The company promptly responded by saying it is meeting and exceeding the legislatively mandated renewable portfolio standard (RPS). In fact, in its Northern Nevada division the company is within a tenth of a percentage point of achieving the amount of renewables to be required in 2025.
“Nevada’s portfolio standard is based on a yearly sliding scale and ultimately requires 25 percent of energy sales in Nevada come from renewable resources by 2025,” a company statement reads. “We fully support the development of renewable energy throughout Nevada and have been actively engaged and successful in obtaining the required renewable resources to meet the Nevada law. In 2011, when the legal requirement was 15 percent, we ended the year with 16.7 percent renewables in the south and 24.9 percent in the north.”
The company did not address Reid’s allegation that it is NV Energy and not the Nevada Public Utilities Commission that is resisting buying too much expensive “green” energy.
Reid specifically accused the company and let the PUC off the hook:
“I don’t think NV Energy has done enough to allow renewable energy to thrive. I think a lot of the things they blame, not having the purchase-power agreements, has been based on what they say the Public Utilities Commission won’t do. It is simply not true. I have spoken to commissioners myself, and I think that if NV Energy wanted to do more with renewable energy, they could.”
This past summer, as the Review-Journal reported, the PUC rejected five renewable energy contracts NV Energy had signed to buy an additional 100 megawatts of power.
The commissioners said NV Energy didn’t show it needed that energy to meet its lawfully mandated RPS and failed to properly analyze the costs of the contracts.
Commissioner Rebecca Wagner reportedly said ratepayers would have to pay unnecessarily high power bills if NV Energy buys more “green” energy than the law requires.
“It’s not rocket science,” Wagner was quoted as saying. “We just need something to hang our hat on to approve these. Give us a reason to approve the contracts. … Not meeting a burden of proof is not something I can get beyond.”
NV Energy said at the time the details being sought by the PUC had not been required previously. “While we respect the commission’s decision, the new and extensive requirements that have been ordered may inhibit renewable energy development in Nevada,” the company was quoted as saying. Company officials also said they view the RPS as a floor, not a ceiling.
The NV Energy statement today included highlights of various “green” projects and efforts:
- We have enough signed agreements with renewable energy developers to meet Nevada’s law until approximately 2020.
- Our renewable portfolio contains over one thousand megawatts of renewable energy already completed or under construction.
- In 2012, we will have more than 300 megawatts of new projects coming on line.
- As of 2011, we led the nation in geothermal energy development.
- We tripled the amount of distributed generation on our system in 2011.
- Nevada’s first utility scale wind project, Spring Valley Wind, will start delivering energy by the end of this summer.
- The Tonopah Solar Energy project, the first of its kind in the nation, incorporates a 110 megawatt solar power tower with 4 hours of molten salt storage allowing for the delivery of energy after the sun has gone down.
Here is a map available on NV Energy’s website: