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Guest Blog: Governor's Office of Energy New Clean Energy Programs

by Angie Dykema, Director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy

The mission of the Governor’s Office of Energy is to ensure the wise development of Nevada's energy resources in harmony with local economic needs and to position Nevada to lead the nation in renewable energy production, energy conservation, and the exportation of energy.  As the new Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE), I look forward to furthering that mission. 

That was the message I shared with industry officials during the Clean Energy Project’s last Energy Table conference call.

The GOE has recently implemented a couple of new, innovative programs including the Direct Energy Assistance Loan (DEAL), an interest-free energy efficiency loan program for state employees and the Nevada Clean Energy Corps (NCEC), an AmeriCorps program.  The GOE has also embarked on a new project to complete a Green Bank Study.

As part of the DEAL program, GOE funds the cost of an energy assessment and provides an interest-free loan, up to $6,000 ($8,000 for veterans), to eligible State of Nevada employees to implement energy efficiency upgrades in their homes. GOE funds the cost for an energy auditor to conduct an assessment of an employee’s home, and the loan covers the cost of a contractor to perform the upgrades. DEAL is the first known program of its kind offered by a public sector employer.  The GOE has seen a great response to the program, which was rolled out on November 16th, and has received 84 applications to date.

The NCEC program is being launched by GOE through an AmeriCorps grant.  The program’s goal is to increase energy efficiency statewide by providing services that promote healthy and energy efficient homes, schools, and public buildings. GOE is currently recruiting AmeriCorps members who will provide outreach to Nevada residents, conduct energy assessments, assist with implementing energy efficiency and water conservation projects, and track the savings of the installed measures. In addition, members will gain valuable work experience and professional development, to include professional training for Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) certification as Home Energy Rating System (HERS) raters.  GOE is currently accepting applications and the NCEC program will officially start on January 4, 2016. 

The GOE is also leading an effort to complete a Green Bank Study for the State of Nevada.  Senate Bill 360, passed during the 78th (2015) Legislative Session, directs the Interim Energy Committee (IEC) to study the viability of establishing green banks and similar entities to help finance the use and harnessing of clean energy projects in the State, for both commercial and residential properties.  The Governor’s Office of Energy is directed to provide administrative and technical assistance to the Committee, and the GOE is working with the Coalition for Green Capital to provide a green bank feasibility study to the IEC for consideration in future bill draft requests

There have also been new developments within the GOE’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program.  As an incentive for renewable energy developers to build projects in Nevada, GOE awards partial sales and use tax and/or partial property tax abatements to eligible projects. Since 2010, Nevada’s investment of $614 million has attracted $6 billion in capital investment, payroll, and taxes paid, representing a 10-to-1 return on Nevada’s investment. A total of 25 projects have been built in Nevada, and the GOE currently has three additional projects applying to the program.  To date, a total of 1,780 megawatts of clean power have been installed, including:

- 202 Megawatts of Geothermal

- 1307 Megawatts of Solar

- 150 Megawatts of Wind

- 11 Megawatts of Biomass:

- 110 Megawatts of Solar Thermal

The GOE is also a part of Nevada’s team of agencies, along with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, working on the development and submission of Nevada’s Clean Power Plan.  The GOE continues to engage with affected stakeholders through the process, and looks forward to hearing from Nevadans about their thoughts on Nevada’s energy future. 

The GOE, and I, look forward to working with all of you to move Nevada’s clean energy economy and future forward. 

For more information about the Governor’s Office of Energy, Clean Energy Project members and supporters are encouraged to visit the office’s website at www.energy.nv.gov.  

About Angie Dykema: Angie was appointed Director of the GOE by Governor Brian Sandoval in September 2015, after joining the GOE in March 2015 as the office's Deputy Director. Prior to her service at the GOE, Angie held a number of positions in the Business Development and Permitting Departments at Ormat Technologies.  Her previous experience also includes work with Third Planet Windpower, LLC, and Friends of Nevada Wilderness.  Angie holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources Law Studies from University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Political Science from Michigan State University.

 

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