remain in a holding pattern or expand the state's potential to export renewable energy at this week's Clean Power Plan Stakeholder's Meeting at the P.U.C. in Carson City on Thursday morning. Courtesy: Enel Green Power North American Inc.
Advocates say NV can remain in a holding pattern or expand the state's potential to export renewable energy at this week's Clean Power Plan Stakeholder's Meeting at the P.U.C. in Carson City on Thursday morning. Courtesy: Enel Green Power North American Inc.
November 9, 2015

RENO, Nev. - This week Nevadans can weigh in, officially, on the Silver State's energy future. Local advocates say how the Public Utilities Commission implements the EPA's Clean Power Plan is critical to growing the states' green energy economy.

And what commissioners hear at the public Stakeholder Meeting will make a difference. Jennifer Taylor, executive director with the Clean Energy Project, says the state is well positioned to meet carbon emission targets the EPA set for Nevada; she hopes state leaders and agencies will seize the opportunity to go beyond.

"It gives our leaders an opportunity to just really cement Nevada's status as an innovator, status as a leader, and status as a state that can define the regional market," she says.

Taylor says Nevada's land area can produce a thousand times more than the electrical needs of the state. She credits Governor Brian Sandoval's tax abatement for attracting more than 3,000 direct renewable energy jobs since 2010.

David von Seggern, chairman with the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, says Reno is on course to become a national leader in renewable energy, having already attracted such high profile companies as Switch, Tesla and Apple who will operate their businesses on total green energy.

"Apple has come here and said they are going to acquire all of the energy from solar PV to power their data centers," says von Seggern. "Tesla has come here, and of course, they are making batteries for electrical cars-they are leading a little revolution here in Reno, and I think people are ready to pick-up on this. "

With few fossil fuels in-state, Taylor says exceeding renewable-energy targets makes economic sense for Nevada; instead of sending money out-of-state for oil and gas-powered energy, it's an opportunity to bring in money and jobs.

"Nevada is shortly going to be joining the Energy Imbalance Market, which is operated by CISO, the California Independent System Operators, and that uses real time market capabilities to enable participating balancing areas to buy and sell resources," says Taylor.

The stakeholder's meeting takes place Thursday at the Public Utilities Commission in Carson City, with video access at the PUC in Las Vegas.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV