NEVADA: Financial Incentives Propel Small Wind Program

Nevada’s small wind turbine rebate program is picking up speed. Electric utility NV Energy began offering its WindGenerations program to most of its 1.2 million Nevada customers in August 2008, and 20 projects generating 58.4 kilowatts have since been completed. Applications are pending for another 110 installations.

Rebates for residential customers and small businesses, including agricultural power users, range from $2.50 per watt for turbines up to 10 kilowatts and $1.50 per watt for installations over 10 kilowatts. Incentives for schools and public buildings are $3 per watt up to 10 kilowatts and $2 per watt over 10 kilowatts. Thus far, $147,300 in incentives has been paid.

The Nevada State Legislature created the wind program in 2007, along with a micro hydroelectric program that offers incentives for farmers and ranchers to harness power from streams. Nevada’s successful photovoltaic incentive program, SolarGenerations, has been available since 2004.

“The greatest challenge for a program like ours is starting with a fledgling industry,” said John Hargrove, project manager for NV Energy’s wind, solar and hydro incentive programs. “When we started we didn’t have many contractors who understood wind power. As we continue to train the contractor base and make our customers aware of wind energy and our incentive programs, the industry is taking off.”

Added Hargrove, “The goal for WindGenerations is 5 megawatts. The program is just getting the wind under its wings and moving forward. We hope this effort becomes as popular as our SolarGenerations program.”

Source: NV Energy


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