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Fire managers prepare for summer blazes as the state faces severe drought conditions

May 19th, 2021 - 8:00am
Nevada is facing its worst drought in two decades. The dry conditions are important for the forecasts facing fire managers as they start planning for the warm summer months. This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a recent media briefing on Great Basin fire risks.

Massive clean energy bill expanding transmission, electric car charging stations gets first hearing; resorts opposed

May 18th, 2021 - 2:00am
Sponsored by Sen. Chris Brooks (D-Las Vegas), SB448 would expand the state’s transmission infrastructure in line with NV Energy’s multibillion-dollar Greenlink Nevada initiative, along with requiring a $100 million investment in electric vehicle charging stations, expanding rooftop solar to multi-tenant and commercial buildings and proposing a host of other measures aimed at lowering carbon emissions and building up renewable energy infrastructure.

Legislative Coverage

Check out our comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage of the 2021 Legislature

Major clean energy bill expanding transmission capacity, electric vehicle charging finally introduced in Legislature

May 13th, 2021 - 12:41pm
Beyond the two themes of transmission and electrification of transportation, the bill makes a host of other energy policy related changes, including expansion of tax credit programs to energy storage facilities, allowing multi-family or commercial buildings to use the state’s rooftop solar net metering program and reopening a 2013 economic development rate rider program aimed at giving new large businesses a discount on energy costs.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

As the state’s economy continues its recovery, The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page, including unemployment numbers, gaming revenue and housing prices.

Lawmakers look to end a lucrative green building tax abatement program

Madori Vista townhomes under construction
April 19th, 2021 - 9:00am
The state’s Green Building Tax Abatements program is still in heavy use — a state report estimated more than $25 million in property taxes were abated through the 2020 fiscal year, with $105 million in property taxes abated since 2010. State budget analysts say that more than 160 buildings in the state — from Park MGM, Wynn/Encore and even the T-Mobile Arena — enjoy partial property tax abatements through the program.

Clean energy advocates want more energy efficiency investments; NV Energy pushes back

April 8th, 2021 - 9:30am
That axiom is a favorite of energy efficiency advocates, who say the concept of not only increasing electric supply but also decreasing demand through better insulation, more efficient air conditioners or heating systems, and other projects will help reduce strain on the state’s electric grid and help consumers save money on their power bills.

Energy efficient appliances called ‘critical’ to addressing climate change

Assembly members Sarah Peters, Howard Watts II and Michelle Gorelow walking in a hallway in the Legislature Building
April 5th, 2021 - 10:00am
That’s why Watts is sponsoring AB383, which was heard Tuesday in the Assembly Growth and Infrastructure Committee. The bill would set minimum energy efficiency levels for certain residential and commercial appliances and products, ranging from water coolers and air purifiers, to commercial fryers and ovens.

Lawmakers take first steps to close the ‘classic car loophole’

April 5th, 2021 - 9:30am
Watts’s AB349 aims to close loopholes in the state Emissions Inspection System that allowed the increase in the amount of vehicles registered as “classic,” and implement a financial incentive to replace older polluting vehicles with “cleaner” transportation. The ultimate goal is to reduce pollution in the state, which contributes to climate change and poor health.

Lawmakers preparing wide-ranging clean energy bill, includes $100 million for electric car charging stations

An electric vehicle charging station.
March 9th, 2021 - 2:00am
That’s why Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Chris Brooks (D-Las Vegas), are preparing to introduce a substantial energy policy bill in the 2021 Legislature that would mark one of the state’s largest investments in electric vehicle infrastructure — requiring NV Energy to spend $100 million over the next three years to construct charging stations throughout the state.

NV Energy’s plan to avoid a Texas-sized energy supply disaster next summer

February 21st, 2021 - 2:00am
But 2020 wasn’t an anomaly. Issues of grid management and resource adequacy — having enough power to meet demand, the same issue that befell California last year and Texas this year — aren’t going away anytime soon. The future for the planet is an increase in extreme weather events, and Nevada is in the bullseye of states most likely to experience massive temperature swings and the full effects of climate change.

Nevada writes off nearly $12 million in federally funded clean energy loans as ‘bad debt’

Solar panels at Apple's solar field in Yerington, Nevada
October 14th, 2020 - 2:00am
But out of more than $17.6 million in loans granted through the program, the Office of Energy leadership says that only $3.7 million of that initial sum has been paid back, with $11.8 million considered “bad debt” and written off by the state as of Tuesday. There are five loans — cumulatively worth about $2 million — that are still being actively paid off.

More details emerge from NV Energy’s rare electricity conservation request from August

October 13th, 2020 - 2:00am
More than two months later, NV Energy is releasing more information about the decision-making process that led to the request for power conservation, as well as data that may help state utility regulators determine whether the conservation request was a one-time unusual request or a sign that the utility needs to do more to ensure resource adequacy as climate change and other factors drive more strain on the system.

NV Energy plan to issue $120 million bill credit, lower rates approved by utility regulators

October 7th, 2020 - 11:34am
Members of the Public Utilities Commission voted 2-0 to approve the stipulation agreement on Wednesday, the final stamp of approval before the utility company can begin processing the bill credit for customers (Commissioner Tammy Cordova abstained, as she worked on the docket in her previous role as a regulatory attorney for the commission).

Addressing climate change, sprawl, lawmakers advance proposal expanding fuel taxes to cover ‘transportation infrastructure’

Interstate 11 during construction
September 17th, 2020 - 2:00am
Members of the Interim Legislative Committee on Energy voted Wednesday to move forward with a potential constitutional amendment broadening existing, narrow provisions on fuel taxes to instead allow for those tax dollars to fund the broader category of “transportation infrastructure.”

NV Energy ordered to pay back $60 million to Southern Nevada customers after over-collection, about $53 per household

The sign at NV Energy corporate headquarters
September 12th, 2020 - 2:00am
The state’s Public Utilities Commission made the decision during its meeting Wednesday, resulting in the largest ever one-time bill credit given by the utility to its customers. Commissioners wrote in the published order that the utility should return the overearnings collected over the last two years to customers as soon as practical, in part to help “alleviate some of the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

How ahead-of-schedule energy storage adoption could help Nevada avoid blackouts, electric supply issues

August 31st, 2020 - 2:00am
But there’s a positive sign; combined under-construction and pending storage projects will see NV Energy surpass a 100 megawatt energy storage goal seven years ahead of schedule.

Utility regulators approve investigation into electric capacity after NV Energy calls to reduce power consumption

Sign for State of Nevada Public Utilities Commission on front of building.
August 27th, 2020 - 2:00am
The three members of the commission — which oversees and regulates utility businesses in the state — voted unanimously during their Wednesday meeting to launch the investigation, an initial step that will allow regulators to take a more active role in overseeing supply adequacy, after electric demand over the past week have far outstripped projections.

Regulators plan investigation into ‘resource adequacy’ after NV Energy’s call to lessen electric use

Sign for State of Nevada Public Utilities Commission on front of building.
August 21st, 2020 - 6:30pm
The Commission has scheduled a discussion on opening the investigation docket for its Wednesday meeting, which is described as an “investigation regarding resource adequacy and planning to ensure that electric utilities’ supply of energy is sufficient to satisfy demands and maintain reliable, continuous service.”

‘Unprecedented’ stress on power grid drove NV Energy to request voluntary electric cutbacks

August 20th, 2020 - 2:00am
“This really is an unprecedented event on the Western energy grid, and we are seeing unprecedented demand on the Western energy grid right now,” Cannon said in an interview. “You talk about 100-year flood events, these kinds of unprecedented events that occur, I would put the demand that we’ve seen over the last five days in that category.”

The Indy Explains: Why NV Energy is pushing for a $2 billion statewide transmission upgrade

July 27th, 2020 - 2:00am
Now, more than a decade later, the utility has proposed another major transmission line upgrade. Dubbed “Greenlink Nevada,” the estimated $2 billion transmission project would upgrade existing lines between Ely and western Nevada (centered in Yerrington) and a new line between Las Vegas and Yerrington, forming a transmission line triangle inside the state.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page.

What Happened Here: A six-part series on COVID-19 in Nevada

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