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The State of Solar Energy

AIR DATE: March 25, 2010

At this time last year, legislators were gleefully talking about Nevada becoming the Saudi Arabia of solar. But for all the talk, we're still powered by carbon. So what's the state of solar in Nevada? Are more solar plants in the pipeline? And where do we rank compared to other states? We talk with one solar expert who has been promoting renewable energy since Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House. Plus, the official who gives projects the green light tells us who's looking to build in Nevada.

Denis Hayes, Pres and CEO, Bullitt Foundation
Stephanie Tavares, Reporter, LV Sun
Greg Helseth, Renewable Energy Project Manager, Southern NV, BLM

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Jim, A solar contractor or developer can use a Power Purchase Agreement to sell electricity to a property owner without getting licensed as a utility. Just as you stated. AB186 passed last year allowing that commerce,

The problem in Nevada is that companies that offer solar systems by PPA in other states can receive the rebate and green tags. Here in Nevada, NV Energy gets the green tags.

Randell HynesMar 25, 2010 00:00:00 AM
There is a point you didn't discuss today regarding solar energy... there are companies that will put solar panels on your house and pay for them by charging a set rate for electricity for a set time, for example 20 years. The rate is set during this time and usually no more than your current bill and stays that rate for the life of the payments. The company makes its investment back on the rising energy rates it sells back to NVpower in the future. I know for a fact that NVpower has lobbied to keep this kind of program out of Nevada and has been successful. They want to be the only provider of electricity in NV. I found this out when I was pursuing this type of plan. Also NVpower is one of the HIGHEST rates in the southwest for power NOT the lowest.
JimMar 24, 2010 09:54:38 AM
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