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Local News

Environmental groups want NV Energy to ‘step up,’ deliver on promises

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Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

Individuals and environmental groups have had their input on NV Energy’s 2024 Integrated Resource Plan, which some say will play a big role in the state’s energy future. The feedback session was mandated under Assembly Bill 524 which passed last year to increase transparency and engage Nevadans in energy decisions.

NV Energy says one of its biggest challenges will be meeting the state’s rapidly growing power demands, while also ensuring reliability, affordability and sustainability.

Tracy Puckett, 30-year Las Vegas resident, wants to know why the company isn’t tapping into more renewables, like solar.

“Why are we wasting this opportunity for our state to benefit in so many ways?” Puckett asked. “Decrease air pollution, decrease greenhouse production, clean good-paying jobs and stable energy costs are among the few benefits of maximizing solar energy.”

Nevada ranks sixth in the nation for solar energy production, and just over 25% of the state’s electricity comes from solar, according to Solar Energy Industries Association.

Puckett thinks the state should maximize solar use on large buildings and parking structures, instead of breaking ground on new, industrial-scale solar projects that could negatively affect wildlife and ecosystems.

Yazmyn Pelaez, communications director for the Nevada Conservation League, called on NV Energy to “step up and deliver on its promises of stable, affordable and clean power for all Nevadans.” Pelaez said NV Energy claims it is working toward a commitment to reach 100% clean energy in Nevada, but argued its actions tell a different story.

“The utility has continued to expand gas-powered generation, with more than half of the state’s energy coming from gas. This has made Nevada more exposed and dependent on a single out-of-state fuel source and more vulnerable to wild swings in electric bills,” Pelaez said.

NV Energy points to the diversity of its renewables portfolio, which includes 15 geothermal projects, 26 solar projects and nearly a dozen wind, biomass, hydro and waste-heat projects.

Pelaez said she wants to see NV Energy provide a transparent and comprehensive plan that aligns with the state’s clean energy and climate objectives.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.