Northern Nevada steals limelight at clean-energy summit

The National Clean Energy Summit has been held in Las Vegas every year since Sen. Harry Reid launched it in 2008, but Northern Nevada stole much of the limelight at this year’s event.

The summit at Mandalay Bay began Thursday with the announcement of a $105 million federal loan guarantee to help construct a biofuel refinery outside Reno, where garbage will be turned into jet fuel.

Then there was the $5 billion story of the day: Tesla’s decision to place its battery Gigafactory in the same Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center where the biofuel plant will be built.

The Tesla deal drew a round of applause when Reid mentioned it in his opening remarks.

He said the factory will “create thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs” and spur economic development in Nevada well beyond the site east of Reno. For example, he said, Tesla will be able to buy lithium for its batteries directly from a mine in the Esmeralda County town of Silver Peak.

“This is great news for Nevada, but it did not happen by accident,” the Nevada Democrat said. “This is a perfect example of the partnerships between private industry and government forged here at the clean energy summit.”

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk was the keynote speaker at the summit in 2012, he spoke about “the importance of innovation and investment in clean energy,” Reid said. “Now he is putting his words into action by announcing this critical investment in Nevada.”

Before his speech, Reid joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to announce the loan guarantee that will allow Fulcrum BioEnergy to build its first biofuel plant and eventually produce aviation and marine fuel for the Defense Department.

“The nation is entering a new energy age that will make us more energy independent, cut carbon pollution and strengthen our economy, especially in rural communities where clean fuels will be produced,” Vilsack said.

Fulcrum president and CEO Jim Macias said the “garbage-to-fuels plant” in the city of McCarran, about 15 miles east of Reno, will make aviation fuel for commercial aircraft. With financing now in place, construction on the $200 million project should begin later this year, he said.

The Sierra BioFuels Plant will create 500 to 600 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs when the plant opens in two years, Macias said.

The loan guarantee is the first USDA has made for the production of advanced biofuel for jets.

Last month, Fulcrum entered into a long-term agreement with Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airlines to provide 375 million gallons of aviation biofuel over 10 years.

According to Fulcrum’s website, the company has secured no-cost agreements with two of the largest waste service companies in North America, Waste Management and Waste Connections, to get the municipal solid waste they need to make biofuel in Northern Nevada and elsewhere.

Macias said his company can turn trash “right out of the garbage trucks you see driving down the street” into “market-tested” fuel. The Nevada plant will be followed by “dozens” more production facilities across the country, he said.

This year’s National Clean Energy Summit culminated with a keynote speech by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The one-day event was expected to draw between 900 and 1,000 people and 28 exhibitors showcasing green products or energy-saving initiatives.

A lot has changed, especially in Nevada, since the first summit was held.

Lydia Ball is executive director for the Clean Energy Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that cosponsors the summit as part of its mission to promote investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Nevada and the West.

She said when Reid organized the first event, with former President Bill Clinton as the keynote speaker, NV Energy was still pursuing plans to build several new coal-fired power plants and the state’s entire renewable portfolio amounted to a handful of small geothermal operations and a single solar power facility.

Since then, Ball said, NV Energy has scrapped the new plants and committed to getting out of the coal-burning business while Nevada has seen $5.5 billion in renewable energy investment that has created thousands of jobs. “I think the summit has played a major role in that,” she said.

And the rate of renewable development seems to be accelerating.

As Reid told the audience Thursday, 2013 saw the installation of 400,000 solar panels across the nation, a 41 percent increase from the year before. “Over the last eighteen months, more solar panels have been installed than in the entire history of our country,” he said.

On Wednesday, 50 miles south of Las Vegas, ground was broken on Nevada’s latest utility-scale solar project, one of two now under construction in Southern Nevada that will rank as the largest in the state.

Nevada has adopted a mandate that requires at least one-quarter of the power used in the state to come from renewable sources by 2025, but Reid said there is no reason to stop there.

“We should build our clean renewable energy generation until we have at least enough capacity to cover one hundred percent of Nevada’s electric load,” the Senate Majority Leader said, echoing a challenge Bill Clinton issued at the first clean energy summit. “There’s simply no reason why Nevada cannot and should not achieve this goal. We have more than enough sun, wind and geothermal resources.”

Contact Henry Brean at or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes Trump tweeted his concerns about the company on Thursday. This isn't the first time Trump commented on the issues via Twitter. August 2017 December 2017 Amazon did hold back on paying state taxes in 1995, but the company has been routinely collecting state sales taxes since then. In 2016, the company's report from the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed it paid $412 million in taxes.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
eyecandylab CEO shows augmented reality during NAB
Robin Sho Moser, CEO and co-founder of eyecandylab gives an augmented reality demonstration at his booth during the National Association of Broadcaster Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Trends in access to capital for local black business owners
Denette Braud, owner of Braud’s Funnel Cake Cafe, talks about what owning her own business means to her.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Adobe unveils #HackTheBracket application for March Madness
Adobe unveiled their #HackTheBracket application at the Adobe Summit trade show at Sands Expo. People can use data from Adobe Analytics to make their bracket for March Madness. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Adidas Signs Yankees' Star Aaron Judge
Adidas Signs New York Yankees Star Aaron Judge The slugger is set to don a new set of stripes this season after signing with the apparel company. Aaron Judge Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal includes branding on his batting gloves and wristbands. Judge, the AL's reigning Rookie of the Year, was previously under contract with Under Armour since 2014. Judge won the American League Rookie of the Year award last season after setting an MLB record for most homers in a rookie season (52).
Esports athletes are sponsored, too
Meet Red Bull-sponsored professional esports player Daryl S. Lewis, better known by his in-game name Snake Eyez. Nicole Raz Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bettor Investments turned into a bad bet
Bettor Investments formerly operated a Nevada-licensed entity betting operation. The company promised “conservative growth, profits and stability for our investors.” Matt Stuart, who ran the fund, shut it down in late 2016 and never made good on an agreement with shareholders.
Starbucks Will Give You $10 Million for a Better Cup Design
Starbucks Will Give You $10 Million for a Better Cup Design Get your thinking caps on because the company is looking for a new cup that's easier to recycle. The $10 million grant challenge sees Starbucks partnering with investor group Closed Loop Partners for the project. According to CNN Money, Aside from the new cup design challenge, Starbucks stated it will test a cup with an inner lining made from plant fibers to prevent hot liquid from leaking. Will you join the challenge for #Bettercups?
Las Vegas bartenders who worked the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival question what they were paid
Reneé Black, left, and her husband Griffin Black talk to the Review-Journal at their home in Las Vegas, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Reneé was a bartender at Route 91, and Griffin was a bar back. They were hired as independent contractors, but received forms months later indicating they were employees. They also were never paid their last day of tips. Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bad-beat jackpot money will finally be awarded
People who thought they had won in Station Casinos’ “bad beat jackpot” poker promotion were unhappy. They waited months to get paid. And now the bad-beat jackpot is gone.
New developments coming to Las Vegas' Craig Road
Gina Gavan, economic and business development director for North Las Vegas, discusses new development projects on Craig Road in North Las Vegas. Art Marroquin/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Dallisa Hocking And A Grandmothers Psychic Gift
Dallisa Hocking’s new “boutique soul center” pays tribute to her late Grandma Ellie. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Can't pay the IRS? You do have options
There's a little more than five weeks until this year’s tax filing deadline of April 17. But many small business owners are wondering, “How am I going to pay my taxes?” When owners haven’t set aside enough money to cover what they owe the government, they have options. — The easiest and cheapest alternative may be to dip into personal savings. — If you have available credit, you may want to borrow from a lender or credit card. — Also, the IRS can work out an installment payment plan.
Amazon Offering Discounted Prime Memberships to Medicaid Recipients
Amazon Offering Discounted Prime Memberships to Medicaid Recipients Individuals with a valid Medicaid or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card The $5.99 membership can be renewed every year for up to four years. The reduced Prime membership comes with the same benefits of a standard one, including free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and Prime Now. Last year, Amazon also joined a USDA pilot program that allows those receiving government assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to buy groceries through online markets like Amazon's FreshDirect or Walmart.
Jeff Bezos New Net Worth Revealed, Still Richest Man Alive
At the end of 2017, Bezos was estimated to be worth $112 billion, earning the top spot on Forbes' world's billionaires list. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon founder's net worth is now $127 billion, which the report states is the combined wealth of 2.3 million Americans.
Dick's Sporting Goods Ends Sale of Assault Weapons Florida School Shooting
Dick's Sporting Goods Ends Sale of Assault Weapons Florida School Shooting The retailer announced the move in an open letter and an appearance by CEO Ed Stack on 'Good Morning America.' Ed Stack, (Good Morning America) Ed Stack, (Good Morning America) Dick's is also ending the sale of high-capacity magazines and sales of guns to people under 21 years old. The company ended the sale of assault weapons at Dick's-branded stores after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting in 2012. However, they were still selling them at its 35 Field & Stream locations. Nikolas Cruz, 17, shot and killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like