weather icon Clear

City played large role in state’s solar-industry growth

Nevada leads the nation in per capita growth of solar-industry jobs, according to a recent report from the nonprofit Solar Foundation.

The Silver State has added 3,500 jobs since the end of 2013, an increase of 146 percent from the year before, the report said.

The “report that Nevada has the fastest growing solar industry in the nation is proof that our hard work (in Nevada) to advance energy policies not only ends our addiction to fossil fuels, but also creates well-paying jobs and brings new, innovative industries to our state,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement.

Reid, a proponent of green energy, worked on the Energy Improvement and Extension and American Recovery and Reinvestment acts, which helped pave the way for more solar and geothermal projects in Nevada. The Energy Improvement and Extension Act extended a 30 percent tax credit by eight years for residential and commercial solar installations.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 helped Nevada get more than $550 million for a range of energy-efficient projects that have helped power the state. The act helped energize the One-Nevada Transmission Line in 2014, which connected renewable-energy sources in Northern and Southern Nevada for the first time.

Boulder City has been a key component to the emergence of Nevada’s success in the solar industry.

“Boulder City currently has over 8,000 acres of city-owned land under lease for solar development,” Financial Director Shirley Hughes said during a Jan. 13 City Council meeting.

There are five active facilities on those 8,000 acres and, according to the city’s financial plan, the city will reduce its debt by 65 percent during the next 10 years by committing a portion of the lease revenue to debt payments.

Boulder City is expecting to add $41.2 million to its general-fund revenue throughout the next five years, Hughes said. That number increases to $82.6 million through the next 10 years. By the time the solar leases are over in fiscal year 2069, total lease revenue is projected at more than $439 million.

Revenue from solar leases helped the city maintain its workforce during the worst economic decline in its history, Mayor Roger Tobler said during his final State of the City address Jan. 22. Boulder City renegotiated leases with Techren Solar and KOMIPO that allowed the city to recognize more than $10 million in deferred revenue, he added.

“In 2007, I could count the number of clean-energy projects in Nevada on one hand. Now, Nevada has over $6 billion in clean and renewable-energy investments, nearly 6,000 solar jobs and over 20,000 jobs in clean energy,” Reid said. “Nevada is quickly becoming a national leader in clean energy, but none of this happened by accident.”

The senator praised Boulder City for its involvement in green-energy projects. He said the city that built Hoover Dam has a long, rich legacy in clean-energy investment.

“Boulder City has continued this tradition of innovation in renewable energy with solar projects throughout (the area of) Railroad Pass that created hundreds of good-paying jobs and an important revenue source for Boulder City,” Reid told the Boulder City Review. “The commitment Boulder City has made to developing renewable-energy sources will continue to benefit Nevada as a whole just as much as it benefits its own city.”

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Council OKs expanded solar lease

More money is coming to the city’s coffers as council members recently approved adding land to a lease option held by Silver Peak Solar LLC.

City staff target of unemployment fraud

Fraudulent unemployment claims were recently filed against some city employees, but they were not caused by a breach of the city’s or the state’s computer systems, according to officials.

City files motion to dismiss open meeting law violation claims

A new motion to dismiss some of the claims in an Eighth District Court case against the city has been filed, and a hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 5.

Show of Support

Celia Shortt Goodyear/Boulder City Review

Business Beat: Comic store to move downtown

A small business is taking a big step forward and moving into a new location in downtown Boulder City.

Meeting to discuss city attorney canceled due to improper notice

A special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22, to discuss firing City Attorney Steve Morris was canceled because the process server did not give him proper notice of the meeting, despite initially saying he did.

Risk of water shortages projected

An increased risk of potential water shortages in the Colorado River Basin is expected for the next five years, according to projections released earlier this week by the Bureau of Reclamation.

Grant program to aid small businesses

Boulder City has a new grant program to help its small businesses and residents weather through the COVID-19 storm.

Survey reveals fewer ‘historic’ properties

Boulder City will not lose its spot on the National Register of Historic Places even though it no longer has enough contributing properties in the historic area.

Program reimburses families for missed school meals

Students in Boulder City may receive money to pay for meals they missed out at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.