The Nevada Legislature will likely pass several bills to advance renewable energy development in the Silver State. One bill being considered in the Senate is SB 204. If passed, this bill will address one of the greatest challenges in the clean energy industry: storage.
State Senators Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) and Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) proposed SB 204 to require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to consider energy storage standards to apply to electric utilities. Atkinson also chairs the Senate Commerce, Labor, and Energy (CLE) Committee, so he’s on the ground floor on whichever #RenewNV clean energy bills ultimately pass the Legislature this session.
“We’re doing our best in this state to lead on clean energy. […] The goal in this state is to create new jobs for our citizens.” – Senator Kelvin Atkinson
Why is storage such a big issue? The sun only shines for so many hours per day. The wind only blows when it does. If Nevada is to reclaim its status as a renewable energy leader, the state must add storage capacity to its energy infrastructure. Companies in Australia, India, and Switzerland– are busy working on solutions so homes and businesses can use renewable energy 24 hours a day.
Companies like Tesla want to reassert American leadership on clean energy. As the company aims to solidify its footprint in Nevada, its representatives gave Senate CLE a presentation to demonstrate the storage solutions it’s already working on. Tesla also submitted a friendly amendment to clean up the language in SB 204.
Other companies working in renewable energy also testified in support of SB 204.
“Energy storage is key to Nevada’s clean energy future. […] Energy storage will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollutants, and costs for Nevadans by offsetting the need for new expensive investments in generation and infrastructure.” – Daniel Kolta, 8minutenergy
Advanced Energy Economy, Clean Energy Project, Valley Electric, and even the Southern Nevada Homebuilders Association testified in support of SB 204. Opposition was minimal. A NV Energy representative came to testify in neutral, discuss what the utility giant is already doing on storage, and note concerns on cost. Renewable energy storage costs have fallen from an average of $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010, and may reach $200 per kilowatt-hour in 2020.
SB 204 is part of the RenewNV coalition’s portfolio of renewable energy and climate action bills they are pursuing this legislative session. Bills such as AB 206 (to strengthen Nevada’s renewable energy portfolio standard) have already been heard. Expect additional bills, such as AB 270 to restore rooftop solar net metering, to move through the Legislature in the coming days.