CARSON CITY, NV - January 22, 2016
Governor Brian Sandoval today announced that the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy has provided more than $467 million in incentives, grants, and loans to help develop the solar industry in Nevada. These funds have benefited both small and large-scale projects and provided over 2,900 verifiable permanent and construction jobs. This is part of a continued effort to meet and exceed Nevada's aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires the Nevada's energy portfolio to be comprised of 25 percent of renewable energy sources by 2025. Through 2014, 18 percent of Nevada's renewable generation was from solar energy.
Since 2009, the Office's Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program has attracted $4.3 billion in capital improvements, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a nearly 10-to-1 return on Nevada's investment of $459 million in incentives created by Nevada to the solar industry. The projects have employed thousands of Nevadans during the construction phase, with dozens more employed as maintenance workers and power plant operators.
Most recently, the Governor's Office of Energy (GOE) approved a tax abatement for SunPower Corporation to begin construction of a nameplate 100 megawatt (MW) solar power plant near Boulder City. SunPower Corporation received a 3-year sales and use tax incentive and 20-year property tax incentive as part of GOE's Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program.
"Boulder Solar is another example of a project attracted by the streamlined permitting in Nevada and enhanced incentives offered through my Office of Energy," said Governor Brian Sandoval. "We have proven to solar energy developers that Nevada means business."
The tax incentive granted to the Boulder Solar project is $22 million over the incentive period. The total amount Nevada stands to gain is $228 million in capital improvements, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a 10-to-1 return on Nevada's investment. The project is expected to create 120 jobs during the one-year construction phase.
"With its Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program, GOE is promoting the development of large scale solar in Nevada, contributing to job creation, and creating economic development opportunities," said Ty Daul, SunPower Senior Vice President, America's Power Plants.
"The Governor's Office of Energy has been instrumental in promoting development of innovative solar projects around the state which serve local economic needs," said Angie Dykema, GOE Director. "We are continually seeking opportunities to promote and encourage the development of new solar projects and programs which benefit the industry and are aligned with our agency's mission to lead the nation in renewable energy production."
The Boulder Solar project, along with First Solar's Playa Solar 2 project in Clark County, are both results of legislation, Senate Bill 123 in 2013, which was passed by the State of Nevada and signed into law by Governor Sandoval to move the state away from coal and advance clean energy production.
Boulder Solar is the latest in a series of solar projects that received incentives from the GOE in 2015. Other projects that are helping build the new Nevada economy and turn the state into a solar powerhouse include:
Nevada Valley Solar Solutions II, a nameplate 15 MW community solar project being built by MDU Resource (Bombard Renewables) in Nye County for the benefit of Valley Electric Association. GOE approved a $4.8 million incentive for the project in November 2015. The expected benefit to Nevada is $43 million in capital improvements, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a 9-to-1 return on Nevada's investment.
Playa Solar 2, a nameplate 100 MW project being built by First Solar, Inc. in Clark County. GOE approved a $24 million incentive for the project in October 2015. The expected benefit to Nevada is $207 million in capital improvements, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a nearly 9-to-1 return on Nevada's investment.
Copper Mountain Solar 4 (CMS4), a nameplate 94 MW project being built by Sempra Energy in Clark County. GOE approved a $22.1 million incentive for the project in June 2015. The expected benefit to Nevada is $272 million in capital improvements, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a nearly 12-to-1 return on Nevada's investment. When CMS4 begins creating solar power in 2016, it will bring the Copper Mountain Solar Complex's total capacity to 552 MW, enough to power 90,000 U.S. homes according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Nellis Air Force Base Solar, a nameplate 15 MW project being constructed by SunPower Corporation, in Clark County. GOE approved a $6.8 million incentive for the project in May 2015. The expected benefit to Nevada is $66 million in capital improvements, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a 10-to-1 return on Nevada's investment.
Nevada has also made great strides in expanding and modernizing its infrastructure to better transport solar electricity produced in the state. With the Governor's support, three transmission projects are positioning Nevada to continue its solar dominance:
In 2014, Nevada celebrated the completion of One Nevada Line, a 231 mile-long, 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line that accelerated the integration and exportation of Nevada's renewable energy resources, providing opportunities for solar development.
In 2015, Nevada partnered with California to join a regional Energy Imbalance Market to improve reliability, lower costs and enhance integration of renewables including solar power with other balancing authorities in the western United States.
In 2016, the California Independent System Operator selected LS Power to finance, construct, own, and maintain the Harry Allen - Eldorado 500 kW transmission line. This 60 mile extension of the One Nevada Line will more efficiently move electricity produced by the solar power plants that dot Nevada's landscape.
Nevada also has a proven track record of facilitating the construction of solar projects thanks to more than $8.4 million awarded by GOE as grants or loans. These funds have gone toward small projects like the installation of a six kilowatt solar lighting system at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and construction of Nevada's first community solar project in Lincoln County, and larger projects like the construction of solar parking shade structures at the Desert Research Institute in Reno and public buildings for the City of Las Vegas.