Solar power in Nevada

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Solar power in Nevada is growing due to a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires 20% renewable energy by 2015, and 5% from solar power.[1] The state has abundant open land areas and some of the best solar potential in the country.[2]

Solar Power Plants[edit]

Solar is the second largest generation source in Nevada. (Includes distributed solar.)

The number and size of photovoltaic power stations in Nevada has been growing rapidly since about 2010. As of 2018, the largest is the 552 MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility near Boulder City, which is a group of co-located units, each sized up to 250 MW.[3][4][5][6] Another 250 MW unit has been approved for construction, which could make it the largest solar facility in the United States.[7][8] Earlier notable solar facilities in the state include the 14.2 megawatt (MW-peak), 140 acre Nellis Solar Power Plant, and the 64 MW, 400 acre concentrating solar thermal power plant Nevada Solar One, which both began operation in 2007.

Nevada has also been a leader in low-cost solar electricity generation, establishing several milestones. The Nellis plant was able to provide Nellis Air Force Base with electricity for only 2.2 cents/kWh - compared to the 9 cents they were paying Nevada Power - by selling renewable energy credits (RECs).[9] In 2015, the 100 MW Playa Solar 2 project - to be constructed by First Solar with a 20-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy - was proposed for $0.0378 per kilowatt-hour. This was below the lowest price of $0.046 available the previous year from the 100 MW Boulder Solar plant.[10] In 2018, the 300 megawatt (MWAC) Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm was approved for construction with flat rate of $0.02376 per kilowatt-hour throughout its 25-year PPA term, which could establish a new record.[11][12][13].

Solar photovoltaic and/or thermal power has also been proposed to augment some geothermal power plants in the region - which struggle to meet demand during mid-day peak hours due to their higher bottom of the thermodynamic cycle - since the solar plants will peak at that time.[14][15][16]

Solar Related Businesses in Nevada[edit]

Prominent Nevada-based solar installation companies include 702 Energy Savers, Radiant Solar, Summerlin Energy, Bombard Renewable Energy, and Hamilton Solar.[17]

Nevada had 129 MW in private installations of rooftop solar in 2015.[18]

Incentives[edit]

The federal Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit (income tax credit on IRS Form 5695) for residential PV and solar thermal was extended in December 2015 to remain at 30% of system cost (parts and installation) for systems put into service by the end of 2019, then 26% until the end of 2020, and then 22% until the end of 2021. It applies to a taxpayer's principal and/or second residences, but not to a property that is rented out. There is no maximum cap on the credit, and the credit can be applied toward the Alternative Minimum Tax, and any excess credit (greater than that year's tax liability) can be rolled into the following year.[19][20]

Net Metering Controversy[edit]

Net energy metering rules were changed in December 2015, unfavorably for homeowners having or considering rooftop solar, and were applied even to existing installations. Some major installers, including SolarCity, Vivint, and SunRun, withdrew from the Nevada market.

After a public outcry, the earlier favorable rules were grandfathered for up to 32,000 customers whose systems were active or had a pending application by December 31, 2015.[21][22][23][24][25][26] The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved bill AB405 in 2017 to restore net metering.[27]

Statistics[edit]

Nevada Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35]
Year Capacity Installed % Change
2007 18.8 15.9 548%
2008 34.2 14.9 82%
2009 36.4 2.5 6%
2010 104.7 68.3 188%
2011 124.1 19.4 19%
2012 349.7 225.6 182%
2013 424.0 74.3 21%
2014 823 399 94%
2015 1,240 417 51%
2016 1,001.9
2017 2,421.3 386.3 % [36]

Nevada utility scale solar electric generation::[37]

2017 NV Solar Energy Generation Profile
2015 Monthly Profile of Solar Energy for NV[38]
Year Generation
(GWh)
Generation
(% of NV total)
Generation
(% of US Solar)
2010 217 0.6% 17.9%
2011 290 0.9% 16%
2012 473 1.3% 10.9%
2013 749 2.1% 8.2%
2014 1,028 2.8% 5.6%
2015 1,658 4.2% 6.6%
2016 3,124 7.85% 8.67%
2017 3,966 10.38% 7.44%
2018* 4,344 10.88% 6.52%

(*) Preliminary data from Electric Power Monthly.

Beginning with the 2014 data year, Energy Information Administration has estimated distributed solar photovoltaic generation and distributed solar photovoltaic capacity. These non-utility scale estimates project that, Nevada, generated the following additional solar energy.

Estimated Distributed Solar Electric Generation in Nevada[39] [40]
Year Summer capacity (MW) Electric energy (GWh or M kWh)
2014 49 86
2015 120.4 186
2016 209.5 372
2017 227.3 412
2018* 299.1 493

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Energy Portfolio Standard Archived 2007-10-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Comparison of Solar Power Potential by State". neo.ne.gov. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Copper Mountain 1 facility details".
  4. ^ "Copper Mountain 2 facility details".
  5. ^ "Copper Mountain 3 facility details".
  6. ^ "Copper Mountain 4 facility details".
  7. ^ Commission Approves Largest Clean Energy Investment in Nevada History, T&D World, January 08, 2019
  8. ^ Lillian, Betsy (2018-06-01). "NV Energy Proposes Giant Solar Investment In Nevada". Solar Industry. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  9. ^ Solar panels at Nellis could be win-win
  10. ^ Forbes (July 13, 2015). "First Solar Signs PPA With A Record Low Rates".
  11. ^ "NV Energy 2.3-cent solar contract could set new price record". Utility Dive. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2018-07-13). "Clean energy is catching up to natural gas". Vox. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  13. ^ Spector, Julian (2018-06-12). "Nevada's 2.3-Cent Bid Beats Arizona's Record-Low Solar PPA Price". www.greentechmedia.com. Retrieved 2019-01-22. Instead, we can turn to 8minutenergy’s 300-megawatt Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm, which clocks in at a flat rate of $23.76 per megawatt-hour throughout its 25-year PPA term.
  14. ^ DiMarzio, Angelini, Price, Dhin, Harris (April 2015). "The Stillwater Triple Hybrid Power Plant - Integrating Geothermal Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Power Generation" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-05.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "SolarWorld Americas supplies 14.2 MW of solar panels to Nevada solar+geothermal project". August 31, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  16. ^ "8/31 6:30p.m. Fallon Gets Another Brand New Solar Plant". KTVN Channel 2 News. August 31, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Solar Power World
  18. ^ 2016 State of the Interconnection page 15. WECC, 2016. Archive
  19. ^ "Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit". Energy.gov. US Department of Energy. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  20. ^ "Federal Income Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency". EnergyStar.gov. US EPA. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  21. ^ Roerink, Kyle. "NV Energy Rooftop Solar Cap Will Be Hit Saturday". The Las Vegas Sun.
  22. ^ Whaley, Sean. "SolarCity Stopping Nevada Sales Installation After PUC Ruling". The Las Vegas Review Journal.
  23. ^ Buhayar, Noah (January 28, 2016). "Who owns the sun?". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  24. ^ "Nevada Supreme Court Blocks Rooftop Solar Referendum". Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  25. ^ Gross, Damiel (January 22, 2016). "Why Solar Energy Is Fleeing Nevada". Slate.com. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  26. ^ Hidalgo, Jason (September 16, 2016). "Nevada regulators unanimously approve rooftop solar grandfathering deal". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  27. ^ "Public Utilities Commission of Nevada makes decision on solar energy bill". September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  28. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2014). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2013" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2014-07-17.
  29. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2013). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  30. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  31. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  32. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  33. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  34. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2008). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2007" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-24.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ Nevada Solar
  36. ^ "Solar Market Insight 2017 Year in Review - USSMI-YIR-2017-FR_FINAL_SEIA-Cover.pdf" (PDF). December 17, 2018. p. 9. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  37. ^ "Electric Power Monthly-Data Browser "[1] retrieved 2019-3-17
  38. ^ "Electric Power Monthly" [2] retrieved 2016-3-10
  39. ^ “Electric Power Monthly”[3] |title=Electric Power Monthly (February 2019 with data for December 2018) - Table 6.2.B. Net Summer Capacity using Primarily Renewable Sources retrieved 2019 3 17
  40. ^ “Electric Power Monthly”[4] |title=Electric Power Monthly (February 2019 with data for December 2018) - Table 1.17.B. Net Generation from Solar Photovoltaic retrieved 2019 3 17

External links[edit]