The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources – NV Energy has provided the nation with safe and reliable energy for more than a century. The company serves approximately 90% of the state with electricity – keeping the lights on for more than 1.37 million customers across Nevada as well as the state’s tourist population of more than 56 million annually. NV Energy also provides natural gas service to 181,400 customers in the Reno-Sparks area.

NV Energy serves its customers through a generation portfolio that is primarily fueled by natural gas, but renewable energy is also an important part of the company’s generation mix. NV Energy’s renewable energy portfolio includes 57 large-scale geothermal, solar, solar plus storage, hydroelectric, wind and biomass projects in operation and under development.

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

NV Energy is always looking to the future, ensuring they have what it takes to meet the needs of an ever-growing customer base.

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With more than 3,200 megawatts of solar power generation in its portfolio, NV Energy has enough renewable energy to power more than one million homes.

NV Energy signed its first contract for a geothermal power plant in 1983, and in 2021, exceeded the renewable energy threshold of one gigawatt under the contract.

In 2022, NV Energy employees donated more than 22,000 hours of their time to volunteer at nonprofit organizations across the state.

In 2022, the company, NV Energy Foundation, and its employees donated $4.7 million through financial and in-kind donations.LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Sphere Entertainment and NV Energy on Thursday announced a proposed 25-year agreement to provide the highest amount of dedicated solar power for new locations.

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The agreement requires approval from the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and will make Sphere “a model for the use of renewable energy by entertainment venues across the country,” according to Sphere.

As part of the agreement, Sphere is maximizing the amount of green energy available to serve the venue by using renewable power sources and custom battery storage developed by NV Energy.

For each portion of electricity that does not come from renewable sources, Sphere will earn renewable energy credits to reduce the emissions impact of electricity generation at that location.

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

Announcing the agreement, Rich Claffey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Sphere, said, “Just as Sphere is setting a new standard for immersive live entertainment, the venue is also setting the industry standard for renewable energy. From the start, we designed Sphere to minimize environmental impact and help create sustainable operations into the future. We are proud to sign this agreement with NV Energy and partner with them to achieve both of these important goals.”

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Sphere Entertainment estimates about 70% of its power will come from solar power sources and dedicated batteries. NV Energy’s new solar and battery facility, if approved by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, will serve Sphere as well as other NV Energy customers.Copyright © 2023, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | CA Collection Notice | Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas is home to one of the largest rooftop solar power plants in the country.

High above the Las Vegas Strip, solar panels cover the roof of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center — 26,000 solar panels spread over an area the size of more than 20 football fields.

From this vantage point, the sun-drenched Mandalay Bay and Delano hotels dominate the skyline, looking like comically large gold rods of shimmering black paneling. Snow-tipped mountains rise to the west.

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It was a cold winter morning in the Mojave Desert. But there is plenty of sunlight to supply the solar array.

Sin City already has more solar panels per person than any major U.S. metropolis outside Hawaii, according to one analysis. And the city is full of single-family homes, warehouses and parking lots untouched by solar power.

L.A. energy reporter Times’ Sammy Roth heads to the Las Vegas Valley, where giant solar farms are starting to cover the desert. But how much impact does it have on the environment? (Video by Jessica Q. Chen, Maggie Beidelman / Los Angeles Times)

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

There is a huge opportunity to lower household utility bills and reduce climate pollution – without destroying wildlife habitats or disturbing precious landscapes.

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But that hasn’t stopped the company from making plans to line the desert around Las Vegas with dozens of giant solar farms – some of which are designed to supply electricity to California. The Biden administration has encouraged that growth by taking steps to encourage solar and wind energy development on a number of public lands in Nevada and other Western states.

This can also reduce the number of deaths and suffering due to worsening heatwaves, fires, droughts and storms resulting from the climate crisis.

Researchers found that there isn’t enough rooftop space to supply all of America’s electricity – especially as more people drive electric cars. In fact, an analysis funded by solar advocates and installers found that the most cost-effective way to phase out fossil fuels is to use six times more electricity from large solar and wind farms than from local solar power systems. smaller.

However, the exact number cannot be determined. And Nevada is the starting point for finding that out.

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The Oracle of Omaha owns NV Energy, a monopoly that supplies electricity to most Nevadans. NV Energy and investor-owned utilities across the country could raise huge sums of money to develop public lands with solar and wind power plants and build long-distance transmission lines to cities.

However, under the draft regulations, these companies do not profit from rooftop solar power. And in many cases, they have struggled to limit the use of rooftop solar power – which can reduce the need for large-scale infrastructure and result in lower returns for investors.

It was December 23, 2015, and he was working for SolarCity. The rooftop installer abruptly halted operations in the Silver State after NV Energy helped persuade officials to cut a program that paid solar customers for the energy they sent to the grid.

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

“I was working in the field, and we got a call: ‘Stop everything you’re doing, don’t finish this project, come to the warehouse,’” Troncoso said. “It was right before Christmas, and they said, ‘Hey guys, unfortunately we’re closed.’”

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After public outcry, Nevada lawmakers partially rolled back the reduction in rooftop solar incentives. Since then, NV Energy and the rooftop solar industry have maintained an uneasy political truce. The number of installations now exceeds pre-2015 levels.

Currently, Troncoso is the Nevada branch manager for Sunrun, the nation’s largest installer of rooftop solar. The company has enough work in the state to support a dozen crews, each named after a different casino. On a cold winter morning before the sun rose, they prepared for the day ahead – installing steel rails, installing microinverters, and loading panels onto pale blue trucks.

But even if Sunrun’s business continues to grow, this will not eliminate the need for large-scale solar power plants in deserts.

Some habitat destruction is inevitable – at least if we want to break our addiction to fossil fuels. The key questions are: How many large solar farms are needed, and where should they be built? Can they be engineered to coexist with animals and plants?

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And if not, should Americans be willing to sacrifice some endangered species to address climate change?

To answer those questions, Los Angeles Times journalists spent a week in southern Nevada, visiting solar construction sites, climbing sand dunes and off-roading through the Mojave. We talked to NV Energy executives, conservation activists fighting against Buffett’s company, and desert rats who don’t want their favorite off-road driving routes cut off by solar power plants.

Biologist Bre Moyle easily spotted the small yellow flag attached to a spindly creosote bush – one of many hardy plants growing from the caliche soil, surrounded by rows of gleaming steel frames that will soon lift solar panels into the sky.

The Future Of Energy In Las Vegas: Exploring Green Energy Sources

Moyle bent down to take a closer look, gently pulling the branch aside to reveal a football-sized hole in the ground. It was the entrance to a desert tortoise burrow – one of thousands of burrows listed by its employer, Primergy Solar, during construction of one of the nation’s largest solar power plants on public land outside Las Vegas.

A Sustainable Future In The Desert

“I’m not going to sit on this side of things,” Moyle advised us. “If you walk back there, you could potentially tear it down.”

Instead of ripping out every cactus and other plant and leveling the land – the “knife and level” method – Primergy has left most of the native vegetation in place and installed frames at different heights to match the natural contours of the land. The company temporarily relocated more than 1,600 plants to an on-site nursery, and plans to return them later.

The Oakland-based developer is also working hard to protect the desert tortoise – an iconic reptile protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, and the biggest environmental obstacle to solar development in the Mojave.

Desert tortoises are sensitive to global warming, expanding settlements, and other human disturbances to their habitat. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the turtle population fell by more than a third between 2004 and 2014.

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Scientists consider most of the Primergy sites to be high-quality turtle habitat. This area is also in a connectivity corridor that can help reptiles find safer shelter due to hotter weather and more

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