The state of Nevada has acres and acres of unused public land that could be home to solar and wind farms that could make the state the first to be 100% self sufficient. The idea is gathering steam from an unlikely person. former President Bill Clinton has made it one of his causes to create a state that is 100% self sufficient and is powered completely by solar and wind power.
Why is Nevada Perfect State to Become Energy Independent
Why Nevada? As former President Clinton said in a speech given in Las Vegas earlier this month while stumping for Harry Reid, “Where else can you find more wind and more sun than anywhere else. Nevada is the perfect model to become the first state in the United States to be 100% sustainable.”
The idea is not new, former President Clinton actually espoused his views two years ago at the National Clean Energy Summit, August 19, 2008 also in Las Vegas. At the time former President Clinton singled out Nevada he was expressing the importance of creating energy independent areas in the United States and abroad.
In his 2008 speech, former President Clinton pointed to the amount of money and the jobs that could be created by building renewable energy sources. “Building a 100 megawatt solar thermal plant would provide ten times the economic benefit of a comparable coal-fired power plant. It would create 4000 person-years of employment and a net, NET, $628 million of economic benefit.”
Wind is Also an Untapped Resource in the State of Nevada
Solar thermal energy has been top of mind for some time in Nevada and the the first solar plant outside of Boulder City has been an unmitigated success. The same area also generates a substantial amount of wind that could power most of Las Vegas with the right amount of wind turbines.
Solar thermal and wind power have never been used in conjunction but this area in the flat desert meadow, wedged between two mountain ranges would be perfect. The solar field already exists and the wind turbines could be built in the same area to make use of the existing transmission lines.
The cost of wind turbines is expensive at the moment but as more come on line and production increases they should become more reasonable. The most current cost breakdowns for wind turbines, according to the website windustry, places the cost for one wind turbine between $1.2 million and $2.6 million. This would make the cost of a field of just 100 wind turbines at over $200 million. An expensive price at first but once in motion, maintaining the renewable energy sources will be minimal.
How Will Nevada Move Forward to Become 100% Energy Independent
Money is the key to move forward with making Nevada 100% energy independent. The Bill Clinton Foundation has the state of Nevada on its radar to solicit companies to build their solar thermal power plants and wind turbine power fields. A more important development is the possibility for companies that will profit from creating clean energy power fields to focus on Nevada and donate materials and service to create a working model for the rest of the world.
www.climateprogress.org– National Clean Energy Summit, Day 1: Bill Clinton calls for ‘energy independent’ zones
www.windustry.org –How Much Do Wind Turbines Cost?