LAS VEGAS – Today, Nevada’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an unprecedented new investment in homegrown clean energy.
NV Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) addresses Nevada consumers’ demand for clean power by doubling renewable energy production and developing six new solar plants that will deliver 1000 megawatts of electricity, supported by, 100 megawatts of new energy storage. Finally, the plan creates a path for the early closure of the utility’s last coal plant.
These measures will create thousands of jobs, save consumers money, and reinvest millions of dollars that were buying out-of-state fossil fuels in Nevada’s homegrown energy resources. They also reduce the health impacts of air pollution from coal and gas plants, which include asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and the environmental impacts from carbon emissions. The IRP’s substantial increases show that a major shift toward clean energy is not only feasible, but economically sound and a smart business investment.
Today’s decision also included an early retirement schedule for the North Valmy Generating Station, NV Energy’s last coal plant operating in Nevada. Unit 1 at the coal plant is now set to close in 2021, and unit 2 — the last remaining unit — will close in 2025. This early retirement schedule is estimated to save millions of dollars now that clean energy is more affordable.
Clean energy advocates from Nevada had this to say about the plan finalized today:
“The early retirement schedule for the North Valmy coal plant marks a major milestone in Nevada’s transition to clean energy,” said Elspeth DiMarzio, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign representative for Nevada. “NV Energy’s shift from coal to low cost clean energy will save millions of dollars for families and businesses across Nevada while also clearing our air of more toxic coal pollution.”
“With this decision, the PUC has listened to the public,” said Reverend Leonard Jackson, Director of the Faith Organizing Alliance. “These new solar projects bring our state closer to the goal of giving every Nevadan the ability to be powered from local clean energy. They are also a step toward reducing air pollution and the disparities we see in air quality and health impacts.”
“NV Energy’s plan will significantly reduce the state’s fossil fuel emissions, giving families across the state the opportunity to access clean energy, clean air, and clean water. Voters and residents are demanding that we move towards a clean energy future, and we’re glad that both the utility and regulators are listening,” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director of CHISPA Nevada, a program of the League of Conservation Voters.