CARSON CITY — Supporters of renewable energy rallied at both ends of the state Monday to support efforts in the Nevada Legislature to promote solar and other renewables as a way to help the environment, improve health and create jobs.
The press conference and rally, sponsored by the RenewNV partnership, comes a week after Assembly and Senate bills were introduced calling for greater generation and use of clean energy in Nevada and energy efficiency for all Nevada’s residents and businesses.
More than 60 renewable energy supporters, along with 10 state lawmakers, were thinking of solar power despite the rainy day in Northern Nevada that pushed the event inside the Legislative Building.
Travis Miller, project manager for Sun Works, a rooftop solar company, said a top priority for lawmakers should be a net metering policy that will restore the industry to the levels of growth seen before a new rate set by the Public Utilities Commission brought the industry to a standstill in Nevada in 2016.
Legislation creating a vehicle for community solar projects, where people who cannot have rooftop solar can participate in net metering, is also a priority, he said.
Speakers also supported battery storage technology and a “green bank,” a public-private organization that would provide low-cost financing for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.
“We have the chance to be bold and to go big,” said Kyle Isacksen, of Reno, representing the Be the Change Project. “To take a moon shot and lead the world in renewable energy innovation and production.”
The sooner Nevada’s green energy goal reaches 100 percent, the better, he said.
“Our kids deserve it,” Isacksen said.
Among the bills getting support from the coalition is a measure by Assemblyman Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas, that would require 80 percent of Nevada’s power to come from clean and renewable energy sources by the year 2040. The current goal for Nevada’s Renewable Energy Portfolio is 25 percent by 2025.
Other measures introduced in the Senate and Assembly would expand access to cost-effective energy efficiency measures, which the coalition said would create good, local jobs while reducing energy use and power bills, especially in low-income communities.
Energy issues are expected to be a big focus of lawmakers this session.