Gov. Sandoval Orders Assessment Of Transmission Line Construction For Renewable Energy Development

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval today issued an executive order directing a state agency and task force to assess the regional market for Nevada’s renewable energy resources.

In a briefing with Sandoval Senior Adviser Dale Erquiaga and Nevada State Office of Energy Director Stacey Crowley, it was explained that the assessment is intended to help determine if alternative energy resources can be developed in the state for transmission to California to meet its ambitious alternative energy goals.

The order directs the New Energy Industry Task Force to facilitate “the timely development of transmission facilities and renewable energy resources in this state  . . .”

Courtesy of the Nevada State Office of Energy.

Crowley said she expects to name the 11 members of the task force by Dec. 1 with the goal of having a first meeting before the end of the year. A technical advisory committee will also be appointed, with representatives from the Public Utilities Commission, among others, to assist in the charge given the panel by Sandoval.

Erquiaga said clean energy is one of the sectors identified in the report released last week by the Brookings Institution and SRI International offering guidance to Sandoval and policy makers on economic diversification and new job creation. The report identifies seven economic sectors, some already in existence such as gaming and tourism, and some emerging such as clean energy, where Nevada should focus its efforts.

“How do we get a market for clean energy generated in this state?” Erquiaga asked. “We have to be able to put it on the grid and transmit it, really, to the hungry market over the hill in California.”

Erquiaga said the transmission line discussion has been going on for some time, particularly by NV Energy.

“Part of this conversation is about the ‘where’ the stuff goes, part of this conversation is about the business case; if we generate it, will they buy it,” he said.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has also issued an order mandating that areas of the U.S. look at the regional development of transmission lines, Crowley said.

Crowley’s office will oversee the work of the task force, which is an existing statutory committee. The panel has until Aug. 1, 2012 to report to Sandoval on the business case for the production and transmission of renewable energy for both native and regional requirements.

The deadline is to ensure enough time for the drafting of any legislation that may be needed to implement the task force recommendations, and to allow for any budgetary considerations.

“We need to understand the costs associated with that transmission, and the benefits to Nevadans, whether it be new tax base, job creation, etcetera,” Crowley said. “So those numbers need to be determined in order for us to make a business case to say, California we think we can give you our renewable energy. We may have to build some transmission lines to get there, but it will still be worth it for you, there is still value in it for both states.”

Crowley said California has a goal of obtaining 33 percent of its energy needs through alternative sources by 2020.

Nevada’s goal is 25 percent of its energy consumption coming from alternative energy by 2025.

Erquiaga said Nevada officials are working closely with California Gov. Jerry Brown’s staff on the potential of supplying alternative energy to the state. Brown and Sandoval discussed the issue at an energy summit in Las Vegas in August, he said.


Audio clips:

Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to Gov. Brian Sandoval, says the task force will determine how to create a market for Nevada’s renewable energy resources:

112111Erquiaga1 :12 hill in California.”

Erquiaga says Nevada needs to determine that if the energy is developed, will California buy it:

112111Erquiaga2 :08 they buy it.”

Nevada State Office of Energy Director Stacey Crowley says the study will determine benefits to the state if renewable energy resources are developed:

112111Crowley :25 for both states.”

  • Anonymous

    This smacks of partisan politics. A “review” is a pseudonym for sllllooooowwwww dooowwwnnn. The so-called blue ribbon panel which we just paid has identified clean energy as a significant emerging technology in NV, but Governor Sandoval is going to logjam the means to make money on those news technologies through transmission. And the punchline will be that clean energy is too expensive. Where have we seen this partisanship before. History is NOT on the side of dragging heels, Too bad, I thought this governor was smarter than that. Factor in the price of war and the human lives we have destroyed through war (i.e. troop supply drive because they are over there right now) and all of the sudden this smart energy transmission line is a no brainer. Well, that is, if you use your brain and put aside partisan politics. good luck with that.

  • Anonymous

    The U.S. has HUNDREDS of years of energy and there is NO NEED to waste money on phony green energy that costs WAY TOO MUCH;
    Even NPR knows the truth; Americas; U.S., Canada, S. America have SIX times the oil of the Middle East plus Africa;

    “The US, Jaffe says, could have 2 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be
    drilled. South America could hold another 2 trillion. And Canada? 2.4
    trillion. That’s compared to just 1.2 trillion in the Middle East and
    north Africa.

    Add to this 150 years of nat gas just for the U.S. and 600 years of coal