Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy in Nevada
Clean Energy

With a growing number of companies and a priority focus on renewable resources, clean energy is the fastest-growing industry in State of Nevada. The state’s abundant natural resources, high tech companies and progressive research centers make it an ideal location for clean energy businesses.  Click here to hear President Obama showcasing an exciting clean energy company growing in Nevada.

For a listing of the installed based of renewable energy in the state, as well as current projects and opportunities, please click here

Clean Energy - Nevada's Standards Promote Clean Energy

The state has an aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires all public utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2025, with at least 6% from solar energy through 2016-2025. (Source: DESIRE)

Nevada’s utilities already have a good start on utilizing a diverse mix of energy sources to serve customers, most notably geothermal generation, and electricity generated by solar, wind, wood and hydro.

Solar

Nevada is the No. 1 state in the nation in solar watts produced per capita.  Nevada's average 270 days of sunshine combined with ample open land make this an excellent location for the development of solar power.  Nevada has large concentrations of suppliers of silicon, solar PV module components, and balance of systems components to supply market and demand created not only by large companies and the government that are taking advantage of Nevada’s solar opportunities, but also by growing number of small companies, individuals, schools and public buildings that are getting more and more involved.

Two of the world’s largest solar projects operate near Las Vegas:

Acciona Energy’s (a division of Acciona SA of Madrid) 64-megawatt Nevada Solar One power plant near Boulder City and 14-megawatt photovoltaic center at Nellis Air Force base north of Las Vegas.

Boulder City’s ‘Solar One’ is the third largest solar thermal plant in the world with a 64-megawatt capacity. Potentially, the site could generate 2,000 megawatts, or enough power for about a half-million people.

Also near Boulder City, the El Dorado Energy solar project, a 10-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power-generation facility, will be the largest operational thin-film, solar-power project in North America when completed in late 2008. 
First Solar, a worldwide industry leader in thin-film photovoltaic solar-module manufacturing, will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. First Solar will also monitor and maintain the plant.  

Just 34 miles to the north at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the U.S. Air Force operates the second largest solar-electric system in North America, a 14-megawatt (MW) installation.The Photovoltaic (PV) array was completed in late 2007.

Geothermal

Nevada has some of the richest geothermal resources in the world. A U.S. Department of Energy profile of the state says Nevada and the surrounding region have the potential to become one of the most productive resource areas for geothermal energy utilization. On geothermal resource maps, Nevada stands out for the abundance of geothermal resources within its borders.

As a result, geothermal is the most mature renewable energy industry in the state.  Nevada is second in the nation in generating electricity from geothermal sources.  With 550 megawatts of geothermal power under development and another 1,000 of untapped potential, Nevada ranks # 1 in geothermal energy use per capita in the nation.

Nevada also has world-class geothermal research facilities. The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, part of the University of Nevada, Reno, conducts research towards the establishment of geothermal energy as an economically viable energy source within the Great Basin. The center specializes in collecting data and using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to view and analyze the data, to produce favorability maps of geothermal potential.

Wind Energy

Wind power is the youngest of the alternative energy sources utilized in Nevada. The state has abundant wind resources. The United States Department of Energy studies show that Nevada has wind resources consistent with utility-scale production. The largest contiguous lower elevation areas of good-to-excellent resource are located in southern Nevada near Las Vegas and near Ely. Good-to-excellent wind resources are also located on the higher ridge crests throughout the state.