Panaca – Future Site of Nevada’s First Community Solar Project


CARSON CITY, NV - May 28, 2015

One of Panaca’s claims to fame is its 1864 founding and status as southern Nevada’s first permanent settlement. Starting this month, Panaca adds a new claim to fame, host of Nevada’s first community solar project.

The Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) provided a $12,000 grant to Lincoln County Power District No. 1 to help fund the project. Construction began this month. Once completed, the project will have an annual generating capacity of 90 kilowatts and reduce the amount of electricity annually purchased on the open market.

“Nevada continues to look for better business models to deploy renewable resources,” said Paul Thomsen, GOE Director. “This project is another example of our commitment to facilitating innovative, cost-effective solar development in Nevada.”

Under the concept of community solar, Lincoln County Power District No. 1 will build the solar power plant outside the centrally located town of Panaca and take subscriptions from customers who want to participate. Credits will then be applied in the form of energy offsets on the monthly electric bills of these customers. This concept is similar to the concept of owning a share of water from an irrigation district.

Lincoln County Power District No. 1 is building their project at a fortuitous time. Solar panel technology is improving and the costs to install panels are dropping. The district sought outside funding, designed the project themselves, and are using their staff to build it. By doing this on a commercial scale, the district will generate power at a cost at or below what they pay for power purchased on the open market. This rate will not increase over time; it is essentially locked in for the life of the project.

“We are excited about the prospect of having the first community solar project in Nevada located here in Lincoln County,” said Paul Mathews, Lincoln County Commissioner. “The Governor’s Office of Energy has been extremely helpful in making this project a reality through funding and technical expertise they have been able to offer to the staff at the Power District.”

Funding for the project came from GOE’s State Energy Program (SEP) formula grant, an annual source of federal funds from the U.S. Department of Energy used to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout Nevada. SEP funding has been awarded to various projects in the past, including to Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park for the installation of lighting inside the park’s fossil house, and to Valley Electric Association to support the installation of solar hot water heating systems in homes.

For more information on this and other SEP-funded projects, please visit the GOE SEP Formula Grant

webpage.

  

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About the Governor's Office of Energy

The Governor’s Office of Energy oversees energy programs required through statute and those that help to meet the mission of the office, which is to ensure the wise development of Nevada’s energy resources in harmony with local community economic needs and Nevada natural resources. For more information about GOE, please visit energy.nv.gov.

About Lincoln County Power District No. 1

Lincoln County Power District No. 1 (LCPD) was created in 1935 after the Nevada State Legislature passed an act that provided for the creation of power districts. Today, LCPD distributes power from the Colorado River Commission of Nevada and other sources, and serves an area in excess of 10,000 square miles in Lincoln and Clark Counties. For more information about LCPD, please visit www.lcpd1.com.