Renewable energy standard bill advances
June 12, 2017
Update: Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval on June 16, vetoes Assembly Bill 206, Isaying that producing energy through renewable sources is a worthwhile goal, but the law's "adoption is premature in the face of evolving energy policy in Nevada."
Clean energy bills have been a big focus in the 2017 Legislative session – including Assembly Bill 206.
AB 206 requires that 40 percent of Nevada's electricity come from Nevada's renewable sources such as geothermal, solar, wind, etc. by 2030. This be an increase from Nevada's current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. AB 206 passed in the Assembly with a 30-12 vote on May 24 and in the Senate with a 12-9 vote on June 5. The bill has gone to the governor's desk and was awaiting a decision at the time of press.
Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League, was optimistic about Gov. Sandoval signing the bill into law.
"I think that Nevada is moving in a path toward more clean energy," Maggi said in a phone interview with NNBW. "Gov. Sandoval has shown time and time again that he is a champion and a supporter of clean energy."
"(Sandoval) wants the state to be a leader not only a user of clean energy," he added.
While Sandoval has been a strong advocate for renewable energy in Nevada, the Nevada Appeal (sister paper to the NNBW) reported last week that he was still undecided on AB 206.
The state is currently working toward 25 percent renewable energy by 2025, rather than the steeper 40 percent in the bill. In several interviews throughout the session, Sandoval echoed the concerns of the state's monopolized energy provider, NV Energy, and opponents at the Legislature that forcing the electricity provider to build and connect clean-energy infrastructure ahead of a 2018 ballot measure to overhaul the market could leave resources stranded and cause rate hikes.
Promoters of the bill said that it would help diversify the state's economy as well as create new jobs.
"These projects have to be built so it is going to generate good paying jobs in the construction industry," Maggi said.
He also said that it would attract other companies to the state.
"Right now we are seeing companies like Apple and Switch coming to our state because of our sunshine and because of our access to clean energy," Maggi said.
Jessica Scott of Vote Solar echoed Maggi's comments about attracting more companies to Nevada.
"Companies want to come to states with (clean) energy like this," she said in a phone interview.
The passage of AB 206 and other clean energy bills could "help reposition Nevada as an energy leader," Scott added.
AB 206 had not been signed or vetoed by Sandoval at the time of publication. This story will be updated at NNBW.com. For more information about AB 206 and other energy related bills, visit http://www.leg.state.nv.us.