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Northern Nevada electricity customers get renewable options – for a price

CARSON CITY — NV Energy Inc.’s Northern Nevada customers now have the option of getting all their electricity from renewable sources — for a price.

Residential, commercial and industrial customers can opt to get 50 percent or 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources. The NV Green Energy program is not yet available in Southern Nevada, but could be if the northern program proves successful.

“We’d be looking to do the exact same thing in the south, but with southern resources,” said Bobby Hollis, who oversees NV Energy’s renewable energy programs.

The utility would have to ask the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to approve a tariff for Southern Nevada customers.

Customer participation in Northern Nevada is limited to how much renewable energy is available. And it will come with an additional cost.

A typical residential customer using 746 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay an additional $15.70 a month to get half of their power from renewable sources. The added monthly charge rises to $31.40 for 100 percent renewable.

The “green” fees amount to an additional 4.2 cents per kilowatt hour of energy consumed.

Customers must commit to 12 months. The company’s announcement said additional monthly fees will support existing renewable energy projects and provide funds to expand the state’s green energy presence.

Customers range from casinos to one-bedroom apartment dwellers, Hollis said, with particular interest coming from data centers and technology companies such as Apple, which expressed interest in green-energy options when it considered moving to Nevada.

“We know there’s a lot of interest on the large scale,” Hollis said.

An industry representative said the voluntary program will allow “green-minded folks” to support renewable efforts.

“It is a good thing,” Tom Clark, a lobbyist for a variety of renewable energy concerns, said Tuesday. “I believe there will be a lot of people who opt into this. It will be interesting to see how this is perceived.”

NV Energy gets 85 percent of its renewable energy supplies from geothermal sources; 10 percent from solar and 5 percent from hydroelectric.

Under state law, 18 percent of the utility’s electricity produced in Nevada is required to come from renewable energy sources. That mandate jumps to 25 percent in 2025.

Review-Journal writer Kristy Totten contributed to this report.

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