Energy Assurance and Emergency Operations Plan
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
The Energy Office was granted $438,573 including administrative costs to update and implement Energy Assurance into 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 plan provides the ability to intervene, when directed, to ensure a reliable supply of electricity, natural gas, motor vehicle fuel, propane, and other heating products are available to the citizens of Nevada. The work plan includes developing new energy-use and disruption-tracking systems, incorporating “smart grid” technology, as well as outfitting a room capable of handling the personnel required to respond to any energy contingency that may develop through implementing the plan.
The energy contingency center was configured with visual and connective technologies to enhance the Energy Office’s effectiveness in responding to energy contingencies. The office prepared a process for tracking the duration, response, restoration, and recovery time of energy supply disruption events and notified all Nevada energy-supplying entities of the energy disruption tracking process and requested their participation. The Energy Assurance and Emergency Operations Plan is available at www.energy.nv.gov under Media, then Reports.
The office participates in the Nevada Division of Emergency Management exercises as Emergency Support Function (EFS) 12.
Statewide Renewable Energy Project
The Statewide Renewable Energy Project was created to develop renewable
energy systems on multiple sites in order to offset the amount state
agencies pay for electrical power. Nevada solicited interest from
private-investors to design, build, own, and operate solar photovoltaic
projects through long-term power purchase agreements on up to 55 sites
for 10 state agencies and the City of Las Vegas.
An independent evaluation committee from
state agencies, the Nevada System of Higher Education, and the City of Las
Vegas selected the vendor, GA-SNC Solar, LLC after reviewing and ranking eight
proposals. State Purchasing issued a Letter of Award to GA-SNC Solar, LLC, and
an agreement was approved by the state Board of Examiners March 1, 2011. GA-SNC
met with state agencies and analyzed utility data to determine the feasibility
of constructing solar facilities on the sites. GA-SNC determined that some
sites were not financially viable with their established business model and
those sites were subsequently removed from the list. The remaining sites were
determined to have the potential to be viable but would need NV Energy’s
RenewableGenerations rebates or other low-cost financing mechanisms to be
feasible. Given the current process and availability of SolarGenerations rebates,
it was determined to be in the best interest of the State and GA-SNC to release
the state sites from the agreement on May 9, 2013.
Nevada Rooftop Solar Initiative
The Nevada Rooftop Solar Initiative, one of the Energy Office’s
newest programs, is designed to increase and strengthen Nevada’s
residential and commercial rooftop-solar photovoltaic market by:
- Standardizing codes, inspections, and ordinances
- Developing an efficient process to implement rooftop solar installations from concept to final completion, and
- Building upon existing programs and efforts to develop revolving loan programs.
The main goal of the program is to streamline the permitting and
interconnection process for rooftop-solar systems so that installations
can be completed within two months of approval. The project also aims to
make solar electricity cost-competitive with other forms of energy – as
well as to ultimately see 5 percent of all single family homes and
businesses in Nevada using rooftop-solar systems.
Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) is coordinating with NV Energy (NVE) to
improve the net-metering and interconnection process for rooftop solar. In
anticipation of fewer rebates being made available through the utility to
incentivize the construction of solar projects in Nevada, the NSOE has been
working with NVE to create a streamlined process to improve the workflow of
rooftop solar permits. The GOE has been coordinating with the local
jurisdictions of Clark County, City of Las Vegas, City of North Las Vegas, City
of Henderson, and City of Reno to streamline their solar permitting processes
for small rooftop systems. Part of the solution being developed includes a
web-portal that will allow for the utility, local permitting jurisdictions, and
contractors to manage the permitting process through newly developed software
called PowerClerk Interconnect. PowerClerk Interconnect will enable better
communication between contractors, inspectors and permitting jurisdictions to
track a solar permit from start to finish through one point of contact. The
work on this phase of the grant is considered complete as of May 10, 2013. The
GOE submitted an application to DOE on March 22 for phase 2 funding.
The Energy Office managed numerous grants funded through the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The primary goal of these
projects was to increase energy efficiency in Nevada. Most grantees reported
back significant savings in maintenance costs, improved energy tracking,
significant energy savings, and enhanced renewable energy opportunities. The following list highlights the ARRA projects that have been successfully completed by
Nevada School Buses
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
A $496,000 EPA grant was received by the Energy Office in
2006. When the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) also received
a grant from the EPA for clean-diesel buses, an agreement was made between NDEP
and the Energy Office for the installation of emission control systems onto
The combined funding covered upgrades on most school buses
in Nevada. Remaining funds were used to purchase coolant heaters for 109
vehicles that can warm the buses prior to starting engines, thus reducing
engine idle time and engine maintenance. This project was completed December
Energy Efficient Street Lighting and Traffic Signals
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
More than $1.5 million in ARRA funding was budgeted to make
street lighting and traffic signals more energy efficient. This project allowed
regional transportation commissions and various Nevada communities to work
together in replacing street lights and traffic signals with more efficient LED
lighting. The lighting boosted energy savings and enhanced safety at
intersections by increasing visibility.
Allocations were $249,789 for Carson City, $326,979 for
Clark County, $230,311 for Henderson, $394,800 for Las Vegas, $358,600 for
North Las Vegas, and $10,600 for Washoe County RTC. All projects are complete.
The Energy Office received permission from the DOE to transfer surplus funding
from the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure to Street Lights for additional
lighting projects in Carson City and Clark County. About 2 million kWh in
energy savings has been estimated to date. Grant recipients report that the new
lights have a 5- to 10-times greater lifespan, which has added additional savings
because of reduced maintenance costs.
Alternative Fuels for State Vehicles
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
More than $150,000 of ARRA funding was budgeted to replace a
fuel tank at the Nevada State Motor Pool in Las Vegas with a dual-capacity tank
that allows ethanol (i.e., E85) to be stored and dispensed into flexible-fuel
vehicles in the state inventory. This allowed additional flexible-fueled
vehicles to be ordered as a future strategy aimed at reducing petroleum use and
meeting the energy policy act requiring 75 percent of newly purchased vehicles
to use alternative fuels.
The system was completed in November 2010, inspected, and is
in operation. Funding left over from this project was used for additional
street lights and traffic signals for Carson City ($6,000) and Washoe County
($8,840). Remaining funds ($30,580) were used in Carson City for transportation
systems, such as additional street lighting.
State Building Energy Upgrades
Project Manager: Robert Nellis
More than $7 million was budgeted as a part of an ARRA grant
to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to existing state-owned
buildings. Projects included the following:
replacements to more efficient fluorescent lights and LED lights
lighting control systems
saving window treatments
system upgrades to more efficient systems
installations at four locations
projects designed to save the state significant energy costs.
All projects strived to meet ARRA SEP goals of annual energy
savings of at least 10 MBtus saved for each $1,000 spent. Based on information
available from the State Public Works Division and the monitoring performed by
the state’s consultant, CLEAResult, these savings will be achieved.
One hundred and seventy two (172) state buildings were
completed by April 2012, including solar installations at the DMV in Henderson,
the Legislative Council Bureau parking garage in Carson City, the Nevada State
Library and Archives in Carson City , and the Grant Sawyer Building in Las
Vegas. On the average, most projects are projected to have paid for themselves
within nine years. The estimated energy savings is 73.2 MBtus or 6,430,519 kWh.
The results of this project are detailed in the CLEAResult report.
Energy Improvements at Nevada’s Schools
Project Manager: Kevin Johnson
More than $9 million under ARRA was budgeted to provide
$441,176 to each of Nevada’s 17 school districts. The program aimed to make
Nevada schools more energy efficient by upgrading lighting and HVAC systems, as
well as adding window treatments, lighting control systems, and renewable
energy installations. The larger per-capita counties, Washoe and Clark,
received an additional $1 million each. Projects strived to meet ARRA’s annual
energy savings of at least 10 MBtu for each $1,000 of investment.
Contracts were awarded and projects are finished in all 16
participating counties. (Mineral County rejected its funding.) A free Energy
Star Portfolio benchmark tool on energy savings, reporting before and after
project installations, is being sponsored by NV Energy for districts that fall
within NV Energy’s service area.
Business Development through Renewable Energy
This project was jointly administrated by the Energy Office
and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). To help unify the
statewide effort to rebuild and diversify Nevada’s economy, the Energy Office
awarded the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) a
contract to support the statewide growth of renewable energy industries.
Bringing together Nevada’s future and existing renewable energy suppliers,
NIREC and the GOED partnered to develop an online, printable directory and
database of Nevada’s clean and renewable energy suppliers.
NIREC identified almost 500 companies located in Nevada – or
seeking to do business in the state – that sell renewable energy products or
provide related services. The companies were placed in the Nevada Clean Energy
Supplier Directory, and the second edition is available online: http://nirec.org/directory.html.
There is also a searchable database on the NIREC website. In addition to the directory,
a guide of available training programs and related information, such as grants,
events, and projects, are also posted on the NIREC website: www.nirec.org. GOED
provided additional funding to continue the directory until July 2013. A new
format will give companies the ability to add and edit their own contact
NIREC also produced two white papers for the office that
examined the feasibility of rare earth elements and lithium production in
Nevada. The documents are available at energy.nv.gov.
Renewable Energy Export Engineering Feasibility Study
Project Manager: Stacey Crowley
More than $1.3 million under ARRA was budgeted to perform
feasibility studies and ensure a strategically planned development of energy
sources in Nevada. The State allocated this money to evaluate the state’s
transmission infrastructure and develop viable projects for high-voltage
transmission lines to benefit renewable energy development and exporting energy
out of Nevada. Slightly more than half (i.e., $1,588,948) of the original $3
million was transferred to the Revolving Loan Program.
The Energy Office signed a contract with the nonprofit
Nevada Energy Assistance Corporation (NEAC) for electrical transmission
engineering and an extensive feasibility study. A final report of the
Transmission Initiative Routing Study was presented to and approved by the NEAC
Board of Directors in April 2012. The report details projects that capture
renewable energy generation from established zones to major substations that
could deliver the energy to California utilities. These transmission routes
would create jobs throughout Nevada and, once completed, would provide a key
piece of infrastructure facilitating the export of new sources of renewable
energy as well as greater energy reliability and diversity for Nevada and
California. The report is available online.
Work is continuing on the topics of this report through the
Energy Office’s New Energy Industry Task Force.
Energy Efficient Appliance Rebates
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
The Energy Office received $2,495,000 (including
administrative costs) to be used for a State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate
program. This program allowed Nevada residents to receive rebates when they
purchased energy efficient appliances. The rebates were available to replace
used appliances with Energy Star appliances. Rebate amounts were: refrigerator
($200), freezer ($150), washing machine ($150), and dishwasher ($100).
Purchases had to be from Nevada retailers.
15,287 rebates were issued, which equated to $2,386,200 in
rebates made available to Nevadans. Savings estimated to date include 1.3
million kWh saved, more than 40 million gallons of water and 784 tonnes (metric
tons) of carbon dioxide kept from the atmosphere. Download a program fact sheet.
Statewide Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants
Project Manager: Kevin Johnson
The Energy Office was awarded a $9,593,500 grant to assist
cities and counties in implementing a variety of energy efficiency upgrades and
renewable energy opportunities. The
Energy Office immediately sent letters to all included cities and counties,
which subsequently submitted projects for approval. The Energy Office worked
with the Department of Energy to gain project approval, lift funding
restrictions, and receive approval for advanced funding to the sub-grantees.
The projects ended September 2012.
Cities and Counties
More than $6 million was allocated to Nevada cities and
counties for energy efficiency and conservation projects, as well as renewable
energy systems. The 10 largest counties and 10 largest cities in Nevada by
population were awarded funding directly by the DOE, independent from any
Energy Office grants.
After receiving confirmation that Lander County did not want
to participate in the use of ARRA grant funds, the Energy Office allocated a
portion of the funds originally designated for Lander County to Lincoln,
Mineral, Storey, and Eureka counties. Through successful gains in the efficient
administration of this program, additional amounts that were formerly dedicated
to salary and administrative costs were reallocated directly to projects. West
Wendover was awarded additional money to construct a second 50-kW solar array
on its city hall. Caliente, Fallon, and Winnemucca were awarded additional funds
as reimbursements for project expenses the cities incurred out-of-pocket.
Besides the counties listed above, Esmeralda County received
funds to construct two solar panel arrays to help offset the county’s
electrical expenses: a 10-kW array to operate a water-well at Silver Peak, and
another 10-kW array on the Goldfield County courthouse.
Grant funds were also distributed to the cities of Carlin,
Ely, Lovelock, Wells, and Yerington. Ely installed a solar-panel array next to
its firehouse, offsetting up to 40 percent of its electricity consumption, as
well as solar thermal panels on the firehouse roof, which offset up to 60
percent of its propane usage use for interior heating and hot water, both of
which are critical for the operation of the firehouse, particularly in light of
the cold local climate. The solar power array is projected to save 36,680 kWh
each year, and the solar thermal panels are projected to save 1,780 gallons of
propane, which is roughly equivalent to 47,700 kWh each year.
All five counties and nine cities have completed their
projects, with the exception of Winnemucca and West Wendover, which should be
100 percent complete by mid-July 2012.
Emergency Vehicle Idle Reduction
More than $700,000 was allocated for 125 battery devices
that allow emergency personnel to shut off engines and provide up to four hours
of power for operation of computers, radios, light bars, and other vehicle
equipment. Requests for vehicle monitoring and heating systems to be
incorporated into the system reduced the number of devices that were ordered,
resulting in a more operator-friendly system that is more apt to be used for
longer periods of time. The reporting system will have concrete data for energy
savings and greenhouse gas reductions.
Sub-grants were issued to the Washoe County Sheriff’s
Office, Henderson Police Department, Las Vegas Metro Police Department, and the
Nevada Highway Patrol for $178,200 each. The City of Henderson accepted $50,000
of the $178,200 allotted to them. The remaining $128,200 was granted to the
North Las Vegas Police Department. Las Vegas Metro (41 units), Henderson Police
Department (12 units), and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (38 units)
installed the battery units.
The remaining two agencies installed the majority (28) of
the units they have ordered. The vendor of the battery units offered 28 smaller
units, which can be used in smaller patrol vehicles. They also offered a unit
with remote uploading technology, allowing data to be sent wirelessly to a
data-collection point, which increased the amount of time each vehicle can
remain on duty. The North Las Vegas Police Department and the Washoe County
Sheriff’s Office purchased units with this feature. Early data collection shows
significant fuel savings and carbon reductions on vehicles using energy
efficient units. The Nevada Highway Patrol in Elko decided to discontinue the
program because the batteries did not fit their specific needs. The batteries
were delivered to the Nevada Division of State Parks for use in their vehicles.
State Buildings: Monitoring Natural Gas and Electricity Use
More than $200,000 was allocated to pay for monitoring the
energy consumption in state buildings. LPB Energy Management Services monitored
all state-owned buildings, established baselines, reviewed utility bills for
errors, and negotiated rebates on behalf of the Energy Office.
LPB initiated the data-capture process and NV Energy and
Southwest Gas reported that savings to the state had been realized. In some
cases, the incorrect utility rate schedule was assessed and errors were
Traffic Signal and Street Lighting
This project provided $1,477,457 in funding, plus
administrative costs, to install energy-efficient street lighting and traffic
and pedestrian signals and signs in Nevada cities and counties.
All projects were approved and funds were sent to Nevada
cities and counties. All projects are complete. The Regional Transportation
Commission of Washoe County completed LED streetlight upgrades and pedestrian
crosswalk signals within county-controlled intersections in the greater
Reno-Sparks area. Ely, Fallon, Douglas County, and Lyon County installed
various combinations of LED streetlights, traffic signals, and LED- illuminated
street signs at major intersections. The table below shows the light
installations by jurisdiction.
The installations completed by the RTC lower the power
consumption for each streetlight from 250W to 140W, and for each pedestrian
signal, from 26W to 6W. It is estimated this will save the RTC $114,000 a year.
The installations also save in maintenance costs, since the average life of
these bulbs is three times or more that of traditional bulbs, reducing the need
The new LED streetlights in Ely are estimated to use 90
percent less power than the former incandescent bulbs, which reduced
electricity usage to only one-tenth of the previous amount. The new LED
streetlights are estimated to use 30 percent less power than the previous
metal-halide bulbs. These changes have
already had a noticeable impact on the city’s operating expenses.
Douglas County has projected, based on four months of
monitoring its new streetlights/street signs, that energy usage is being
reduced at the rate of 1,513 kWh per year because of the new installations.
The Industries of the Future Grant
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
This grant was extended at the last minute by the Department
of Energy so the funds could be quickly spent. A sub-grant of $9,500 was given
to the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Nevada Industry Excellence program,
which “revitalizes Nevada’s manufacturing, construction and mining community by
addressing individual needs and providing direct support and referral
services.” The grant provided Six Sigma Green Belt training for six Barrick
Gold Corp. employees during the week of April 9-13, 2012. Barrick matched the
grant with $27,280.
Geothermal Outreach Grant
Project Manager: Pete Konesky
This grant was extended by DOE to expend the remaining grant
funds ($19,000) for student tuition to attend the June 2012 Geothermal Academy
at the University of Nevada, Reno.