Big Win For Solar Revolution, Public as Nevada Reinstates Net Metering

Back during late 2015 and early 2016, wealthy investors aligned with Nevada utilities in an attempt to kill off a wave of rooftop solar adoption rippling through the state.

Campaign money was promised, shady back-room deals were made, and in 2016, the state set forward a policy that would basically make it uneconomical for homeowners to purchase or maintain solar rooftops. Credits to homeowners with solar roofs who sold electricity back to utilities dropped from 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 2.5 cents.

This crushing blow to clean, distributed energy resulted in mass protest both from the Nevada public and from the industry itself. Demonstrations erupted in the Nevada capital as Solar City (now under Tesla), Sunrun, and Vivint all decided to pull the plug on state operations in an all-out boycott to protest Nevada’s anti-renewables policy. In total, 2,600 clean energy jobs were lost in Nevada as industries fled the state and solar adoption rates plummeted.

Many thought this was the short-term end for rooftop solar in Nevada. That residents wanting to tap the abundant, clean power source would have to wait for battery prices to drop enough for them to go off-grid. But since 2016, it appears that the Nevada government has now had a change of heart in the face of a powerful counter-lobbying campaign by the solar industry, progressive politicians, and the public. For yesterday, both Governor Sandoval and the state legislature reinstated a net metering policy that is far more benevolent to homeowners with solar roofs and the solar industry at large.

(Nevada Governor Sandoval signs new state law re-opening the state to the rooftop solar industry. Image source: Vote Solar Nevada.)

It’s worth noting that the new policy makes far better sense for Nevada — which has no fossil fuel resources to speak of, but possesses an abundance of sunlight and is home to Tesla’s Gigafactory 1. And the fact that Nevada ever turned against renewables at all is a testament to the harmful influence fossil fuel based utilities are sometimes able to exert on state governments. But this effort to stymie renewables and home solar ownership ultimately failed.

Assemblyman Chris Brooks, a Democrat who spearheaded a clean energy push in Carson City provided this gauge of Nevada public sentiment in Scientific American:

“A lot of folks would say, and you would be surprised, ‘Las Vegas has so much sun; why aren’t we putting solar on every roof in Nevada? People across the state, from many different demographics, many different socio-economic situations, all said, ‘Why don’t we use more solar?’”

The newly reinstated policy will provide utility buy-backs for home solar generation at no less than 75 percent of the retail rate (or around 8-9 cents per kilowatt hour) and would be phased to allow new solar purchasers to receive higher payback rates during early years of ownership to help defray system costs. This policy stability ensures that homeowners who buy solar will receive a good return on their investment.

And it’s something politicians in the state are pretty proud of. Republican Governor Sandoval suggested that the program be a model for other states looking to incentivize renewable energy as the bill was signed.

“I believe, humbly, it will be a national model across the country.” he said to a crowd of solar advocates at the signing ceremony. “I’m as competitive as it gets, and I want Nevada to truly be a leader in energy policy.”

Links:

Nevada Boosts Solar Power, Reversing Course

Vote Solar Nevada

Warren Buffet’s Quiet Bid to Kill Solar in the Western U.S.

Nevada Enacts Progressive New Solar Policies

Nevada Reinstates Key Solar Energy Policy

Nevada’s Solar Fees Have People Furious

AB 405

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80 Comments

  1. Nancy

     /  June 16, 2017

    That is good news. For a state that gets so much sunshine, they ought to have solar on every roof.

    Reply
  2. Spike

     /  June 16, 2017

    Good result. Here in the U.K. I pay about 17p/kWh for grid electricity but only get about 4.5p/kWh for grid exports from my panels – someone else pays the utility 17p for them. I’d obviously love net metering but instead we try to use as much of our own juice as we can when the sun is shining.

    Reply
    • It’s a huge win since Nevada has so much solar potential and fantastic economics at this time.

      How does your system match up economically in the UK?

      Reply
    • Tigertown

       /  June 17, 2017

      You would be better to save the extra on battery backup, if not already doing so.

      Reply
  3. wili

     /  June 16, 2017

    Again, I just saw this on ASIF, and you have already composed a post on it!

    Reply
    • Cheers Wili 🙂

      Reply
    • And… GFS is back to multiple 980 mb class storms in the 8 day…

      Reply
      • wili

         /  June 17, 2017

        Ah. Thanks for keeping us abreast of that situation.

        On another front: “Houston fears climate change will cause catastrophic flooding: ‘It’s not if, it’s when’ ”

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/16/texas-flooding-houston-climate-change-disaster

        Those fears seem pretty well founded to me.

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  June 17, 2017

          wili –
          Interesting how these topics seem to come in bunches …………..

          After 4 floods swamp downtown in a year, Roanoke officials look for answers
          Roanoke Times –
          They say the kind of flooding that hit downtown Roanoke Thursday is the 25-year variety.

          But it was the fourth time in just over a year that some businesses at the city’s center were awash in such a flood.

          Business owners have been frustrated by city officials’ lack of quick response to what they see as a storm water system issue, not just a weather issue.

          But after Thursday’s bout of flash flooding along three blocks of Campbell Avenue and parts of Salem Avenue, the city’s top storm water official is coming around to the need to deal with a new weather reality.

          “I think we have to be responsive to the situation,” said Dwayne D’Ardenne, Roanoke’s storm water utility director. “Whether we like the weather pattern or not, the out of the ordinary doesn’t seem to be so out of the ordinary anymore.”

          Flash floods, severe storms hit Pittsburgh area for 3rd day
          WPXI Pittsburgh –

          Rising seas spurred record number of ‘high-tide’ floods in U.S. last year

          The U.S. endured a record number of days of high-tide flooding last year largely due to rising seas from man-made climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

          Across the USA, coastal cities and towns racked up a combined 520 days with high-tide floods, far above the annual average of 275 days over the past couple decades, NOAA oceanographer William Sweet said. That broke the previous record set only a year earlier when 513 flood days were tallied in 2015, he added.

          The report only examined coastal flooding, not inundation brought on by sudden, heavy rain or overflowing rivers. As sea levels rise, it no longer takes a strong storm or hurricane to cause coastal flooding. It now occurs with high tides in many locations.

          Also known as nuisance or clear-sky flooding, the phenomenon has increased by as much as 1,000% in some areas since the 1960s. NOAA tracks high-tide floods in 28 coastal cities.

          https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/06/16/rising-seas-spurred-record-number-high-tide-floods-us-last-year/102918538/

        • Good report in the Guardian here. Huston’s vulnerability was pretty clearly highlighted during the past few years as generally more powerful storms intensified flooding and forced hundreds of water rescues. It’s relatively low lying and not at all immune to sea level rise either. But the next 0.1 to .0.3 C by itself should continue to draw out its vulnerability to more extreme rainfall events.

  4. Greg

     /  June 16, 2017

    Love it! So this is a short term and long term win. Thank you Robert for this. There is no shame in turning around FF shills, join the future, now!
    The second richest man in the world, Jeff Beznos, of Amazon fame, has decided to join the billionaire philanthropic bandwagon. He’s sent out a request for thoughts on how to give away his wealth for short-term impacts, with long-term goals. Would love for us to share ideas with him such as immediate ways to support solar for those who wouldn’t have it soon otherwise, or scaling some great local energy efficiency programs, or…

    Reply
    • Huge win. Lots of these for renewables lately despite Trump. It does seem like a lot of down-ticket republicans are pro renewables at this time. And the public support for renewables is tremendous.

      My vote would be for a not-for-profit wind or solar or battery gigafactory in the U.S. where the earnings were re-invested into expanding production and lowering costs.

      Reply
  5. Mblanc

     /  June 16, 2017

    How about throwing some money at supporting African development. Many countries in Africa are making real progress, and I think you would get good relative bang for your buck.

    Reply
    • I absolutely agree. The experience in rural India in particular highlights how helpful solar could be for much of Africa. Green energy investment funds and green energy programs aimed at Africa would be very helpful in containing future fossil fuel emissions.

      Reply
  6. Shawn Redmond

     /  June 17, 2017

    With ENSO trending neutral, conditions globally are still worsening. RS’ fears about not dropping back temperature wise after EL NINO are looking well founded. S%$t.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/may-warm-streak-planet-21542
    Another month is in the global temperature record books. While May just missed setting a record, the data is another reminder that climate change is making the world hotter and pushing it into a new state.

    This May was the second-warmest May on record, according to NASA data released on Thursday. The planet was 1.6°F (0.88°C) warmer than normal last month, trailing 2016 by just a 10th of a degree.
    ——————————————————-
    Since then, temperatures have increased to the point where warmer-than-normal conditions have become the new normal. The NASA data uses 1951-1980 as the average temperature measuring stick. You’d have to look back to July 1985 to find a cooler than normal month.

    Using 1881-1910 as a measuring stick is a more telling measure of how much the climate has changed. Using that baseline means you’d have to go all the way back to December 1964 to find a month that was chillier than normal.

    Reply
  7. Shawn Redmond

     /  June 17, 2017

    And then there is this:
    https://icyseas.org/2017/06/16/is-petermann-gletscher-breaking-apart-this-summer/
    I am disturbed by new ocean data from Greenland every morning before breakfast these days. In 2015 we built a station that probes the ocean below Petermann Gletscher every hour. Data travels from the deep ocean via copper cables to the glacier surface, passes through a weather station, jumps the first satellite overhead, hops from satellite to satellite, falls back to earth hitting an antenna in my garden, and fills an old computer.

    Reply
  8. Robert Lehmert

     /  June 17, 2017

    It’s an improvement, a huge one. But it makes me really thankful I live in Vermont, which has a 4 cent solar adder for 10 years, not a 25% subtractor. The adder can be applied to all components of the bill, even the customer service and efficiency fund charges.

    Reply
    • Good points, Robert. Vermont is certainly a leader when it comes to wind and solar. I’d rather see such a policy serve as a national benchmark. However, this is a pretty huge reversal from Nevada’s previously severe anti-home-solar policies.

      Reply
  9. climatehawk1

     /  June 17, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  10. June

     /  June 17, 2017

    What real climate leadership looks like.

    Sweden legally commits to reaching net-zero emissions by 2045

    https://qz.com/1007833/swedens-climate-act-legally-commits-the-country-to-reach-net-zero-emissions-by-2045/

    Reply
  11. Paul

     /  June 17, 2017

    The Nevada solar energy story is really great news. That having been said, however, I feel the need to post a link to an article in the Washington Post that lays out what we are up against in the Trump administration’s prejudice against investments in renewable energy:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/31/its-our-central-hub-for-clean-energy-science-trump-wants-to-cut-it-massively/?utm_term=.8340cc433af3

    The article describes Trump’s proposed slashing of the budget of the agency that helped make solar power affordable.

    It is clear that the Trump administration (and much of the current U.S. Republican Party) is completely bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry. The fossil fuel industry has gotten exactly what they paid for in the last election and now controls the direction of U.S. government energy policy through the current Republican leadership. As a former Republican that is concerned about the climate, this is very distressing.

    For a great read on how we got to this point, here is a link to a recent New York Times article:

    The article describes the behind-the-scenes work done by the fossil fuel industry to influence members of the Republican Party.

    Thank you Robert for all you do and for bringing us the news about the change in Nevada’s solar policy. We need all the good news we can get these days!

    Reply
  12. Notice the Tesla sign in the background? And Nevada Governor Sandoval signing the solar net metering bill in the foreground?

    https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/sandoval-signs-new-solar-policy-papers.png?w=600&h=362

    Wonder if Elon Musk and Tesla – and the banks presumably lending him money – had the political clout to get net metering reinstated? I guess Nevada is the site of the Tesla Gigafactory?

    Solar industries with more political clout than the fossil fuel industries? Elon Musk with more political weight than Warren Buffet?

    Is this a political tipping point?

    Reply
    • For all the differences of opinion I may have with Elon, I can certainly appreciate the positive economic influence of the green energy lobby he’s spear-heading in so many regions. If his influence can outweigh that of someone like Buffet on energy, it’s a pretty big deal. There’s a lot in flux at this time. And given Trump, the U.S. is still in danger of losing so much of the progress achieved since 2008. But these continued victories are pretty significant. It serves to highlight how all actions at all levels in resistance to fossil fuels and in promotion of clean energy have an impact. I’m heartened. But I think there are serious challenges ahead.

      Reply
  13. Robert in New Orleans

     /  June 17, 2017

    “Large Canadian Arctic climate change study cancelled due to climate change.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170613150651.htm

    The Arctic sea ice must in sad shape for this to occur.

    Reply
    • Another truth-is-stranger -than-fiction situation in a bizarre predicament.

      Reply
      • Robert in New Orleans

         /  June 19, 2017

        The irony of this story is that the icebreaker requires stable ice in order function as designed and cannot cope with a chaotic marine environment as is occurring now in the Arctic Ocean. This would also seam to preclude off shore exploration for oil and gas deposits.

        Reply
  14. Shawn Redmond

     /  June 18, 2017

    1964! Really! I guess I shouldn’t be alarmed.
    https://thinkprogress.org/millennials-will-never-experience-this-84a0ec694ea7

    But before our millennial readers start writing us that the term generally refers to people born starting in the early 1980s, consider this: July 1985 is only a cooler-than-average month if you use the base period 1951 to 1980, as NASA does for its data. But humans were warming the planet by burning fossil fuels long before then — the Industrial Revolution began over two centuries ago.
    So when you use an 1880 to 1899 baseline to reflect the earlier warming, as Schmidt does in the graph above, you see we have to go back much further to find a colder than average year — or month.
    Climate Central looked at the monthly data using the earlier baseline and found that “if you were born after December 1964, you’ve never experienced a month cooler than average on this planet.”

    Reply
  15. Abel Adamski

     /  June 18, 2017
    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  June 18, 2017

      Republicans in Wisconsin have just advanced a measure to officially join the group of states calling for a constitutional convention.

      That means Republicans are now one step closer to destroying the constitutional rights we hold dear. If they win control of just two more legislatures, they’ll gain the power to unilaterally call a convention to rewrite our constitution – with Donald Trump and Paul Ryan setting the ground rules.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  June 18, 2017

        Very, very disturbing and dangerous..them wanting a Constitutional Convention. And with the Republicans governing so many states..it could happen. #Resistance more important than ever.

        Reply
      • Sen Tom Coburn stepped down from his Senate Office here in Oklahoma to work on this…He thinks Rachael Carson was a very evil person and Global warming is a hoax..I am reading Chris Hedges book on the power of religious right (American Fascists The Christain Right and the War On the Planet). I think they might get away with this..Heritage Foundation and all those tax haven “Think”Tanks behind it..They have a LOT of money and power

        Reply
        • The name of Hedges book is” American Fascists TheChristian Right and the War On America” not the war on the Planet altho they are at war w the Planet

    • entropicman

       /  June 18, 2017

      When first elected talk of Trump the autocrat seemed foolish.

      Now he is starting to resemble Nehemiah Scudder.

      Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  June 19, 2017

      Abel, many thanks for your post. It is the nuclear weapon that can destroy America’s democracy.

      An informative pdf on the role of states can be accessed at:

      http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/7-16-14sfp.pdf

      Reply
    • Thanks, everyone, for pitching in on this. Critically important!

      Reply
  16. Spike

     /  June 18, 2017

    Twitter comments on how warm the Mediterranean is – 40% above normal temp!

    Reply
    • And http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tropical-sea-creatures-blooming-bc-1.4164883

      Millions of non-native creatures known as pyrosomes are “blooming” off the coast of British Columbia and have the potential to devastate an already fragile food chain.
      A research team in central Oregon reported gathering an estimated 60,000 individual pyrosomes in around five minutes of trawling with a net.

      If the nutrient-poor pyrosomes out-compete nutrient-rich crustaceans, it could severely upend the food chain from crustaceans right up to salmon and humpback whales.

      “It’s kind of crazy, it’s a little bit over the top,” said Galbraith, who has a theory that the creatures arrived after becoming stuck in anomalous warm water currents that occurred in the eastern Pacific between 2014 and 2016.”Right now, these are only visitors, not an invasive species, yet,” Galbraith said. “They are here for now, until the currents take them elsewhere.”

      Reply
    • Thanks for this. SSTs in NE Pacific heating up again as well. Not quite hot blob, yet. But it appears to be trending back that way.

      Reply
  17. Abel Adamski

     /  June 18, 2017

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/333288/forest-fires-kill-more-than-50-in-central-portugal

    Forest fires kill more than 50 in central Portugal
    A forest fire in Portugal has killed at least 57 people, most of them trapped in cars that were caught in the blaze.

    The fire, which started yesterday, is still burning out of control and is already one of the deadliest in Portugal in decades.

    It hit the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, 200km south-east of Lisbon, amid an intense heat wave fanned by strong winds.

    Several firefighters are among the 59 people injured.

    It is not yet known what caused the fire, which has also burnt down houses in the area.

    “Unfortunately this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

    The death toll could rise further, he said.

    Reply
  18. Ryan in New England

     /  June 18, 2017

    A forest fire in Portugal, exacerbated by extreme heat, has claimed the lives of at least 57 people, many who died in their cars as they tried to escape.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/18/portugal-more-than-20-people-killed-in-forest-fires

    Reply
  19. Ryan in New England

     /  June 18, 2017

    Jeff Masters on the possible record heatwave currently hitting the US southwest.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/all-time-extreme-heat-expected-southwest-us

    Reply
  20. Suzanne

     /  June 18, 2017
    Reply
  21. Bob

     /  June 18, 2017

    In order for mankind to survive the next fifty years we must learn from the past. Evolution of species includes many survival factors including anatomical, physiological, behavioural, sociological and psychological. Our species has survived many pressures in the past and has learned to adapt. A new field of investigation and cooperation is in “Cultural Evolution”.
    Here is a good introduction to it and to the people forming a new alliance. It is much needed if we are to cooperate and survive.

    https://shift.newco.co/cultural-evolution-in-the-anthropocene-8cf93fcad322

    Reply
  22. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    *
    *
    Nevada Governor Sandoval signs new state law re-opening the state to the rooftop solar industry.

    Reply
  23. Greg

     /  June 18, 2017

    I didn’t get this earlier but this is more than a rollback. It is a new policy model. “The passage of AB 405 marks the first time in U.S. history that consumers have been statutorily guaranteed the right to self-generate electricity, said Wellinghoff, who helped craft portions of the bill in his new role as an independent policy consultant. Under Section 24 of the bill, consumers are granted the right to generate their own electricity and offset their own internal usage one-for-one at the full retail rate, in the same way they can install energy efficient light bulbs or appliances and save energy at the retail rate. Whatever energy you no longer take from the grid, you don’t have to pay for.”
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/nevadas-new-solar-law-is-about-much-more-than-net-metering

    Reply
    • Sounds like a possible amendment to the Bill of Rights pending… “the right to self-generate electricity.”

      Thanks for pointing this out, Greg. A key insight.

      Reply
  24. wili

     /  June 18, 2017

    The circulation just to the Siberian side of the North Pole now has a pressure at one place in its center of 985 hPa: https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=-55.57,81.19,293/loc=116.466,84.352

    If it were a tropical cyclone, that would put it (barely) within the Category 2 range.

    https://australiasevereweather.com/cyclones/tropical_cyclone_intensity_scale.htm

    Reply
    • 967 Mb in the 5-day GFS model run… Things are getting interesting.

      Note that May through early June was a bit cooler than average for the high arctic, but that the edge region was still considerably warmer than normal. This says dipole to me — which means hieghtened storm potential due to therma differential.

      Reply
  25. Greg

     /  June 19, 2017

    The U.S. hit 10% renewables for the first time in March.

    Most of this was wind but solar is steadily coming on
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/renewable-record-wind-and-solar-crossed-the-10-percent-threshold-for-us

    Reply
  26. Ryan in New England

     /  June 19, 2017

    A grim (but largely accurate) piece by Chris Hedges about climate change, and the powerful forces preventing change that must be overthrown.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/we_cant_fight_climate_change_if_we_keep_lying_to_ourselves_20170618

    “You had the Black Sea drought, affecting grain harvest in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan,” he said. “This ripples through world markets. Bread prices spike in Tunisia and Egypt. People are out in the street protesting this mukhabarat [secret police] state they’ve lived in for 30 years. But it’s also about the price of bread. That’s one way that a climate crisis appears. It doesn’t appear like a climate crisis at first. You have to think about the interconnections of the world economy.”

    The civil war in Syria was preceded in 2006 by the worst drought in 900 years, as well as an austerity program that weakened government support systems. Farmlands were transformed into arid dust bowls. Livestock perished. Food prices skyrocketed. Over 1.5 million desperate people from the countryside fled to urban areas, many packing themselves into the shantytowns and slums set up by refugees during the war in Iraq. And into the chaos walked Islamic State. The war, which has taken half a million lives, created 4.8 million refugees and internally displaced 7 million people in Syria. The refugee crisis that resulted in Europe is the worst since the end of World War II. The influx to Europe has empowered nationalist and protofascist movements and touched off a rise in hate crimes. Climate change is the unseen hand in unrest, social disintegration, chaos and war.

    “In a place like Afghanistan, cops pay to have those jobs,” he said. “They pay the head cops. They pay the dues so they can shake down traffic on the roads. That’s spreading all over the world. Its uniforms, insignia, paperwork, ministries and officialdom all exist, but exist for the personal gain of whoever is wearing that uniform.”

    “The possibility of a progressive, civil, left politics is curtailed in a world where drug-addled teenagers run the checkpoints,” he said. “That’s really important to keep in mind. Then the immediate response in the West is to justify further military intervention, which in every case is the immediate cause, or trigger, of state collapse. Of course, there are older, deeper problems that set it up. Libya is a perfect example. The NATO bombing campaign created that failed state. Iraq is a semi-failed state. Yemen is a semi-failed state. Half of Syria is a failed state. U.S. and Western intervention has been pretty instrumental in a lot of that. The great irony is there’s further justification for an overdeveloped military. That’s bad for democratic politics here.”

    “In the long run, it won’t work,” he warned. “The process of state failure spreads and spreads. What we see in response is also a hardening of democratic regimes in the north. We’ve got xenophobic politics in the U.S. Southwest in response to a migration crisis [and that kind of politics also] is happening in Europe across the Mediterranean. There are all sorts of great humanitarian responses. But there’s also a very clear shift to the right. France has this state of emergency that’s still in effect. Right-wing politics are doing well all across Europe. One of the great dangers of state failure in the global south in the short term is the hardening and drift towards increasingly authoritarian, xenophobic, quasi-fascist type of politics in the global north and developing states.”

    Reply
    • There’s a lot of bits where I tend to disagree with Hedges (at the margins for the most part). But his identification of the forces that influence state collapse is pretty spot on. I’d add that it’s very tough to stabilize marginal states in a worsening climate environment. And foreign policy aimed at regional dominance will just worsen the trend. We need to look more toward state support and working with positive agencies within states to develop internal resources and virtuous power centers. This is very difficult and requires long-term thinking. That said, I think sustainability and renewable energy technology can form a bridge to more virtuous systems as long as the innate democratization of these energy systems are leveraged to their fullest.

      Reply
  27. miles h

     /  June 19, 2017

    just checking on EARTH https://earth.nullschool.net
    there are NO areas in the northern hemisphere are below 0c (excepting a few of the islands north of Canada)… and the ocean temp also above freezing point of seawater… with warm (above zero) winds blowing off siberia.

    Reply
  28. Vic

     /  June 19, 2017


    A midwinter bloom of Noctiluca scintillans discovered by Miss Millie, a dog living in the South Australian town of Port Lincoln.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-19/luminescent-algae-in-port-lincoln/8630666

    Reply
  29. Vic

     /  June 19, 2017

    Sadly, it seems that while Nevada’s Governor Sandoval was giving with one hand, he was taking away with the other…

    “The state will not be getting a higher renewable energy standard or community solar after Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed these bills on Friday.”

    https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/jun/16/sandoval-veto-community-solar-higher-clean-energy/

    Reply
    • Net metering in Nevada was just one battle of many to follow. Clearly solar opponents are already trying to shift the goal posts… But the public is clearly in solar’s corner.

      Reply
  30. Interesting article on Crescent Dunes concentrating solar thermal power plant with molten salt heat energy storage in Nevada:

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3057288/this-huge-new-solar-farm-near-las-vegas-provides-power-even-at-night

    “As the first utility-scale solar plant of its kind in the world with built-in storage, Crescent Dunes cost around $1 billion to build. That’s cheaper than a solar PV plant with battery storage. It’s actually also cheaper than building a brand-new coal plant (with modern environmental protection) or a nuclear plant.

    “People have a tendency to compare our technology to a coal plant that was built 30 years ago. It’s fully depreciated, and they don’t have to pay for the capital anymore, and it’s just the cost of burning fuel,” says Smith, who previously worked on traditional energy plants.

    Molten salt receiver is state-of-the-art CSP technology, enabling capturing and storing of the sun’s energy, providing reliable electricity on demand.

    The next projects the company are working on are 30% to 40% cheaper, and they expect cost to keep coming down. The biggest markets are outside of the U.S., in places such as Chile and China, where governments have committed to rely on renewables. “They’re finding out that they have to put storage on the grid or they’re going to have blackouts,” he says.

    One of the company’s next projects, a one-gigawatt plant in China, will be 10 times as large as the one near Vegas. By 2020, China plans to build 10 more—the equivalent of 100 solar farms the size of Crescent Dunes.”

    Reply
    • Image of the central receiver:

      This solar thermal plant is in Tonopah. This is a 100 MW plant.

      Nevada has another concentrating solar plant without molten salt energy storage, in Ivanpah, that burns natural gas to supplement the solar. But the Crescent Dunes plant does not need to burn natural gas, and provides solar base load power, at least in the summer.

      Lower cost heliostats would help bring the cost down, a lot of the cost in concentrating solar plants is due to the heliostats.

      Reply

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