Governor Sisolak Signs Bill to Raise Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard To 50% By 2030

CARSON CITY, NV - April 22, 2019

Governor says law will put Nevada back on the path toward renewable energy leadership 

On Earth Day, Governor Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 358 into law, committing Nevada to raising its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030 and fulfilling a pledge he made in his State of the State address. Senate Bill 358 is sponsored by Sen. Chris Brooks (SD-03) and passed with unanimous bipartisan support out of both chambers of the Nevada Legislature.

“Renewable energy is a major cornerstone of my economic development plan, and this bill will put Nevada back on the path toward renewable energy leadership on a nationwide level and continue to bring well-paying jobs to our communities,” Governor Sisolak said. “Today, Nevada sent a message to the country and world that the Silver State is open for business as a renewable leader, and our commitment to growing our clean energy economy transcends party lines.”

Nevada first enacted a renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, in 1997, becoming the second state in the nation to commit to a target for renewable energy development. By raising Nevada’s RPS to require 50% of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by the year 2030, Nevada reclaims its clean energy leadership role by having one of the highest RPS standards in the country.

Increasing Nevada’s RPS brings a multitude of economic benefits to the state. Through the Governor’s Office of Energy’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program, the state has seen roughly 45 renewable energy projects developed. These projects power Nevada’s homes and businesses while creating 8,600 construction jobs and bringing nearly $8 billion in capital investment to all corners of the state.

Nevada’s clean energy jobs totaled more than 32,000 at the end of 2018. By some estimates, meeting the targets of Nevada’s new RPS could support an additional 11,170 full-time jobs by 2030 and generate $539 million in wages and $1.5 billion in economic activity.

Last month, Governor Sisolak announced that Nevada had joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Increasing Nevada’s RPS will reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in support of the Climate Alliance’s goals.

photos and video of today’s press conference.

Below are Gov. Sisolak’s remarks at the press conference as prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon and happy Earth Day. I can’t think of a better way to mark Earth Day than by enacting a law that will put our state back on the path toward renewable energy leadership in our country.

I’m delighted to sign Senate Bill 358 into law this afternoon, and I’d like to start by thanking the bill sponsor, Senator Chris Brooks – a true clean energy champion in our state – for his work on this legislation.

I’d also like to thank Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Speaker Jason Frierson, and Minority Leaders James Settelmeyer and Jim Wheeler for their leadership in getting this bill to my desk.

In my State of the State, I made a commitment that I would be the governor who would sign this bill—and I wouldn’t be able to take this step without the leaders and advocates you see here with me today.

It is not lost on me that this is a monumental moment for the future our state, and the road to get to this point was not an easy one.

When Nevada first enacted a renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, in 1997, we were the second state in the nation to commit to a target for renewable energy development.

Over the years, though, other states have become more competitive, invested in their clean energy future, and surpassed our renewable energy targets.

Today, Nevada has fallen from its leadership position and almost out of the top 15 states with an RPS. But by signing Senate Bill 358 and raising our RPS to require 50% of our energy come from renewable sources by the year 2030, Nevada reclaims its clean energy leadership role by having one of the highest RPS standards in the country – and the benefits are endless.

Increasing Nevada’s RPS will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our air quality and support our goals as the newest member of the U.S. Climate Alliance.

This milestone piece of legislation will also help reduce emissions that negatively impact the health and well-being of Nevadans. By using more clean energy, we’ll reduce our carbon emissions and the smog-forming pollution that comes from fossil fuels — decreasing our use of pollutants in the air that our children breathe every day.

And of course, this move will help us continue to bring jobs and investments to all corners of the Silver State.

Nevada is poised to meet the growth of clean energy that the RPS will bring. In Nevada, we’ve seen roughly 45 renewable energy projects developed through the Governor’s Office of Energy’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program. These projects bring clean jobs and economic opportunities to all corners of our state, urban and rural.

These projects power Nevada’s homes and businesses while creating 8,600 construction jobs and bringing nearly $8 billion in capital investment to the Silver State.

Nevada’s clean energy jobs totaled more than 32,000 at the end of 2018. By increasing our renewable resources today, we will continue to grow these well-paying jobs and help make renewable energy one of the major cornerstones of my economic development plan.

By some estimates, meeting the targets of our new RPS could support an additional 11,170 full-time jobs by 2030 and generate $539 million in wages and $1.5 billion in economic activity.

Additionally, by raising our RPS, Nevada shows that we support sustainability-minded companies in their clean energy goals, attracting more green businesses to our state.

By signing this bill that was passed with unanimous, bipartisan support out of the legislature, I am joining leaders on both sides of the aisle to send a message to the country and world that Nevada is open for business as a renewable leader, and our commitment to growing our clean energy economy will not falter or fade due to the political climate.

I’m proud to take this important step towards a better, cleaner, more sustainable future for our state, our workforce, and our families. With that, I’m now pleased to sign this bill into law.

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Contact

Helen Kalla
Communications Director