The policy ups and downs in Nevada around net metering could be something of a distraction from the progress of renewable energy in the state. Aside from distributed generation Nevada has deployed a huge amount of large-scale solar, making it one of only three states that got more than 10% of its electricity from solar in the first nine months of 2017.
On Tuesday power company NV Energy, which owns the state’s two large utilities, took another step towards expanding the state’s leadership with a request for proposals for 330 MW of utility-scale renewable energy. Included in this RFP is an invitation for battery storage systems at least 25 MW in capacity, with minimum four-hour ratings to accompany renewable energy projects.
It is notable that this request comes after three years or booming battery deployment by utilities and independent power producers, and on the heels of extremely low prices for solar, wind and energy storage as revealed in a recent solicitation by Colorado utility Xcel Energy.
And while the RFP is open to any resource that will meet Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard including solar, geothermal, wind, biomass or biogas, the very strong natural solar resources of Nevada and resulting low prices position PV as very competitive.
Through subsidiary Sierra Pacific Power, which supplies power to much of Northern Nevada including Reno, NV Energy is seeking either to own these assets or to buy the associated power. The company has made it clear that battery systems must quality for the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit.
Bids for projects are due by February 2, 2018.