Sierra Pacific Power installs renewables at its Reno office

A wind turbine designed and built by Reno's Cobalt Energy is part of a demonstration of renewable energy under installation at Sierra Pacific Power's headquarters at 6100 Neil Road in Reno.

The turbine installed on a 60-foot tower outside the southeast corner office building will generate 10 kilowatts of power.

A spokesman for the utility said Sierra Pacific chose the system designed by Cobalt because tests have shown it's more efficient than other products on the market. Then, too, the utility wanted to purchase from a supplier in northern Nevada.

Along with the wind turbine, Sierra Pacific is installing solar panels developed by Japan's Kocera Solar Inc. in two arrays.

One array of 12 panels installed near the customer entrance to the office property will move vertically and horizontally to track the sun.

Another array of 510 panels installed along Delucchi Lane north of the office building won't move. Each panel is 52 by 39 inches.

Bombard Electric of Las Vegas, a specialist in photovoltaic systems, is handling the installation.

The two solar arrays will generate about 76 kilowatts of electricity. Together, the turbine and the solar panels will generate enough electricity to power approximately 17 homes.

The output of the solar and wind equipment will be converted from direct current to alternating current and fed directly into the power system at the Sierra Pacific building.

Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for Sierra Pacific, said the company is installing the solar and wind systems to help customers understand how the technologies work. The company plans to install a monitor in its customer lobby to show the output of the systems.

The tracking array of photovoltaic panels will be installed this month. The fixed-array photovoltaic system is scheduled to begin operation in October.

The wind turbine system is scheduled to be fully operational at the end of this month.


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