Las Vegas-based NV Energy says it exceeded its mandated renewable portfolio standard (RPS) last year by achieving 21.2% and 31.3% levels in southern and northern Nevada, respectively.
According to NV Energy, the legislated requirement for 2015 was 20%, based on total energy sales. The utility’s results are shown in its 2015 RPS annual report, filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.
“In the past five years, we’ve more than doubled our renewable energy capacity. And, unlike some other states, we’ve managed to do that with rates that are lower today than they were five years ago,” says Kevin Geraghty, NV Energy’s vice president of energy supply.
The utility says its customers are served by 20 geothermal energy resources, 12 community-scale solar fields, a large wind farm in eastern Nevada, and a dozen small hydro and biomass projects throughout the state – collectively totaling more than 1.3 GW of nameplate capacity. If all were operating at the same time, they would generate enough energy to serve approximately 750,000 homes in Nevada, says NV Energy.
Geraghty notes that NV Energy continues to aggressively pursue other renewable energy opportunities that will help the utility comply with the state’s RPS that tops out at 25% in 2025. State law also requires the company to achieve a 22% level by 2020.
For example, two large-scale solar projects from previously awarded long-term contracts are in the early-construction phase: the 150 MW Boulder Solar I and II projects near Boulder City and the 179 MW Switch Station 1 and 2 north of Las Vegas. The projects are expected to be operational in 2017.
The company recently issued two requests for proposals: one seeking a total of 135 MW of renewable energy and another looking for up to 700 MW of non-technology-specific capacity and energy resources.
“Where coal was more than 40 percent of the energy resources we owned a decade ago, today only about 10 percent of our generating resources use coal. And, by the end of 2019, we will no longer use any coal-fueled generation in southern Nevada and by 2025 for northern Nevada,” Geraghty adds.
NV Energy says it provides energy services to 1.3 million customers throughout Nevada and more than 40 million tourists annually. NV Energy is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Co. and Sierra Pacific Power Co., do business as NV Energy.