NV Energy announces solar agreement with Apple in Nevada

NV Energy and Apple announced today they have reached an agreement to build 200 megawatts of additional solar energy in Nevada by early 2019. The projects will support Apple’s renewable energy needs for its Reno data center.

In the coming weeks, NV Energy will file an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the solar power plant. The project will bring NV Energy’s total to more than 529 megawatts of new solar resources in construction in Nevada or under review for approval. This is in addition to the 491 megawatts of universal solar resources in Nevada currently serving NV Energy customers. Apple will also dedicate up to 5 megawatts of power to NV Energy’s future subscription solar program for residential and commercial customers.

“We are proud to play a role in helping Apple meet their energy needs with Nevada’s abundant solar resource,” said Paul Caudill, president and CEO of NV Energy, in a statement. “In partnership with our customers, we continue to develop a more balanced fuel mix in a way that benefits the local economy by providing hundreds of jobs for Nevadans, particularly those in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 357 and 396, and advances the state’s policy goals.”

“Investing in innovative clean energy sources is vital to Apple’s commitment to reaching, and maintaining, 100 percent renewable energy across all our operations,” said Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson, in a statement. “Our partnership with NV Energy helps assure our customers their iMessages, FaceTime video chats and Siri inquiries are powered by clean energy, and supports efforts to offer the choice of green energy to Nevada residents and businesses.”

Currently, NV Energy customers are served by more than 1,900 megawatts of renewable resources in Nevada, including 19 geothermal energy resources, 13 solar energy facilities, six hydro plants, one large wind farm and a variety of biomass, methane and other renewable energy projects.

Source: NV Energy, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s renewables push proceeds!

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s secret solar plant in Arizona could supply 12,500 homes with power – September 21, 2016
Apple Energy gets federal approval to sell power – August 4, 2016
Apple Energy: The implications are mind-boggling – June 16, 2016
Apple Energy: Is this Apple running its own microgrids or more? – June 10, 2016
Apple Inc. forms Apple Energy company; looks to sell electricity into grid and perhaps directly to consumers – June 9, 2016
Apple did not ask for incentives for new $2 billion data center in Mesa, Arizona – February 2, 2015

25 Comments

  1. Excellent.

    I feel sorry for the businesses that are renewable energy Luddites. They’re going to be the legacy, antique companies of the future. The geezer companies that couldn’t keep up. Stuck with a carbon addiction and paying for it.

    (Keep in mind I’m being a futurist in my statement, not talking about at-the-moment. I like thinking ahead).

    1. Actually, Derek, the future is already here. You just have to know where to look. As a futurologist (John Naisbitt, maybe?) once said: “the future is here, though it is poorly distributed”. He meant that the technologies that will be ubiquitous in the future already exist today, but on the fringes of reality, before they will become commonplace.

      Who would think LED technology would allow people to enjoy artificial lighting for 10% of the energy costs of traditional incandescent lights, and will last for decades before failing?

      Who would think there would be 50 or 60 different makes and models of hybrid-electric and all-electric cars sold in the USA right now — with more coming every year? And these cars get as much as 133 MPG-of-gas-equivalent (e.g. Prius Prime Plug-In Electric Hybrid Gas Engine)?

      Who would have anticipated that the cost of photovoltaic (PV) cells would have decreased 80% in the past decade? And it is now possible to tell your architect that you would like a net-zero house, and it is possible to do?

      Yes, yes, yes, my friends, the future is already here. I invite you and other interested folks to “join the party” and help all this cool technology to take root faster. Switch all your incandescent lightbulbs to LEDs. (Virtually every type is available.) Plan on buying an all-ectric or hybrid-electric car.

      Who would think all this was possible today? Cheers, dude.

      1. Just learned about this product yesterday. It does fly, and might be for sale this year. It’s pricey and the range is limited, but with scale and improved battery tech this could be the future. It fits into two parking spaces.

      2. With regard to nearly every style of lamp bulb being available in LED versions, the house that we moved into had a room with six stylish light fittings which used unusual bulbs. After incandescent bulbs fell out of favour, nobody seemed to be making a CF version, or even a quartz version. I have now found that LED versions have become available and we have now replaced the bulbs instead of replacing the six fittings.

        Apart from lasting for ages and drawing much less power, a huge advantage of LED lamps is that you can choose the colour temperature, usually warm white ( 3,000 degK ), cool white ( 4,000 deg K ) or daylight ( 6,000 deg K ) and of course you can also get variable colour bulbs too. We’ve got a multi-bulb chandelier high in our stairwell which can only be accessed with a ladder and even then it’s very difficult, as a result, there was always one or two dead bulbs, but since switching to LEDs, we’ve never had to change a bulb.

        I used to live in a house where all the kitchen lights were one colour temperature, but the lighting built into the extractor fan was a quite different colour temperature. It was jarred aesthetically when they were all switched on, but more importantly it made it difficult to judge when browning food as it looked different once you moved it away from the hob.

        LEDs as a household lighting source have made tremendous advances in the last few years.

        Electric cars are also making massive advances. I recently saw some prototype electrically powered Jaguars in operation and am unable to talk about any details. I didn’t expect a long-established traditional car manufacturer to start afresh and create an entirely new electric platform, but they have done so and have come up with something which is quite astonishing.

        1. When they first came out, LEDs could not be dimmed, either. They drew so little power, “modern” dimmers would simply not work. You could only dim LEDs if you were lucky enough to have an old rheostat-type dimmer from the 1950s. Since then, however, engineers have figured out how to make dimmer switches that work with LEDs. Dimmable lights are a great feature. Let’s you alter the lighting level to suit various moods, tasks, times of day. It is a real luxury.

          1. I would point out that not all ‘dimmable’ LEDs work properly with all dimmers. I’ve installed a load of different dimmers in my house and obviously always use dimmable LEDs with them, but there are some LED bulbs marked ‘dimmable” which badly flicker in all of my lighting circuits but the good types work perfectly in every circuit. Those dodgy lamps get returned to the supplier and my supplier acknowledges that others have returned those same items for the same reason.

        1. Nuclear is an economic disaster. After you install your central nuke powerplant at a cost significantly greater than any gas fired plant and way more than distributed solar which is easy to scale onto every Nevada rooftop, then the nuke operation would:

          – important uranium from a foreign country
          – maintain a military like security system to safeguard that nuclear fuel supply chain
          – maintain a high alert at all times against all kinds of disasters
          – package spent fuel in glass casings for permanent storage
          – use your paramilitary to guard those spent fuel piles, or rent a room at Yucca Mountain
          – constantly remind neighbors the need to pay attention to the nuclear alert system

          Boy that all sounds like a fun future, especially at a time when natural gas is cheaper than dirt and solar panel kits can be installed by any homeowner with basic skills

    2. “Big Oil” is Exxon, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and a few other companies. Being publicly owned means they answer, ultimately, to their shareholders. These companies are not run by Luddites, but by responsible businessmen. Advocates of alternative energy investments appointed to their BODs can and do press for more energy diversification, and if such projects can be justified, they proceed.

      But any push for renewables based on morality or any other social ideal is going to fail the test of the bottom line. This is where public policy comes in, through incentives, regulation, and international agreements. Government subsidies and protections are supposed to protect fragile markets as they build up economies of scale. Eventually such markets, for solar panels for instance, become profitable and the subsidies can be removed.

      Exxon and Chevron et al. strategically try to read the future political handwriting on the wall, and must delicately balance that against short-term demand (15-20 years) for fossil fuels. Federal energy policy emerging in the next few weeks may result in new graffiti.

      Even in a distant future with a preponderance of alternative energy sources, oil will remain crucial, as brilliantly explained here:

      http://lubes.exxonmobil.com/Lubes/sustainability_productsandprocesses_diversification.aspx

      Speaking of which, some delicate parsing is going on around the Paris Accords.

      https://finance.yahoo.com/news/exxon-praises-monumental-paris-agreement-150551856.html

      Disclosure: Herself and her sisters are long XOM, CVX

        1. A responsible businessman has fiduciary duties. A responsible citizen has social and legal obligations. A responsible human being has familial and moral obligations. Don’t mix ’em up.

          1. Many ills over the centuries have been perpetrated in the name of responsibility. And let’s also add religion, family, honor, and righteousness.

            Yet, somehow, people seem to forget we _also_ have a responsibility to take care of the planet. Particularly as we grow to a population of 9 Billion humans. Oi, vey! I have never understood why people hold on to the ways of the past so steadfastly, as if the past is always better than the future.

            PS. Mark the values of you oil shares today. Compare their net value (share appreciation plus dividend payouts) in 15-20 years to alternative investments in, say, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

            1. Humankind’s myriad social institutions must be adjusted in order to make stewardship of the planet a priority. Otherwise, Mother Nature will throw up her metaphorical hands, and compress all 7.28 billion of us upstart mammals into fossil fuels for the next apex species to exploit.

            2. You use the term Mother Nature as if it had the ability to defend itself from the 7 billion paper cuts that humanity is slashing the planet.

              You may be long on Big Oil but I doubt you will voluntarily swim in a natural body of water within kilometers of an oil refinery.

    1. Political games aside, most oil companies are in no rush to build pipeline capacity. They always fight for the public rights to do whatever they want, but they won’t be digging anything until the price of oil supports the business.

  2. Keeping the politics out of this, you have to agree that Nevada (plus a lot of the southwestern states) will be in a great position in 20-30 years. Solar energy will certainly be in demand and states like Nevada could well end up as the “new oil” barons providing energy for the rest of the country. And unlike oil it is an unlimited resource. These poor states will be transformed when renewal income starts pouring in given the amount of empty space they have.

    1. Agree. But solar PV panels are also becoming so efficient and so cheap that they even make sense in sub-optimum (e.g., northern) latitudes. They can also be placed horizontally …without bothering with solar tracking so the PV panels are orthogonal to the sun’s rays. And it will only get better.

      Plus, battery storage technology is reaching critical mass for backup storage.

      And if they are smart, developing countries like China and India will leap-frog over fossil fuels (like they leap-frogged over landline phones and went straight to mobile phones).

      1. China is adopting solar energy faster than anywhere else and have created a huge export industry from manufacturing PV panels. Interestingly, most large Chinese solar installations are located somewhat north of 36 degrees, which is not so advantageous compared to when it’s possible to have them located closer to the equator. Even in Germany, the place I most frequently visit is north of 51 degrees, but I still see huge numbers of PV arrays.

        Load levelling is an important consideration with solar power. You need to keep stuff running when it’s dark ( or with turbines, when it’s not windy ). Batteries are well known and I’m particularly interested by the possibilities of the UltraBattery, which is a sort of hybrid of lead/acid cell and super capacitor. It has been scaled up to work at MegaWatt levels and is well suited to load levelling roles.

        There is also a lot of development going on with regard to using surplus electricity to create hydrogen, which can either be used as itself, or else exploiting the Sabatier reaction to create artificial methane gas which can be piped into buildings instead of the gas from fossil sources.

        Here in the UK, a lot of people are excited about the power than can be extracted from wave or tidal energy. We happen to live on a small island with some of the largest tidal ranges in the world, so it could be a very important energy source if our government ever sees sense and enthusiastically supports it. High tide happens twice a day every day, but crucially it happens at different times around our island, so if a given tidal plant is at a less favourable point in the daily cycle, another one elsewhere will be at it’s peak. There’s nowhere in the UK more than 75 miles from the sea, so it’s a resource that makes a lot of sense.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.