Lines for Transmitting Alternative Energy Urged
Jan 28, 2006 - Las Vegas Review
Gov. Jim Gibbons on Thursday accepted
a report that calls for developing transmission
lines so that geothermal, wind and solar energy
can be shipped from remote areas of the state to
In a ceremony in Carson City, Gibbons
enthusiastically welcomed the report that calls
for Nevada to develop its vast renewable energy
resources for in-state use and for export to other
states, said Dan Schochet, chairman of the Renewable
Energy Access Advisory Committee.
Melissa Subbotin, the governor's press
secretary, did not return calls for comment Wednesday
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
D-Nev. said the report supports one of his legislative
priorities to provide federal funding for green
The report, for example, includes
maps that show zones with the best geothermal, wind
and solar power resources. Reid last year introduced
federal legislation that would establish zones for
transmission lines and would provide federal money
to build them.
"It looks clear to me from these maps
that the renewable resource zones identified would
warrant, all on their own, building a transmission
connection between the Sierra Pacific and Nevada
Power service areas," Reid said in a statement.
In one recommendation, the advisory
committee urged the governor's office to support
construction of a transmission line to connect Nevada's
northern and southern electric grids.
This would allow Southern Nevada to
use geothermal energy, which comes from hot underground
water found mostly in Northern Nevada, analysts
say. Alternatively, Northern Nevada could draw on
solar power generated more efficiently in the hot
southern end of the state.
The report called for the governor's
office to support construction of transmission lines
and smaller lines so that power from renewable energy
plants could be connected to the electric grid.
The smaller lines could be used to gather power
from several nearby plants and feed them into larger
Former state consumer advocate Tim
Hay said this would allow the complementary use
of solar power and wind power, which produce power
most effectively at different times of the day.
The committee also proposed that the
governor direct the committee to start a second
phase of work, dealing with financing mechanisms
for renewable power transmission lines.
The state can take two basic approaches.
It can use government money, possibly through a
transmission authority like those created in some
Western states, or it can encourage utilities Nevada
Power Co. and Sierra Pacific Power Co. to build
green power transmission lines.
Advisory committee chairman Schochet
said he expects Gibbons to direct the committee
to study ways to finance renewable power transmission.
Reid said he looks forward to seeing
the second phase of the study.
"The commission's general approach
is consistent with the legislation that I have introduced
... the Clean Renewable Energy and Economic Development
Act - to identify renewable energy zones and transmission
constraints," Reid's statement said.
Contact reporter John G. Edwards at
email@example.com or (702) 383-0420.
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