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Nevada Allocates $333 Million for Natural gas Plant to Combat Historic Drought-Induced Power Grid Issues
Nevada Allocates $333 Million for Natural gas Plant to Combat Historic Drought-Induced Power Grid Issues

Nevada Allocates $333 Million for Natural gas Plant to Combat Historic Drought-Induced Power Grid Issues

  • 24-Mar-2023 1:36 PM
  • Journalist: Rene Swann

North Las Vegas [US]: The Nevada Public Utilities Commission approved NV Energy’s proposal to build two Natural gas turbines in North Las Vegas. The $333 million project will assist in meeting the power grid’s energy demands during extreme drought conditions and extended wildfire seasons. Construction is expected to be complete in July 2024, helping reduce stress on the state's electricity supply during summer months.

An historic megadrought is wreaking havoc on water levels in the reservoirs of the Colorado River, including Lake Powell and Lake Mead. The potential impact to hydroelectric power generation at Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam has prompted widespread concern. The prospect of a new Natural gas plant in Nevada has created a complex ethical dilemma, as it could jeopardize the state's climate and clean energy agenda. Nevada has already committed to a carbon-free power grid by 2050 and hasn't constructed a new Natural gas facility in over 10 years.

Natural gas-fired power plants make up more than two-thirds of Nevada's electricity production, while the rest is mostly comprised of renewable sources, a recent state energy report revealed. Angelyn Tabalba, a spokesperson for the Nevada Conservation League, has criticized this plan stating that it is "shortsighted" and would have harmful environmental impacts. She further pointed out that the current approach does not align with the state's long-term clean energy objectives.

Natural gas has a primary component of methane, which is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its impact on climate change. Despite this, NV Energy has stated that it will continue to rely on Natural gas as part of its energy sources and will not alter their clean energy goals or plans to create a carbon-free power grid. This decision could have potentially severe consequences for mitigating the effects of climate change.

NV Energy has announced plans to install turbines at its Silverhawk Generating Station gas plant north of Las Vegas. The turbines are set to run mainly in the hotter months, limiting their use to about 700 hours each year. As a result, the company claims that their emissions of greenhouse gases will remain minimal.

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