Rosalind Jackson with the Vote Solar Initiative tells us about two recent, independent reports sent to Nevada state legislators to help them understand the benefits of utility-scale solar development, and the policy tools that can unleash that opportunity.
The Sun Rises on Nevada, the report from the Vote Solar Initiative, is an economic and environmental impact report for the development of large-scale solar energy projects in Nevada. Providing in-depth analysis of job, wage, tax and greenhouse gas benefits, the report indicates that Nevada has much to gain by supporting large-scale solar energy development. Full text of the study can be found at:
The Sun Rises on Nevada report indicates that 2,000 MW of large-scale solar developed in Nevada over the next seven-years would deliver significant benefits to the state, including:
- Jobs created: 5,900 jobs per year associated with project construction and 1,200 full-time jobs for plant operation and management. Each plant will produce permanent local jobs paying above-average wages.
- Wages and salaries: $5 billion in cumulative direct, indirect and induced earning associated with the projects.
- Economic impact: Nearly $11 billion in goods and services generated in the state as a result of project development and operation.
- Sales and property taxes paid: $500 million over the life of the projects, assuming proposed tax abatement levels are passed by the state.
- Avoided greenhouse gas emissions: 4.6 million tons of carbon dioxide, 81 tons of methane, and 27 tons of nitrous oxide avoided each year that the projects are in operation.
Vote Solar’s analysis used the Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as well as inputs and assumptions drawn from real-world large-scale solar project data. A strong local solar energy market would likely also support a new solar manufacturing base and associated economic benefits in Nevada, although such manufacturing development was not included in this analysis.
Large-scale Solar Industry Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis, the other report from the Large-Scale Solar Association (LSA), is a comparative analysis of state incentives for utility-scale solar development in Arizona, California and Nevada – three states with some of the best solar exposure in the world. The study, conducted by Nevada-based firm Applied Analysis, shows that well-designed tax structures can both attract new solar business development and help the states’ economies.
Findings indicate that Nevada currently has the most favorable tax structure among the three states, giving the state a competitive advantage in attracting significant solar development, jobs and economic output to the state. Those tax incentives are set to expire this year. Pending Nevada legislation would extend current tax incentives for large solar projects. If passed, these bills would solidify Nevada as a leader in creating a business-friendly environment for this low-carbon resource.