Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 13, 2015
Cashing in as one of the sunniest states in America, Nevada had the third most new solar capacity added last year in the nation, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review, but actually jumped to No. 1 in the Southwest.
In 2014, Nevada added 339 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity, bringing its total to 789 MW. Thats enough clean, affordable energy to power more than 120,000 homes. The report went on to point out that Nevadas biggest solar gains came in utility scale installations. Of the new capacity added, 318 MW were utility scale, 19 MW were commercial and 2 MW were residential. Together, these installations represented a $ 569 million investment in the state.
To put the states remarkable progress in some context, the 789 MW of solar installed today in Nevada is more than our entire country had installed by 2007. Thats an amazing achievement, said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). We congratulate Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Dean Heller and Gov. Brian Sandoval for working together in a bipartisan fashion to create thousands of clean energy jobs in Nevada, while also bolstering the states economy.
Nevadas notable solar projects include:
Copper Mountain 2 in Boulder City was developed by First Solar. This photovoltaic (PV) project has the capacity to generate 92 MW of electricity enough to power over 13,200 Nevada homes.
At 110 MW, Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nye County is among the largest solar installations in Nevada. Completed in 2014 by SolarReserve, this concentrating solar power (CSP) project has enough electric capacity to power more than 75,000 homes.
Another utility scale project, Copper Mountain 3, is currently under construction in Nevada and is scheduled to come online this year.
Nevadas residential market also began to show promise last year, with installed system prices dropping again and down a total of 49 percent since 2010. But the big driver in the states solar market has been in utility-scale installations. Today, there are 109 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Nevada, employing nearly 6,000 people.
From an environmental perspective, solar installations in Nevada are helping to offset nearly 1 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of removing more than 200,000 cars off state roads and highways. The use of solar is also helping to reduce water consumption by utilities, which is critically important considering the vital Lake Mead reservoir last summer reached its lowest water levels since the lake was first filled during the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s.
Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans nationwide more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined and pumps nearly $ 18 billion a year into our economy, Resch added. This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. and Nevada economies and our environment.