Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in Nevada
Like its close neighbour California, Nevada has a number of renewable energy technology incentives in place for both business and home installation. They also have an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard of 25% by 2025 for which they have all the right natural resources. Currently, while the state gets 63% of its energy from natural gas, they produce 11% of net electricity generation from geothermal and solar. Add in wind and hydroelectric and Nevada is currently producing 18.1% of its energy needs from renewable sources and is well on track to meet its RPS.
With abundant sunshine, Nevada has taken to solar energy and produces more per person compared to all other states in the USA. This is also home to one of the largest solar power plants in the world, the 64 MW Nevada Solar Plant in Boulder City. A lot is in development at the moment, including the 500 MW Armagosa Farm Road plant in Nye County. Things have turned a little sour for home owners though – incentives are starting to be eroded by higher charges and a lot of solar companies have begun to lay off workers and downsize their operations.
Nevada’s geothermal success comes from the Blue Mountains and the 14 power plants currently up and running produce nearly 500 MW of energy, second only to California. According to geologists, this source could provide as much as 7% of the renewable energy for the state in the future. Wind power has been less well utilised and Nevada currently has one major installation producing 152 MW at the Spring Valley Wind project.
Solar PV Incentives in Nevada
Since the turn of the New Year, solar PV for homes has been in something of a flux. There have been concerns about the high level of take up and its impact on utility companies which in turn has seen the possibility of reduced incentives. Having said that, installing solar does come with some incentives. There is the Federal Tax Rebate of 30% to take into account as well as the local Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings. Both businesses and homes can benefit from Portfolio Energy Credits which are available for a wide range of renewable technologies including solar.
Solar PV Case Study in Nevada
The options open to those who want solar power is to either buy outright or take on a leasing arrangement with an installer. The standard cost for a 5 kW array is $20,000 which is reduced by the Federal Tax Rebate. This can be reduced even further if you receive the state’s energy production credits though there is currently some doubt for households who are under attack from increasing charges by utility companies. That could mean you won’t break even until the end of the lifetime of the array after which you should begin to see a good profit.
Solar Thermal Incentives in Nevada
There is a drive in the state to promote solar thermal as an economical and clean way to heat water for homes and businesses. A number of the energy companies provide incentives amongst which is the Valley Electric Association Solar Water Heating Program, a low cost loan initiatve for residential properties.
Small Hydro Incentives in Nevada
There are incentives for agricultural and tribal development of small and larger scale hydroelectric in the state but there are caveats relating to planning permission because of possible drought restrictions and the effect of installations on water flow. Having said that, there is the Federal Tax Rebate as well as the Renewable Generations Rebate Program run by local utility company NV Energy.
Geothermal Incentives in Nevada
Large scale geothermal in Nevada produces a significant amount of energy for the region but there is also incentive for home owners and businesses to install technologies such as ground source heat pumps. Most of the energy companies don’t provide a specific rebate system as in other states for geothermal but you can benefit from the Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Abatement and Portfolio Energy Credits.
Biomass Incentives in Nevada
Small scale biomass such as wood chip burners are not high on the agenda for Nevada’s residents though some businesses have embraced the technology. Installations benefit from the Federal Tax Rebate and Portfolio Energy Credits. Large scale biomass production is a possibility but not as well developed as in other states.
Wind Power Incentives in Nevada
While it has much more potential than previously thought, Nevada has been slow in developing its wind power infrastructure, preferring to concentrate on solar and geothermal. Agricultural and tribal concerns can benefit from the Renewable Generations Rebate Program that has a $40 million budget for developing wind and hydro in the state. Installing a wind turbine can produce a good return on investment despite the high start-up costs and this kind of technology may well increase in future years.
While the change in policy in recent times over solar has been worrying, not least for Nevadan residents who want to install clean energy, the state has made great progress in trying to achieve its RPS target of 25% by 2025. As with other states, there is still much to do though and bringing on new technologies such as wind and hydroelectric could help add to the renewable energy mix.
You can find out more about renewable technology incentives for Nevada and other states on the DSIRE website.