THE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROMOTION INITIATIVE - IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR LINCOLN COUNTY?
July 6, 2018
In addition to the Energy Choice Initiative, there will be another proposed constitutional amendment that will affect your monthly cost of electric service on the ballot this fall. This one is called the Renewable Energy Promotion Initiative.
Under this proposed change to the constitution, every utility in Nevada will be required to obtain 50% of the electricity it sells to be from renewable energy resources. As stated in an article on April 14 in the Nevada Appeal, "...The proposed constitutional amendment seeks to more than double the amount of solar, wind and other types of renewable energy currently provided by the state’s electric companies. It’s funded by Tom Steyer, the California billionaire and Democratic megadonor who’s recently launched several progressive political campaigns in the Silver State."
The first question that arises in thinking about this ballot question is why a California billionaire wants to change the Nevada constitution to force Nevadans to buy more energy from renewable sources? Wonder about why a Californian is pushing this initiative aside, using more renewable energy in Nevada sounds good, right? Nevadan's are good stewards of our environment. We live here, our children will live here, our grandchildren will live here. We all want to help protect the environment. The problem, however; is that hydropower from dams is not considered renewable energy in Nevada. In fact, NRS 704.7811 specifically excludes hydropower from dams. 75% of the electricity Nevada rural electric utilities deliver to their consumers comes from clean energy generation sources. For Lincoln County Power District it is even more. Approximately 80% of the electricity we provide in Lincoln County comes from Hoover Dam. Hydropower from Hoover Dam is clean energy and it is substantially lower cost than any other resource including wind, solar or geothermal. If this proposed constitutional amendment is adopted, by 2030 only 50% of the energy used in Lincoln County will come from Hoover Dam. The remainder we will be buying from some other source, at a higher price.