This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 04, 2002

Nevada Utility Signs Contracts for Wind and Geothermal Power

Nevada Power Company, the utility for most of southern Nevada, signed six contracts on November 26th that will add up to 227 megawatts of renewable generating capacity to the utility's power supply. More than half of the new generating capacity will come from wind power, but the remainder will come from geothermal power. The contracts include two proposed wind plants in Clark County (on the southern tip, where Las Vegas is located) and one in White Pine County, located in the central eastern part of the state. The geothermal contracts are for binary power plants in Washoe, Elko, and Churchill counties, which stretch across the northern part of the state, as well as a flash-steam power plant in Churchill County. The contracts are part of the utility's efforts to meet its mandatory requirement for renewable power generation, as specified in a recently enacted state law. See the press release from Nevada Power's parent company, Sierra Pacific Resources.

Among the projects covered by the six contracts are the 40-megawatt Steamboat IV geothermal plant, to be developed by Advanced Thermal Systems, Inc. (ATS) and mentioned in the November 6th edition of EREN Network News, and two geothermal facilities producing up to 60 megawatts of power, to be developed by ORMAT Nevada Inc. See the press releases from ATS and ORMAT.

To help the development of renewable energy resources in Nevada, the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted a temporary regulation on November 20th that will allow energy providers to buy and sell renewable energy credits. One credit will represent a kilowatt-hour of electricity generated from renewable power sources. Energy providers that generate more renewable power than required can sell the excess credits to other energy providers within the state. See the Nevada PUC announcement (PDF 75 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Nevada offers a number of tax exemptions for renewable energy installations in the state. See the list of incentives on the Nevada State Office of Energy Web site.

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