Nevada Steps Up Renewables

Like many states in the U.S. looking to diversify their energy portfolios, Nevada is taking steps to increase the state’s use of Renewable Energy.

Las Vegas, Nevada – Novemeber 27, 2002 [] Sierra Pacific Resources announced that its utility subsidiary, Nevada Power Company, has signed six contracts with Renewable Energy suppliers that could furnish up to 227 MW of electricity to its utility subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Co. More than half of the 227 MW consists of wind generation with the remaining amount from electricity generated by geothermal resources. One MW powers between 750 and 1000 homes. The company will file with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, which will review the contracts and apply the pertinent laws and regulations before determining whether they should be approved. The company said it is negotiating to meet its solar energyrequirements. The contracts are a first step in bringing the utilities into compliance with legislation that requires the use of a certain percentage of Renewable Energy sources — solar, wind, geothermal and biomass — to generate electricity for customers within the state. The legislation contains an escalation provision that requires providers of electric service to increase the use of Renewable Energy, by two percent every third year, until the provider’s portfolio accounts for 15 percent of its total energy sales. These contracts are expected to satisfy the utilities’ forecasted requirements for the years 2005 and 2006. Additional contracts will be necessary to satisfy requirements for 2007 and beyond. “We’re very pleased to be able to reach agreements with these leaders in renewable energy,” said Walt Higgins, chairman, president and CEO for Sierra Pacific Resources. “Electricity generated by Renewable Energy resources is a welcome addition to our power portfolios and will help us as a state meet the needs of the growing energy demands of Nevada’s communities.” As a result of these contracts new generating plants will be built at a variety of locations around the state. The plants will employ a variety of new and tested technologies to produce electricity. The electricity produced by the projects will benefit customers from throughout the state and at the same time will help Nevada Power meet its renewable energy requirements, said Higgins. Following are the suppliers with whom Nevada Power has contracted for renewable power supplies. — Desert Queen Wind Limited Partnership, a wind generation plant under development in Clark County, by Cielo Wind Power, an affiliate of Desert Queen LP. GP, to build wind generation plant in Clark County. — Advanced Thermal Systems, to build a Kalina cycle binary geothermal plant in Washoe County. — Earth Power Resources, Inc., to build a binary geothermal plant in Elko County. — Subsidiaries of Ormat Nevada, Inc., to build flash-steam and binary geothermal plants in Churchill County. — Ely Wind Company LLC, to build a wind generation plant in White Pine County.
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