Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) to tap solar power. SNWA Board members will vote on a plan to install a 14MW solar panel array to help offset energy costs associated with pumping water. Because the solar panel array would be built and operated by SunEdison, SNWA would buy the power generated by the array over the next 20 years. In return, SNWA would receive renewable energy credits (RECs) which it could sell on the open market to recoup much of its purchase costs.
About the Solar Panel Array
The solar panel array would be built on 80 acres at the SNWA’s River Mountains Water Treatment Plant near Henderson. Currently SNWA gets hydropower from Hoover Dam and has a few solar arrays, but this would add substantially to their solar component of renewable energy. About 20% of the agency’s budget is for energy costs.
If the project is approved, it could be operational by next summer.
Lauren Boitel is the Executive Director of ImpactNV, a statewide sustainability NGO convener and coalition builder that drives systemic change around economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Silver State. Lauren has 12 years of experience as a Sustainability Professional in Southern Nevada and teaches Sustainability & Entrepreneurship for the Lee Business School at UNLV.