In response to Reid rant, NV Energy says it is meeting and exceeding ‘green’ energy mandate

After Harry Reid’s bizarre rant on Sam Shad’s Nevada Newsmakers Tuesday, saying NV Energy wasn’t doing enough to expand renewable energy resources in the state, I asked NV Energy for a response.

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.

Harry Reid on Nevada Newsmakers blaming NV Energy for not buying enough 'green' power

“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:

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11 comments on “In response to Reid rant, NV Energy says it is meeting and exceeding ‘green’ energy mandate

  1. Steve says:

    So far I can find no PPA’s in Nevada. On this one issue Harry did stand tall. He did not convince me on any of the other things he tried to spin. Including the 40 miles of rail to make Salt Lake City part of the western high speed rail netork and within a decade? To Salt Lake? No, I think he was saying to Palmdale but that would not make it to Salt Lake in a decade either. Looks like 2029 for rail travel from Palmdale to LA, so what plans exist to get from Victorville to Palmdale?

    Found this

    http://www.theavtimes.com/2012/04/02/ca-high-speed-rail-authority-releases-better-faster-cheaper-plan/

    and this

    http://www.theavtimes.com/2012/01/13/high-speed-rail-board-selects-route-through-antelope-valley/

    Do I trust it? Only when I see it. The money is already on the chopping block.

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    I have no idea what Steve means when he speaks of PPAs in Nevada, I couldn’t relate it to anything in Mr. Mitchell’s article, that aside I think it is refreshing that a Nevada business actually contradicted Senator Reid. I recall Obama saying that the cost of electricity will necessarily skyrocket, perhaps it’s not skyrocketing fast enough and our esteemed senator is helping out as best he can by jamming Nevada Power and its customers with more expense, bad timing for most of us consumers as the temperature rises. High speed railroads would likely become money sucking enterprises like current passenger trains, buses and airlines are now. There is still bus travel but the drivers fall asleep; I rode Greyhound buses many years ago when it was fifteen cents to go seven miles from our small town to the next town because it had a movie theater. That was handy but bus travel now is inconvenient and all but gone, about 25 years ago a friend traveled cross country on a bus and came up with a great quotation, he said, “I don’t hate any animal bad enough to ship it on a Greyhound bus”. On the other hand, I traveled on trains while I was in the service, early 1950s, and thought they were great, especially the dining car with nice plates, cups and saucers, heavy silverware and good menus. The airlines get you someplace much quicker but even 4 or 5 hours in their seating is cruel and unusual punishment, my friend’s comment also fits that travel. Bring back rail travel with the old accommodations, minus the TSA, and I could deal with that, I’m not in a rush.

  3. Steve says:

    Purchase Power Agreements. (See Harry’s exerpt above) PPA’s. You sign a contract with a company who installs and maintains a solar power system on your property (usually the roof) You agree to pay for the power produced at a pre set per KWH price that does not change over the term of the contract. (almost always 20 years) The system is fully installed and fully maintained by the PPA provider. Make sure your roof is new because you would have to pay for removal of the panels in addition to the new roof.

    PPA’s are currently not available in Nevada as far as I can tell.

  4. [...] aslo wrote, “NV Energy declined comment.” Apparently not getting the memo that afternoon from NV Energy spelling out how the utility had in fact met its renewable portfolio [...]

  5. A PPA is a purchased power agreement.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    Thanks, I missed that. I’ve seen a few panels on roofs here but it’s not something I will do, it’s a little late in life to commit to a 20 year contract. I’ve considered installing the seldom considered “swamp” coolers, they work okay except for the periods of higher humidity in July and August. I knew people that used them in the Phoenix area in the late 70s and their homes were comfortable. It’s a thought, maybe if Harry Reid had a friend in the business the government would pitch in on the installation. Just saying.

  7. Steve says:

    You could look into pre-coolers. Its a wamp cooler for your airconditioner. Makes it more efficient.

  8. Steve says:

    Typo alert Swamp cooler not wamp coo….

  9. [...] Energy replied that it already has contracted for enough “green” juice to meet the legislatively mandated [...]

  10. [...] ire at his home state power company. On Sam Shad’s Nevada Newsmakers television show in April he called NV Energy executives liars and let the PUC off the hook: “I don’t think NV Energy has done enough to allow renewable [...]

  11. [...] Energy says it doesn’t need more renewables. Who do you believe has Nevadans’ best interests at heart? Reid or Amodei? Let’s go to [...]

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