We’ve packed this PERSPECTIVE Update with the education and workforce information you need to know, also featuring columns from United Way of Southern Nevada CEO Bob Morgan and Applied Analysis Principal Brian Gordon.
Over the past five years, Nevada has become one of the epicenters of the global clean technology industry. In just the past five years, Nevada has seen more than $5B invested in clean, renewable energy, supporting more than 100 companies and 5,000 jobs. Nevada is also leading efforts to commercialize water efficiency technology through WaterStart (formerly Nevada Center of Excellence) and making new investments in its long-term water sustainability through the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Scroll down to learn more.
Find out more about Southern Nevada’s: Solar Power Producers, Distributed Solar Installers, and Water Technology companies by scrolling below.
CLEAN TECHNOLOGY CLUSTER
|Employment in Cluster||16,953|
|Regional Yearly Average Wage in Cluster||$60,798|
|Cluster Employment Growth (2014/15)||10.6%|
SOUTHERN NEVADA Clean technology INDUSTRIES
REGIONAL AVERAGE WAGES
|Electric Power Distribution||$108,576|
|Water and Sewer Line and Related Structures Construction||$53,518|
|Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction||$63,592|
|Site Preparation Contractors||$43,370|
|Environmental Consulting Services||$61,875|
Key Assets to the Clean Energy and Water Technology Cluster
Nevada’s primary electric utility, NV Energy, has made renewable energy and energy efficiency an important part of their business. In the 1990s, Nevada passed an aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard that mandated that at least 25% of all electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. In 2013, the Legislature and NV Energy went a step further to completely divest from coal and build 350MW of renewable energy in Nevada. Already, solar, wind, and geothermal plants produce more than 1000 MW of power for the State’s customers. Click here to learn more about NV Energy’s Economic Development Programs.
The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) oversees energy programs required through statute and those that help to meet the mission of the office. The mission of the Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) is to ensure the wise development of Nevada’s energy resources in harmony with local economic needs and to position Nevada to lead the nation in renewable energy production, energy conservation, and the exportation of energy. GOE implements the laws that promote renewable energy production; manages energy-related programs; facilitates cooperation between key stakeholders; advises the Governor on energy policy; and collaborates with our local, regional, and federal partners to ensure a reliable and sustainable energy system. Click here to learn more about the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy.
The UNLV Center for Energy Research trains the workforce necessary for the clean energy jobs of the 21st century. In 2013, the Center was selected by the US Department of Energy to be one of five Regional Test Centers in the US. The purpose of these centers is to evaluate the performance of new PV products using high quality test methods for distinct climatic conditions. The Center also led UNLV’s efforts to participate in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. The institution’s entry, Desert Sol, placed second overall in this highly competitive global competition. Click here to learn more about the UNLV Center for Energy Research.
The Desert Research Institute (DRI), the environmental research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education conducts cutting-edge applied research in air, land and life, and water quality across Nevada, the United States and on every continent. With more than 500 employees and two main campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, DRI generates $50 million in total annual revenue. DRI excels in basic and applied research and the application of technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world. DRI implements this mission by fostering scientific and engineering talent. Its staff apply scientific understanding to the effective management of natural resources while meeting Nevada’s needs for economic diversification and science-based educational opportunities. Click here to learn more about the Desert Research Institute’s programs.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is a cooperative, not-for-profit agency to address Southern Nevada’s unique water needs on a regional basis. SNWA officials are charged with managing the region’s water resources and providing for Las Vegas Valley residents’ and businesses’ present and future water needs. Since its inception in 1991, the SNWA has led one of the most progressive and comprehensive water conservation programs in the nation. Between 2002 and 2014, Southern Nevada’s consumption of Colorado River water decreased by 32 billion gallons — a 30 percent reduction — despite the addition of 520,000 residents during that time. Click here to learn more about the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
WaterStart is an independent team of stakeholders focused on one of the greatest issues facing our state: Water. Through collaboration and the use of best practices, WaterStart endeavors to explore water industry issues, promote economic and workforce development, and support technology transfer. Click here to learn more about WaterStart.
Solar Power Producers
Sempra Energy owns and operates one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar plants in America in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nevada. The 458MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility was built in three phases from 2010-2015. A further expansion of the plant is underway.
First Solar is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, and currently developing a 300 megawatt (MW) PV solar farm two miles southwest of the California-Nevada border and a 250MW project on the Moapa River Indian Reservation northeast of Las Vegas.
Spain based Acciona Energy built Nevada Solar One, a large parabolic trough concentrated solar power (CSP) array in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nevada. The 64MW power plant has been prodicing electricity since June 2007, and supports power for more than 15,000 households in Southern Nevada.
Distributed Solar Installers
SolarCity believes in a better way to power homes and businesses at a lower cost while contributing to a cleaner planet. As America’s No. 1 full-service solar provider, the company makes it easy to enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy. In 2013, Solar City moved their regional headquarters to Las Vegas. The company employs more than 1,000 people in the region.
Northern California based Sunrun moved into the Southern Nevada distributed generation market in April of 2015. Since then, they have expanded offerings quickly. Sunrun and its partner companies now employ well over 100 Southern Nevadans.
Through its PureSystems platform, IBM works with the Desert Research Institute, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and WaterStart to provide analytics on water management systems.
Water Shark Systems, based in North Las Vegas, is an innovator and manufacturer of water treatment systems for small scale and mobile system applications. Working with WaterStart, Water Shark Systems performed applied research with the Southern Nevada Water Authority and eventually moved their manufacturing headquarters to Southern Nevada.
Echologics uses a proprietary acoustic-based leak detection and monitoring system that analyzes sound properties within water transmission mains and alerts water utilities about the presence and locations of leaks. Echologics technology was deployed on Las Vegas Strip due to a partnership between the company, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and WaterStart.