Posts Tagged ‘transmission lines’

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

By Sean Whaley | 6:00 pm November 21st, 2011

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.

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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.”

Nevada Rep. Dean Heller Predicts No Action on Immigration Reform in Congress This Year

By Sean Whaley | 3:29 pm May 17th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said today he does not believe Congress will move forward with any type of immigration reform this year because the issue is too controversial for Democrats in an election year.

“The reason Arizona did what they did was out of frustration, absolute frustration over the federal government,” he said. “It is a hot, hot topic. And I think if it comes up, especially if it includes amnesty, which I am opposed to, it would be an issue that I don’t think the majority party wants in front of them coming into November.”

Heller, who said he has been talking about the need to deal with the immigration issue since being elected to Congress in District 2, made his comments on the Nevada NewsMakers television program.

Asked if the failure of the U.S. government to act on the issue could result in multiple and conflicting laws across the country as states and local governments take action on their own, Heller said Arizona’s law actually parallels the federal government law on the issue.

“Arizona’s law is not that different than the federal law,” he said. “The only difference is in Arizona they can’t deport. The federal government is the only one that can deport. I think this thing has gotten blown out of proportion.”

Heller said he does not believe the state of Arizona is as concerned about the potential backlash from its new immigration law as it is the cost of dealing with illegal immigrants. Several jurisdictions across the country have imposed or are considering travel boycotts to the state.

“Right now I don’t think they care about the backlash, what they are worried about is the cost that is coming to Arizona; what they have to bear,” he said.

Heller also said Congress needs to take action to make it easier for transmission lines to be built across Nevada so the state can take advantage of its geothermal, solar and wind energy potential.

Those energy opportunities cannot be developed without the transmission lines to move the electricity, he said.

“Geothermal to Reno could be what oil is to Houston,” he said. “The problem is 85 percent of the land is owned by the federal government. We can’t get transmission lines. So it doesn’t matter how many geothermal sites you may have in Northern Nevada if you can’t get energy from Point A to Point B.”

Heller said the state needs the transmission lines and less regulation and federal government involvement will speed up their construction.