NV Energy will add 1,200 MW of solar and 560 MW of battery storage by the end of 2023, the utility announced Monday.
Three projects consisting of 200 MW, 300 MW and 690 MW of solar will be paired with 375 MWh, 540 MWh and over 1,400 MWh of battery storage, respectively. The utility says the three projects will exceed the utility's goal to double its renewable energy output by 2023.
- Under state legislation passed in April, NV Energy and any power provider in the state that provides 1 million MWh or more of power has to generate 50% of its power from renewable resources by 2030 and 100% from carbon-free sources by 2050.
NV Energy has continued to ramp up its clean energy goals and proposals as demand mounts for low-cost renewables, especially from large-scale business customers.
The utility was beset with a growing number of customers applying to exit its service in 2018 and going into this year, as retail power provider prices became more competitive.
But the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary has had record low solar prices in recent years and the rapid customer exit seems to have tapered off by a combination of compromises by the utility and a bill that passed this legislative session.
Senate Bill 547 requires any business applying to leave the monopoly utility's power service to prove their exit won't have a significant impact on rates and that it's in the public's best interest for them to leave.
And though that bill is the second effort to prevent the monopoly utility from losing its grip on the market — following a failed ballot initiative in November that would have established a retail choice electricity market in the state — NV Energy seems to be buckling down and providing the innovative, cost-competitive services its customers are asking for, say some policy watchers.
"What drove that dash is, I think to a certain degree, ... that [large customers] saw … they could procure and be self reliant, and be able to manage and be on top of their own investments, and they can do it cost effectively," Ray Fakhoury, a principal at Advanced Energy Economy, told Utility Dive.
"And so now that you're seeing promises being made by the state's utility to continue investing in these technologies, ultimately reaching 100%, carbon-free energy, ... I think that's what got a lot of folks to kind of slow down."
But the utility has also struck a number of deals to further prevent customers from leaving, including over $1 million in cash payments over the next five years to the city of Henderson and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Nevada Independent reported. "Any costs associated with the customer agreements are not included in electric rates," utility spokesperson Jennifer Schuricht told the media outlet.
NV Energy is seeking regulatory approval for the three newest projects, all scheduled to be sited in Clark County, Nevada, as part of its upcoming integrated resource plan.
|Project||Developer||Solar Capacity||Storage Capacity|
|Arrow Canyon Solar Project||EDF Renewables North America||200 MW||375 MWh|
|Southern Bighorn Solar & Storage Center||8minute Solar Energy||300 MW||540 MWh|
|Gemini Solar + Battery Storage Project||Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and Arevia Power||690 MW||over 1,400 MWh|