Senate Bill 448 calls for new investment in transportation electrification infrastructure and a multi-state regionally interconnected electricity market to improve grid resilience, reliability, and reduce energy costs.
CARSON CITY, May 13, 2021 — National business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) urged Nevada lawmakers to support Senate Bill 448, which would jumpstart investment in electric transportation infrastructure and reduce energy costs for all Nevadans by requiring state utilities to join a regional transmission organization (RTO) by 2030. The bill also focuses more energy efficiency spending on low-income households to reduce energy costs and levels the playing field by creating tax parity for energy storage to complement the state’s renewable resources.
“Investments in the advanced energy economy can offer Nevada a six-fold return on investment,” said Sarah Steinberg, Principal at Advanced Energy Economy. “This bill is what the Nevada economy needs right now. Advanced energy and electric vehicle companies, as well as large employers and data centers, want to expand their footprint into states that set them up for success. This bill would make Nevada a leading candidate for private investment and job creation by showing that the Silver State is open for business.”
The ambitious near-term investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the framework to plan for longer-term electric transportation needs, will create jobs and expand consumer choice for Nevadans who want to drive an electric car or truck but are not able to charge at home. As more consumers switch to electric vehicles, electric rates decrease for all Nevadans.
SB 448 also sets Nevada up to lead the western region in the creation of an RTO, or a regional wholesale energy market. RTOs harness competitive forces and transparent planning processes to integrate more clean energy into the grid at lower cost, which attracts private investment and new jobs from energy developers and large energy users, including Fortune 500 companies that prefer to locate their operations in states participating in regional markets. A western RTO offers enhanced grid reliability during severe weather events and is key to a cost-effective energy transition.
“In states throughout the region, interest is growing in creating a broader market that shares the abundant renewable energy resources in the West, keeps costs down, and provides greater resilience,” said Steinberg. “This bill would make Nevada a leader on this issue in the west.”
The advanced energy industry is already a significant economic driver in the state, employing 33,900 Nevadans statewide. If passed into law, SB 448 has the potential to drive additional economic development by generating more in-state critical energy infrastructure, renewable energy generation, and electric vehicle infrastructure projects.
“This legislation would help build a foundational network of electric vehicle charging stations, supporting a range of business models and equitable deployment, said Thomas Ashley, Vice President of Policy & Market Development for Greenlots, a member of the Shell group. “These efforts will contribute to the job and economic growth Nevada has seen firsthand with the development of in-state electric vehicle component manufacturing.”
Other groups have already vocalized similar support for the bill. “Enel strongly supports SB 448, which puts Nevada in the driver’s seat for creating a vibrant energy economy and shows strong leadership for the creation of a coordinated Western electricity system,” said Mona Tierney-Lloyd, Head of State Public Policy, Enel North America. “This bill creates opportunities for battery energy storage and electric vehicles, technologies that are transforming and enhancing electricity service, while creating economic growth and job opportunities for years to come.”