Office History and Accomplishments

Office History

Originally, the Nevada State Office of Energy (NSOE) was created in 1975 by Assembly Bill 500, which was, "An Act relating to the public service commission of Nevada; creating an energy management division; providing that the chairman is in charge of the division; establishing duties." The catalyst for this historic legislation was the Middle East ‘Energy Crisis’ which caused severe fuel shortages throughout the West. Initial duties of this new office included development and implementation of a contingency plan for petroleum shortages (NRS 703.270{1}), coordination of energy programs and activities within the State {2}, and development of projects and programs to encourage maximum utilization of existing energy resources in the private and public sector {4}. Noel Clark served as the first director.

In 1983, the agency was reorganized and the functions were transferred to the Governor's Office of Community Services. The office administered all U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) community programs, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Energy Efficient Schools, Transportation Energy, and Emergency Planning. The Department administered the Community Development Block Grants and performed other functions.

In 1993, State government was reorganized and programs for energy efficient government buildings and schools were moved as the agency transferred into the Nevada Department of Business and Industry. As funding and required functions increased, the NSOE grew to include two additional professional positions, a grants and projects manager and an accountant.

In 1997, a potential emergency existed as the petroleum line running to the Sparks, Nevada terminal from California was punctured during the New Year flood. At that time it was determined by the USDOE and the State of Nevada that, due to State statute, the emergency function resided in the NSOE to coordinate the petroleum situation in Northern Nevada during the emergency.

In 2001, the NSOE became the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) and the administrator position became a cabinet level director position. Following the death of Director Dick Burdette, a deputy director position was created to handle the day-to-day management of the office, freeing the director to handle duties established by the Governor.

GOE saw fast-paced growth as a result of the federal 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This included a move to the current North Roop Street location in Carson City, which provided a larger office area and conference room that doubles as an emergency response center. The GOE focused on ensuring programs were implemented to support job creation, reduce carbon emissions, and promote renewable and energy efficiency projects. The office strategically partnered with economic development entities, initiated a distributive generation study, launched the EnergyFit Nevada program, and improved State legislation related to energy efficiency, while boosting Nevada renewable energy applications.

Today, GOE is allocated a dozen employees who focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the transmission and transportation of energy. For a summary of current programs, please visit our Programs page.

Office Accomplishments

2015

GOE created and implemented new energy efficiency programs such as the Direct Energy Assistance Loan (DEAL) program and the Nevada Clean Energy Corps, as well as exciting new projects such as the Nevada Electric Highway and the selection of an Energy Management Information System to further the office's goal of benchmarking energy consumption in state buildings. GOE has seen expanded success on recently developed programs such as the Performance Contract Audit Assistance Program (PCAAP) and the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunities for Seniors (H.E.R.O.S.).
A new priority in 2015 and going forward is to encourage clean transportation options through the electrification of Nevada's highway infrastructure and the reduction of the amount of petroleum consumed by Nevada's transportation sector.
Nevada continues to experience increased production of renewable energy in the state, including the addition of five new large scale renewable energy projects which began receiving tax abatements from GOE in 2015. This brings the total to 26 large-scale renewable energy projects which are receiving incentives through our Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program for investing over $6 billion into Nevada’s economy and providing over 4,000 jobs. Renewable energy power prices have continued to drop over the past year, with Nevada home to two projects with the lowest commercial-scale solar power purchase agreement prices nationwide. These two solar projects, which came through GOE in 2015, were both results of Senate Bill 123 passed by the State of Nevada and signed into law by Governor Sandoval in 2013 to advance renewable energy production. Nevada’s entrance in the western Energy Imbalance Market was another accomplishment seen in 2015 which will provide even more opportunities for the integration of renewable resources into the grid. Forward-looking clean energy policies such as these have helped position Nevada to meet the goals of the Clean Power Plan which was announced in late 2015.

 

 2014

Through its Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program, which assists in the construction of renewable energy projects in Nevada and increases Nevada's tax revenue and job creation, GOE awarded the following incentives to:

  1. Ormat Technologies, Inc., which built the 20 MW nameplate capacity Wild Rose geothermal power plant in Mineral County.
  2. First Solar, which built the 250 MW nameplate capacity Silver State Solar South solar power plant in Clark County.
  3. Sempra Energy, which built the 255 MW nameplate capacity Copper Mountain 3 solar power plant in Clark County.
  4. Ormat Technologies, Inc., which built the 46 MW nameplate capacity McGinness Hills 2 geothermal power plant in Lander County.

• Through its State Energy Program Formula Grant, which improves the reliability and affordability of energy supplies in Nevada, GOE awarded the following funds:

  1. $3,500 to Carson City Public Works to install an electric vehicle charging station outside the Carson City Community Center, which will provide free electricity for the first 5 years of operation thanks to an agreement with NV Energy.
  2. $25,000 to Lincoln County Power District to convert 92 streetlights to energy efficient LED lights in the towns of Alamo and Panaca.
  3. $2,200 to Valley Electric Association to fund the removal of propane tanks and the installation of solar water heating collectors in the cooperative's service territory in southwestern Nevada.

Through its Green Building Tax Incentive Program, which improves energy efficiency in State buildings, GOE awarded the following incentives to:

  1. Wynn Encore Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for installing more efficient fixtures and fittings and introducing energy upgrades at its 7.8 million square-foot property.
  2. One Queensridge Place in Las Vegas for introducing energy upgrades at its condominium towers, guest houses, and an underground parking garage.
  3. Schluter Systems in Storey County's Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center for installing an underfloor heating and cooling system and sensor regulated lighting at its 97,000 square-foot office and warehouse.

2013

• GOE successfully completed phase one of Rooftop Solar Initiative, coordinating with NV Energy to improve the net-metering and interconnection process for rooftop solar.
• Through September, EnergyFit Nevada had conducted 409 energy assessments and completed 408 upgrades of residential single-family homes, resulting in 2,379,760 kWh saved and reducing energy costs by $419,074 for Nevada residents.
• GOE was granted $438,573 to implement Energy Assurance in the Emergency Operations Plan, which outlines the structure for monitoring and overseeing energy demand and supply in case of a disruption or an emergency. The GOE prepared a process for tracking the duration, response, restoration, and recovery time of energy supply disruption events.
• The New Energy Industry Task Force approved final recommendations to facilitate the timely development of transmission facilities and renewable energy resources in the State.

2012
• USDOE commended GOE for its excellent work with the State Energy Program. The GOE was cited as “instrumental in promoting and implementing effective energy efficiency and renewable energy programs throughout the State of Nevada.”
• GOE worked with the Building Codes Assistance Project to form an Energy Codes Collaborative in Nevada. The Collaborative was created to gain key stakeholder input and support for achieving compliance with energy codes by 2017. The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code® has been adopted by GOE as the minimum standard in Nevada, and is currently pending Nevada Legislative Committee approval.
• The GOE received a $715,000, three-year USDOE grant to accelerate the use of energy savings performance contracting in order to achieve comprehensive retrofits in State and local government facilities. The program is built on the proven foundation of the federal best practices for programs and projects.

2011
• A Memorandum of Understanding between GOE and the Bureau of Land Management was signed to solidify a working relationship on the Nevada renewable energy and transmission infrastructure. Regular meetings encouraged the responsible development of renewable energy and associated transmission while protecting and enhancing Nevada resources.
• The Governor’s Executive Order 2011-18 charged the New Energy Industry Task Force with working on regional transmission planning and developing a business case for renewable energy in the State. The Task Force was managed and chaired by the GOE director and produced preliminary recommendations by January 2013.
• USDOE stated GOE ranked first in the U.S. in percent of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds expended, with 91% of funds allocated to projects. The next state was Kentucky at 59%. The national average was 18%.

2010
• A total of $1.5 million was allocated through the Energy Efficient Street Lighting and Traffic Signals Program, which replaced street lights and traffic signals with more efficient LED lighting throughout Nevada. This boosted energy savings and increased safety at intersections.
• The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) notified the GOE that Nevada ranked #1 in the U.S. for percentage of EECBG funds expended at 91%. Nevada received $9,593,500 from the grant that was allocated to Nevada cities and counties, as well as Emergency Vehicle Idle Reduction and Traffic Signal Street Lighting Programs.
• GOE allocated $7.9 million to 124 different State buildings for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades, including energy efficient lighting, HVAC system improvements, energy saving window treatments, energy saving lighting control systems, and renewable energy installations.