Nevada lawmakers voted in June, 2009, to start up a new Nevada renewable energy agency. That set the stage for the Governor to appoint a Commissioner to head the agency in its work.
The agency’s purpose is to study science and technology and to develop ideas to conserve energy use. It will also focus on ways to bring green businesses to Nevada. The agency will study solar power, wind, and geothermal projects in order to attract those businesses to the state. On the business and political side, the agency will examine a combination of financing options, possible tax breaks and technological partnerships that may be offered by the State to renewable energy businesses. The agency will also examine possible locations in the state that may be attractive to renewable energy companies.
The new agency will work with Nevada’s State Energy Director Hatice Gecol. She was given control of the Fund for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservations Loans. Through this fund, the energy director can make three percent interest rate loans, with legislative approval, to companies that build renewable projects.
There are unanswered questions from some lawmakers about funding the agency in the long term. The agency will be working with Ms. Gecol to obtain Nevada’s share of the Federal Stimulus Package money for renewable energy projects. That source may provide funding in the short-term.