As Apple and NV Energy announce huge clean energy investment, Governor’s Office touts economic potential of renewables

The Fernley Reporter

“Cutting-edge” companies developing innovative technologies, such as Apple and Tesla, are moving to Nevada because of the availability of renewable energy, a top Silver State official said today.

Companies insist on renewable energy for reasons of social responsibility – clean energy promotes healthy communities through clean air and water, and does not contribute to climate change through carbon pollution – and because of low energy costs, Steve Hill, director of Governor Brian Sandoval’s Office of Economic Development, told the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

“We have developed a brand that matters to those companies,” Hill told the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Lack of access to clean energy “can be one of the few things that is a deal breaker” in bringing investment to Nevada.


Data centers, electric car, battery producers and other innovative companies–like the Tesla Gigafactory–expect access to clean energy.

Also Wednesday, Nevada clean energy advocates applauded an announcement that NV Energy, the state’s largest electric utility, and Apple have reached an agreement to build a solar plant to supply Apple’s renewable energy needs at its Reno data center.

NV Energy said the 200-megawatt project will add “hundreds of jobs” and increase the 1,900 megawatts of clean renewable power already produced for the utility’s customers, NV Energy said in a statement. Advocates for clean energy applauded the agreement.

“Coming soon after Governor Sandoval’s State of the State address, in which he extolled the benefits that the clean energy economy has brought to our state, this announcement emphasizes that Nevada’s economic future is paved with clean energy,” said Andy Maggi, director of the Nevada Conservation League. “The agreement with Apple makes it clear that companies want to locate where they have access to clean energy. Legislators and the Governor now can make it clear that our state is the place where they can meet their clean energy goals with policies that will grow access to and generation of clean energy in Nevada.”

“We are excited about today’s announcement and the opportunity to bring new clean energy jobs to Nevada,” agreed Annette Magnus, executive director of Battle Born Progress. “We must continue to find opportunities to boost our clean energy economy and make our state a leader again for renewable energy.”

“Clean Energy Project applauds continued collaborative communication between the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to ensure policy and regulatory alignment to fulfill Governor Sandoval’s vision for a new Nevada,” Jennifer Taylor, executive director of Clean Energy Project. “CEP is encouraged by PUCN Chairman Joe Reynolds and Director Steve Hill’s assertion energy policy, economic development and economic diversification, are interrelated and linked as we move into a legislative session highlighting a number of energy issues. As Director Hill noted, and CEP has historically contended, many industry sectors, and companies on the cutting edge of technology and manufacturing, will not look to relocate to states where there is not a direct path to clean energy.

“CEP looks forward to continued work with its business network to support GOED and the Governor’s Office of Energy to realize the Governor’s vision of a new Nevada,” she said.

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