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
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
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.