News roundup: Nevada leads on clean energy, a new report in Oklahoma, an offshore proposal for Rhode Island

26 March 2014 by Peebles Squire Peebles Squire

In today’s roundup, we learn how Nevada is innovating in clean energy, a new report in Oklahoma highlights wind’s economic impact, and Deepwater Wind proposes a new offshore wind project for Rhode Island.

Nevada’s making waves in clean energy, thanks in part to a set of incentives that allow new projects to thrive in the Silver State:

  • Nevada is seeing big investments in renewable energy - well over $5 billion since 2010 - according to the Clean Energy Project, based in the state.
  • They give credit to Nevada's Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program, passed into law in 2009. To receive sales and property tax abatements, at least half of employees must be Nevada citizens; companies pay 175% of the state's average wage and provide health insurance to workers and their families.
  • Nevada's large-scale wind project, Spring Valley Wind Farm, is supplying energy for 45,000  homes  and more wind projects are underway. Thus, the $500 million spent on tax abatements has been leveraged to $5.5 billion in investments, a 10 to 1 return on  investment. Additionally, Nevada will receive just over $820 million in employment and property benefits from these projects.

The Wind Coalition will release a report today detailing the economic impact of Oklahoma wind power, including private investment and jobs:

  • The [Wind Coalition] study will be released Wednesday at the state Capitol. It analyzes investment data, revenue paid to local landowners, ad valorem tax base increases, employment data and developer expenditure data for the 26 active wind farms in Oklahoma.
  • The American Wind Energy Association, a national trade advocate for the U.S. wind industry, says Oklahoma's wind ranks ninth in the nation with 3,134 megawatts of installed wind capacity.

Offshore wind power is gaining momentum in the Northeast, where Deepwater Wind is proposing a new project for the coast of Rhode Island:

  • A Rhode Island company is proposing to erect a 35-turbine wind farm about 30 miles off the coast of Montauk in the latest in a series of efforts to build utility-scale wind-power projects in waters off Long Island.
  • Deepwater said it has already paid $3.8 million for the federal lease for 256 square miles of ocean waters for wind proposals. Turbines of up to six megawatts each would be placed in 100 feet to 120 feet of water on platforms similar to those that support offshore oil and gas drilling. An undersea cable would connect to the LIPA electrical system on the East End. Deepwater said the project, if accepted by LIPA, would be the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.
  • "We expect to be extremely competitive in terms of pricing," he said. "We believe it will be far lower than anyone has proposed for an offshore wind farm to date."

Be sure to check out this week’s other news roundups:

Sources:

Staff, “Nevada's Innovative Incentives Helping it Lead on Renewable Energy.” SustainableBusiness.com. 25 March 2014.

Staff, “The Wind Coalition to release new study on economic impact of Oklahoma's wind energy industry.” Daily Journal. 26 March 2014.

Mark Harrington, “Rhode Island company proposes wind farm 30 miles off Montauk.” Long Island News Day. 25 March 2014.