Details released from Senate’s Energy and Water appropriation’s conference report

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., highlights his effort to squeeze the life out of the proposal to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

This from a report on the Senate’s Energy and Water appropriation’s conference report:

"Also included in the final bill is $196.8 million requested by President Obama to terminate the Yucca Mountain Project and fund the Energy Secretary’s Blue Ribbon Commission to find alternative solutions to manage nuclear waste. Reid was also successful in cutting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s license application funding for the Yucca Mountain Project to $29 million from $56 million. Reid has also secured an agreement from the Administration to cut off all funding to pursue a license application for Yucca in the 2011 budget."

Yucca Mountain will likely be an issue in Reid’s re-election campaign. He and his supporters have been critical of potential Republican opponent Sue Lowden, who they accuse of waffling on the issue.

Reid also highlighted some other Nevada-related funding in the appropriation:

Energy Projects – $19.25 million

Project: Nevada Renewable Energy Integration and Development Consortium

Requestor: Desert Research Institute

Location: Washoe County, Clark County, and other Nevada counties

Amount: $3,000,000

Summary: The Consortium is an association of DRI, UNLV, UNR, and community colleges. Funding will be used for collaboration with business and industry on research, development, demonstration, deployment, commercialization, education and training related to renewable energy technologies. Nevada has some of the nation’s best solar and geothermal energy resources in the United States and the Consortium is well positioned to develop and commercialize technologies to tap these resources, which will benefit the entire region economically and work towards the President’s clean energy priorities.

Project: Development of Biofuels Using Ionic Transfer Membranes

Requestor: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $1,500,000

Summary: Funds will be used to research an electrochemical process to produce a lower-cost biofuel with no hazardous contaminants and reduced waste steam. This scalable project will reduce the cost of biodiesel manufacturing processes and allow for on-site production of the catalyst, reducing transportation costs, avoiding shelf-life costs, and reducing safety hazards.

Project: UNR- Biodiesel from Food Waste

Requestor: University of Nevada, Reno

Location: Reno

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: Funding will advance UNR’s work on an alternative bio-diesel fuel from food and beverage waste. It is estimated that this process could potentially add 340 million gallons of bio-diesel to the world’s fuel supply and UNR is working with local companies to develop a pilot plant using this technology. This project fulfills DOE’s high priority of advancing alternative transportation fuels research, especially biodiesel, and developing new feedstock for such fuels.

Project: Solar energy zone planning and infrastructure

Requestor: Senator Reid

Location: Nye County

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: Funds will be used to identify, secure necessary permits and/or rights of way, and install infrastructure to support a solar energy zone with adequate resources to support at least 1,000 MW of electricity from either solar PV or solar thermal facilities. Demonstrating a new process by which the Federal government can work with solar energy developers to site and permit solar energy projects on Federal lands will help facilitate the development of many large clean renewable energy projects.

Project: Washoe Wind Turbine Demonstration Project

Requestor: Washoe Tribe Environmental Protection Department

Location: Gardnerville

Amount: $50,000

Summary: Funds will be used to install 6 wind turbines with a capacity of 18 kW for a demonstration project. The turbines would be located at two HeadStart educational buildings, two community centers, a gas station and the Washoe agricultural ranch. The project will help the Tribe become less dependent on other Federal funds and serve as a model project for how clean renewable energy can be incorporated with tribal economies.

Project: Great Basin College- Direct-Use Geothermal Demonstration Project

Requestor: Great Basin College

Location: Elko

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: This research initiative will enhance the existing geothermal "users group loop", which provides geothermal energy to a number of public facilities. An expanded system will provide a learning laboratory for students at Great Basin College’s Career and Technical Education Programs. The project will increase the production of clean geothermal energy, and serve as the anchor of a training program for green jobs. Northern Nevada has tremendous renewable energy supplies that this program will help create capacity to develop in the near future.

Project: Renewable Energy Initiatives for Clark County, Nevada Parks and Recreation

Requestor: Clark County

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: Funds will be used to provide solar energy facilities for parks, including the Nellis Dunes ORV Recreation Park. The project will provide clean solar energy – an abundant resource in southern Nevada – for a public recreational facility open to residents and tourists.

Project: Fallon Paiute- Shoshone Tribe Demonstration Energy Park

Requestor: Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe

Location: Fallon

Amount: $200,000

Summary: Requested funding will provide support for a feasibility study of the solar resources available on the Tribe’s land and planning for a demonstration project for a commercial scale solar project. This is a first of a kind project for the Native American community and will stimulate cooperation with Tribes on clean energy development on Tribal lands. This approach could be replicated with other Tribes.

Project: Alternative Energy School of the Future

Requestor: Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $1,200,000

Summary: Funding would complete installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) powered regenerative fuel cell system to provide energy to the school and teach students about alternative energy. Nevada has some of the nation’s best solar energy resources, and educating students about renewable energy and its value, while also saving school costs with clean renewable power achieves multiple policy objectives at once.

Project: UNR- Mass Exchanger Technology for Geothermal and Solar Energy Systems

Requestor: University of Nevada, Reno

Location: Reno

Amount: $1,200,000

Summary: This project would develop a heat exchange process designed to dramatically improve heat/mass exchange performance via boiling/condensation, solar, and water treatment. This research could lead to breakthroughs that allow energy utilities to harness the power of renewable energy.

Project: NIREC- Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization- Facility

Requestor: Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC)

Location: Reno

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: Funding will be used to commercialize research projects and accelerate renewable energy solutions into the marketplace. Incubating and accelerating viable renewable energy technologies is a national interest. Federal funding is a prerequisite to attracting private sector funding for subsequent production scaling (bridging the gap between investors and inventors), and will stimulate the creation of a large number of jobs

Project: Development of Ultrafiltration Membrane-Separation Technology for Energy-Efficient Water Treatment and Desalination Process

Requestor: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $800,000

Summary: This project will develop new membrane-separation technology for water treatment and desalination processes using the membrane materials synthesized at the project’s lab. This environmentally benign process could potentially benefit dry regions and enhance security by providing a new source of drinking water more efficiently than traditional desalination.

Project: Renewable Energy Feasibility Study and Resources Assessment for White Pine County

Requestor: Senator Reid

Location: White Pine County

Amount: $500,000

Summary: Funds will be used to develop a feasibility study and renewable energy resource assessment for White Pine County, as well as nurture any planned development of renewable energy resources. White Pine County is home to substantial wind and solar energy resources, but it is sparsely populated with little tax base. This funding will help Nevada and the region develop clean energy resources that will create jobs.

Project: Gas heat pump cooperative training program

Requestor: College of Southern Nevada

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $250,000

Summary: This project will establish a technical training program for energy efficient and eco-friendly air-conditioning/refrigeration systems. Funding will help achieve the President’s goal of building capacity to create green jobs to deploy energy efficiency technologies quickly.

Project: DRI Renewable Energy Center (REC)

Requestor: Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Location: Reno

Amount: $500,000

Summary: Funding will establish a Renewable Energy Center to coordinate DRI’s research, development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Nevada has some of the nation’s best renewable energy resources, and DRI is well-positioned to perform research and commercialize technologies that will help best use the state’s resources for the nation’s benefit.

Project: UNR- Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy

Requestor: University of Nevada, Reno

Location: Reno

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy is an economic engine for the Great Basin’s geothermal industry. Funding will support competitive research, education, and outreach through the Center. The Center’s activities provide a cohesive research and outreach program designed to meet the needs of the growing geothermal industry in the Great Basin. This capacity is needed to train the next generation of geothermal geoscientists, plant operators, and engineers.

Project: Solar electric power for nonsectarian educational and social services facility

Requestor: Chabad of Northern Nevada

Location: Reno

Amount: $500,000

Summary: This project will install solar panels on Chabad of Northern Nevada’s major service buildings used to provide nonsectarian educational and social services. Funded through DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, this project will broaden the deployment of distributed solar power. Money saved on electricity will be used to provide expanded social services. Chabad provides nonsectarian educational and social services to 140,000 individuals annually. This project will reduce the load on the grid, and money saved from clean distributed power will be used to provide expanded social services.

Project: Algal-Based Renewable Energy for Nevada

Requestor: Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Location: Reno

Amount: $800,000

Summary: Funding will demonstrate the feasibility of algal-based energy systems in Nevada, using renewable energy to produce biodiesel from algal strains. Nevada has little conventional biomass resources, but abundant supplies of solar and geothermal resources make the State particularly well suited for growing algae. Developing methods of generating algae-based biofuels from solar, geothermal and other renewable energy will benefit areas with few biomass resources. Alternative feedstock for clean fuels will provide more options for helping reduce the nation’s dependence on oil.

Project: Nevada Water Resources Data, Modeling, and Visualization Center

Requestor: Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Location: Reno

Amount: $750,000

Summary: Funding will equip a data center needed to better understand the current potential future distribution of water resources in Nevada, including use of supercomputer with DRI’s visualization facilities for visualization of water resource scenarios. Water is a critical natural resource that is limited in the southwestern US. This project will provide essential capacity for fully understanding the current distribution of water supplies and predicting future conditions and their impacts due to climate change and increased demand.

Project: Performance Assessment Institute

Requestor: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $1,000,000

Summary: Funding will provide support for a partnership with the National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment and Sandia National Labs to improve our nation’s performance assessment capabilities by enhancing and extending High Performance computing resources for advanced modeling applications and training. Performance assessment is a useful tool for determining risk and proper system performance that can be used in a wide variety of applications involving new technologies.

Project: Northern Nevada Renewable Energy Training Project

Requestor: Truckee Meadows Community College

Location: Reno

Amount: $500,000

Summary: This project will establish a renewable energy technician training program to address the need for a skilled workforce to build and maintain renewable energy facilities. Comprehensive community-based renewable energy training programs like the one proposed in this project will play an important role in preparing our nation for a revitalized clean energy economy.

Project: Henderson Solar Energy Project

Requestor: City of Henderson

Location: Henderson

Amount: $500,000

Summary: Funding will be used for the installation of 6 MW of solar panels on a 32-acre site to power the Kurt R. Seglar Water Reclamation Facility, making this energy-intensive operation more efficient and reduce its reliance on power from the grid.

Water Projects – $38.3 million

Project: Rural Nevada Water Infrastructure- Sec. 595

Requestor: Senator Reid

Location: Nevada (Statewide)

Amount: $15,000,000

Summary: Funds will be used to support Sec. 595 of WRDA 1999 to provide rural localities in Nevada with funding for the design and construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, environmental restoration and surface water protection projects. The project will provide much needed improvements and construction for Nevada’s rural water systems, helping compliance with stringent Federal drinking and wastewater standards and providing communities with safe reliable supplies of water.

Project: Las Vegas Wash Improvement Project; Las Vegas Wash/Lake Mead

Requestor: Southern Nevada Water Authority

Location: Las Vegas

Amount: $2,300,000

Summary: The requested funding will provide for the development and implementation of restoration, habitat enhancement, and water quality improvement projects. Lake Mead is the Colorado River’s largest reservoir that serves downstream communities in Nevada, California, Arizona and Indian Tribes with potable water. Wash improvement will improve water quality and protect the surrounding environment.

Project: North Las Vegas- Water Reclamation Facility

Requestor: City of North Las Vegas

Location: North Las Vegas

Amount: $2,000,000

Summary: Funding will provide support for a wastewater reclamation facility needed to eliminate the use potable water for irrigating large turf areas and industrial uses. State and city funds are financing the bulk of the project, but Federal funds are needed to quickly deploy the facility to conserve water.

Project: Truckee Meadows, Nevada Flood Control Project

Requestor: Truckee River Flood Control Project

Location: Reno

Amount: $6,724,000

Summary: Funding will continue engineering and design work and start of initial construction on the Truckee River Flood Control project, which will provide flood damage reduction, eco-system restoration and recreation along the Truckee River. It will provide 100 year or better flood protection in downtown Reno and in the Meadows, protecting local population and businesses from devastating flooding.

Project: Tahoe Restoration (Section 108)

Requestor: Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition

Location: Lake Tahoe

Amount: $3,000,000

Summary: Funding will provide design and construction assistance for stream zone restoration and the control and treatment of urban storm water, which are critical components of the Environmental Improvement Program to restore the watershed in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The Lake Tahoe watershed is more than 75% federally managed, and the Lake is an "outstanding natural resource water" and an "impaired water body" under the Clean Water Act. Funding will further the Federal interest of maximizing the Corps’ environmental restoration goals and enhance water quality in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Project: Urban Flood Demonstration Program

Requestor: Desert Research Institute

Location: Reno

Amount: $1,793,000

Summary: This funding will support an ongoing collaboration between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Engineer Research and Development Center to reduce flood damage in urban areas and develop integrated design tools for stream restoration. Flood management and stream restoration are key components of Corps of Engineers and FEMA’s missions. This project will contribute to the nationwide need for technology development in flood control and stream restoration in urban areas, which are in risk of severe economic damage as a result of flood damage.

Project: Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program

Requestor: WateReuse Association

Location: Clark County

Amount: $2,500,000

Summary: Funding will demonstrate the chemical and microbiological safety of recycled and reclaimed water, and improve the efficiency of desalination. Funds will be used to address the ongoing impacts of drought in the west by advancing critical science and technologies to reduce costs of utilizing alternative water supplies. Access to safe and reliable water supplies will ensure a stable economic base throughout the nation, but particularly in areas like the southwest.

Project: Tahoe Partnership

Requestor: Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition

Location: Lake Tahoe

Amount: $448,000

Summary: Requested funding will support for the design and construction of a stream zone restoration to control and treat urban storm water. The Lake Tahoe watershed is more than 75% federally managed, and the Lake is an "outstanding natural resource water" and an "impaired water body" under the Clean Water Act. This funding will further the Federal interest of maximizing the Corps’ environmental restoration goals and enhance water quality in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Project: Lake Tahoe Regional Wetlands

Requestor: Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition

Location: Lake Tahoe

Amount: $2,500,000

Summary: Requested funding will Lake Tahoe regional wetlands development and restoration. This funding will further the Federal interest of maximizing the Corps’ environmental restoration goals and enhance water quality in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Project: Rosewood Creek Area

Requestor: Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition

Location: Lake Tahoe

Amount: $2,000,000

Summary: This project will finalize designs, secure final permits and complete restoration of 2,200 linear feet of the Rosewood Creek channel. Rosewood Creek currently deposits significant amounts of sediments into Lake Tahoe, harming fish habitat, water quality, and channel stability. Restoring and rehabilitating the creek will contribute to the Federal government’s goal of improving water quality and the environment of Lake Tahoe.

Project: Walker Basin Program

Summary: The FY2010 appropriations bill authorized the Bureau of Reclamation to contract the University system’s Walker Basin Program with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Foundation). The Foundation will assume the $56 million water acquisitions program authorized in the FY2008 appropriations bill.

FY2010 Allocations

• $66.2 million to establish the Walker Basin Restoration Program, administered by the Foundation. This program will include:

•$25 million in additional funds for water fee acquisitions

•$25 million for a 3-year demonstration leasing program, administered and managed by the Walker River Irrigation District

•$10 million for conservation and stewardship measures, water management, riparian restoration , and efforts to establish a Walker Basin non-profit entity to hold acquired rights

•$5 million to the University and DRI to conduct additional research in the basin and the annual evaluation of the water leasing and acquisition program

•$1 million to assist entities that incur legal costs related to the water acquisition and leasing program. It is envisioned that the Foundation, the Irrigation District, the Tribe, the federal watermaster and others would seek reimbursement for legal expenses.

•$200,000 for alternative agriculture efforts that feature water-savings.

•$5 million to the States of California and Nevada, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority and federal watermaster to implement the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA).

•$5 million to continue a water purchase program under the Truckee River Water Quality Agreement of 1996.**

•$1 million to USGS to begin the initial phase of its study of the upper Walker River Basin, largely purchase and install almost 15 gauges above the Walker River Paiute Reservation, along the West, East and Main Walker Rivers and into California.

•$5 million to the City of Fernley and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to continue plans and proposal for water agreement.

** Note: The conference report language includes a typo that will be corrected.

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