Sisolak signs Nevada ‘new energy economy,’ infrastructure bank bills

The Legislature on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

The Legislature on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Photo: David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday, June 11, signed the bill that sponsor Sen. Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas, says will put Nevada at the forefront of the new energy economy.

SB448, Brooks said, will “capitalize on Nevada’s regional position in the U.S. to really make us a hub for this new energy economy.”

In addition, the governor on Thursday signed
SB430, pumping $75 million into the state’s Infrastructure Bank. The money raised through general obligation bonds will be used to get infrastructure projects under construction.

Both bills, Sisolak said, will create thousands of jobs for Nevadans.

The Infrastructure Bank will jump-start road, water and electric grid projects among other types of infrastructure.

Brooks said Nevada has no gas, oil or coal but has abundant sunlight, geothermal energy and wind.

He said the bill will, “create a framework by which we could develop transmission lines across Nevada.” He said it would allow the Silver State to connect with the surrounding western states. In the process, it would get access to federal lands that aren’t currently on the property tax rolls.

SB448 makes investments in clean energy transmission, energy efficiency programs and electric vehicle charging stations.

In the process, supporters including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Nevada Conservation League said it will create good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector.

Paul Selberg of the Conservation League said the law, “allows us to strengthen our transmission network, increase the availability of electric vehicle charging and invest in energy efficiency while yielding benefits to our economy with new jobs and energy cost savings.”

Mary House, CEO of Caring, Helping and Restoring Lives, said the law will also ease the financial burdens for families who spend larger percentages of their income on utility bills and transportation.

The law allows people or corporations who want to locate a solar or other renewable energy plant in Nevada or an energy storage facility to apply to the head of the Office of Energy for a partial abatement of taxes.

It requires electric utilities to submit a plan later this year to build certain high voltage transmission infrastructure to be online by 2028 as well as plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

It mandates that every electric transmission provider join a regional transmission organization before January 2030 and creates a regional Transmission Coordination Task Force to monitor and assist in improving transmission infrastructure.

Any provider wishing to dispose of generation assets must get Public Utilities Commission permission first.

Incentives to install or improve energy efficiencies would favor low-income households under the law.


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