Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Nevada
In 2011 the $1 billion project was to be the biggest solar plant of its kind, and it looked like the future of renewable power. Citigroup Inc. and other financiers invested $140 million with its developer, SolarReserve Inc. Steven Chu, the U.S. Department of Energy secretary at the time, offered the company government loan guarantees, and Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader and senior senator from Nevada, cleared the way for the company to build on public land. ...SolarReserve may have done its part, but today the company doesn’t rank among the winners. Instead, it’s mired in litigation and accusations of mismanagement at Crescent Dunes, where taxpayers remain on the hook for $737 million in loan guarantees.
SolarReserve doesn’t rank among the winners. Instead, it’s mired in litigation and accusations of mismanagement at Crescent Dunes, where taxpayers remain on the hook for $737 million in loan guarantees. Late last year, Crescent Dunes lost its only customer, NV Energy Inc., which cited the plant’s lack of reliability. It’s a victim, ironically, of the solar industry’s success over the past decade.
State regulators dealt another blow to the solar industry today after they unanimously approved a ruling that would not allow about 17,000 Nevadans with rooftop solar, some of whom had adopted the technology as early as 1997, to be shielded from a recent commission decision to increase bills
Lame-duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid soon will lose control of a chamber he has helmed for eight years. As the sun sets on his reign, one question remains: will Reid, D-Nev., go out with bang or a whimper? The answer to that question could depend on what Congress decides to do about one of Reid’s favorite corporate subsidies: the wind production tax credit.
The Ivanpah solar generating plant is located in California about 50 miles from Las Vegas near the California-Nevada border. 173,000 mirrors are used to concentrate the sun on 3 boiler-towers where water is turned into steam to drive turbines and generate electricity. The mirrors track the sun and concentrate sunlight so that the intensity of light falling on the boiler-towers is about 500 times stronger than sunlight -- a death ray. If a person were to be illuminated by this death ray, 3rd degree burns would follow within a few seconds. Insects that wander into the kill zone are quickly vaporized. Birds are severely burned or killed depending on how long they are in the kill zone. An aerial view is below. Only one tower was operating when the photo was taken.
The politics of renewable energy headed the agenda in battleground Nevada on Tuesday, as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opened a fifth annual green energy conference with the announcement that a 12-square-mile wind energy farm in rural White Pine County will begin producing electricity.
Programs to support wind-energy projects for Nevadans have been a financial flop so far, according to the state Bureau of Consumer Protection. But NV Energy of Las Vegas and Sierra Pacific Power of Reno say changes are being made, and the program should continue.
The plant was built with the help of a federal grant of approximately $65.7 million through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the loan from John Hancock is 80 percent guaranteed by the federal government.
In a remote desert spot in northern Nevada, there is a geothermal plant run by a politically connected clean energy start-up that has relied heavily on an Obama administration loan guarantee and is now facing financial turmoil. The company is Nevada Geothermal Power, which like Solyndra, the now-famous California solar company, is struggling with debt after encountering problems at its only operating plant.
Nevada has handed out tax incentives worth an estimated $45 million to lure solar and geothermal projects to Nevada over the past four years. So far, the state has received in return promises that the projects' developers will create 89 permanent jobs. It's a number so small that some lawmakers are questioning whether taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment in the incentives.
The current fiscal catastrophe in Nevada is being further damaged by the governor's office, which has given carte blanche to alternative wind energy limited liability companies to move into Nevada and game the tax credit system and then to follow tax subsidies that are solely funded by taxpayer money.
Advocates of renewable energy say federal tax credits for solar and wind power projects will expire next year before Nevada projects can be approved and operating.
It all sounds nice and crunchy on the surface, but Whole Foods might soon find itself picketed the same way Wal-Mart is, but instead of unions it'll be environmentalists.