‘Energy’ articles

Nevada clean-energy entrepreneur faces hostile bureaucracies, subsidized competitors

More business-friendly Texas suggests he leave Nevada, relocate there

LAS VEGAS — Mike Little was captain of his Division I college football team. He’s also an accomplished architect. But what he’s most passionate about, the potential of his green-energy business, keeps eluding him, because of hostile government bureaucracies.

“I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said Little. “This could be a major economic development if they’d get out of the way and let everything come together.”

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Green-energy bills to increase power rates survive committee deadlines

Amendment scraps RPS increase, but industry experts predict higher burden on ratepayers

LAS VEGAS — Several renewable-energy bills moving forward in the Nevada Legislature will lead to higher energy rates, say consumer advocates and industry experts.

“We’re not opposed to closing [coal-powered] plants,” said Dan Jacobson, an advocate with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Affairs, “but we’re concerned the replacement options are inappropriate and could increase the costs to ratepayers.”

Jacobson is referring to SB 123, which would put into effect an NV Energy proposal dubbed “NVision.” The plan would gradually move the company’s energy portfolio away from coal-powered plants to an increasingly renewable-based portfolio. During the session, the bill’s estimated impact on rates has been heavily debated in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy committee.

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Campaign donors, politicians behind Searchlight wind project

Duke Energy, Sen. Reid play major role as wind-turbine farm imposed on community

SEARCHLIGHT — The Department of the Interior may have recently approved the Searchlight Wind Project, but those who stand to benefit most from the project are politicians and well-connected campaign donors, and not the people of Searchlight.

“People from other communities told us, ‘you don’t want [wind turbines],’” said Sandy Walters, chairwoman of the Searchlight Town Advisory Board. “We tried telling that to BLM and Duke Energy, too.”

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Searchlight wind farm could reduce property values by 25-60 percent, suggest studies

BLM report: 'No clear inference' on property value impact; residents, realtors disagree

SEARCHLIGHT — Ellen Ross, a Las Vegas-based real estate agent, bought her 17-acre property in Searchlight nine years ago as a reprieve from Vegas noise and for the property’s long vistas of Joshua trees and the Newberry Mountains.

Her days of enjoying that uncluttered natural view became numbered, however, on March 13. That’s when she learned she’ll be getting new neighbors: a dozen 428-feet-tall wind turbines — each taller than the length of an American football field.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the turbines. They’ll not only ruin her view, says Ross, but, more importantly, they’ll significantly reduce the value of her property.

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Energy-cost 'savings' from solar bus shelters would take 33 years to make taxpayers whole

The shelters, however, have only a 20-year lifespan

LAS VEGAS — Earlier this year, officials from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada touted savings generated by new solar-power bus shelters.

It turns out, however, that a shelter’s lifespan is significantly less than what would be required to repay taxpayers’ investment.

A press release from RTC General Manager Jacob Snow boasted that the “new transit shelters feature energy-saving LED lighting and solar panels that enable the shelters to power their own illumination without being connected to the local power grid.”

“As a result,” stated Snow, “these 150 new bus shelters are estimated to save taxpayers about $54,000 a year in energy costs.”

Given that rate of savings and the total $1.8 million federal taxpayer investment, it would take at least 33 years for taxpayers to recoup their investment.

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Nevada Journal examination of green-energy projects receives national attention on Fox Business show

Money with Melissa Francis interviews NPRI President Andy Matthews

Reid-sponsored Clean Energy Summit touts a government-controlled energy future

Presenters push hard for tax subsidies, remain
mum on private-sector energy development

LAS VEGAS — The theme of Tuesday’s National Clean Energy Summit, hosted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was “the power of choice.”

Nevertheless, most of the speakers indicated they want politicians and government — not the choices of American consumers — to determine the country’s energy future.

“All forms of government, from federal down to the state, need to be aligned if we’re going to be successful in building a green economy,” asserted Reid during the conference.

Held at the Bellagio Resort and Casino, the fifth annual summit featured a keynote address by former president Bill Clinton and several panel discussions facilitated by lawmakers and leaders in the renewable-energy industry.

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$1.3 billion in ‘clean energy’ subsidies
produce 288 permanent jobs, quadruple
cost of electricity in Nevada

Reid-sponsored National Clean Energy Summit
pushes more subsidies as key to Nevada’s future

LAS VEGAS — As U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid prepares to host his fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit on Aug. 7, a Nevada Journal examination of Nevada’s renewable energy sector shows that over $1.3 billion in federal funds funneled into geothermal, solar and wind projects since 2009 has yielded and is projected to yield just 288 permanent, full-time jobs.

That’s an initial cost of over $4.6 million per job.

Despite this, Sen. Reid continues to hype Nevada as the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy,” even though the renewable energy subsidized with federal dollars and mandated under Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard costs consumers and NV Energy, Nevada’s publicly regulated utility company, up to four times as much as fossil fuels, such as natural gas.

Even with these government-granted advantages, the few clean-energy jobs in the state of Nevada are still precarious.

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Canadian firm will receive up to 50 million stimulus dollars for Nevada solar plant that employs two people

Energy generated will cost ratepayers almost
three times as much as energy from natural gas

LAS VEGAS — The company behind the recently opened Silver State North solar plant is eligible to receive up to $50 million in federal tax credits under the Obama administration’s “stimulus” legislation, even though the plant created only two full-time jobs.

According to a Department of Interior memo, Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian-based company with extensive energy holdings in the U.S. that purchased the Southern Nevada plant from Arizona-based First Solar, “can apply for payments of up to 30 percent of the eligible costs of the project — approximately $50 million.”

The payments are available through the 1603 Program, a special exemption in the Treasury Department created by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to “reimburse eligible applicants for a portion of the cost of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income.”

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Federal subsidy powers Las Vegas'
purchase of Chevy Volts

Electric cars, unless paid for by federal dollars, won't save taxpayers money.