Carson Valley Chamber hears case for solar utilities as economic driver |

Carson Valley Chamber hears case for solar utilities as economic driver

by Kurt Hildebrand
Western Way Nevada Director Blake Guinn addresses the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Kurt Hildebrand

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — Renewable energy could serve as an economic driver in rural Nevada, a speaker told the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Nevada Director of the Western Way Blake Guinn said NV Energy recently received clearance from the Public Utilities Commission for six utility scale renewable energy plants across the Silver State.

“We would like these plants to be built in rural Nevada,” he said.

In a letter to the commission, Guinn pointed out that only one of the new plants was proposed for rural Nevada, in Humboldt County.

He told chamber members that most of the renewable energy plants in the state are located in Clark and Washoe counties.

“These six power plants are going to happen now,” he said. “We are going to be advocating for these happening in rural parts of Nevada, not just Clark and Washoe. Right now renewables are becoming quite competitive against oil and natural gas.”

Guinn said his organization looks for free market solutions to energy and environmental issues affecting the West.

He said one of the biggest arguments against renewable energy is that it is subsidized by the government.

He pointed out that the largest energy company in the state, NV Energy, is using oil which is also subsidized.

Two utility-scale solar plants were proposed in Douglas County in 2015. Not only were both rejected, the county implemented an ordinance that prohibited them outside of industrial zoning.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Chernock said he felt the economic case wasn’t properly made for the installations.