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Massive energy overhaul bill awaits Nevada governor signature

Posted at 5:45 AM, Jun 09, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A potential new law overhauling the way energy could be produced and distributed across Nevada, SB 448, passed both chambers of the legislature before the 81st session ended June 1 and was delivered to Gov. Steve Sisolak's desk for a signature.

The bill was designed by Sen. Chris Brooks to meet Nevada's ambitious clean energy plans to make the state carbon-free by 2050.

SB 448 directs NV Energy to invest $100 million into electric vehicle infrastructure including statewide installation of charging stations.

It would also include support for rooftop solar installation, and and require many of the infrastructure improvements, 40%, to be installed in historically underserved communities.

The largest infrastructure directive would complete the "Greenlink Nevada" power grid by building two 525 kilowatt transmission lines across the north and east regions of the state.

RELATED: List of Senate and Assembly Bills signed in Nevada after latest session

The new transmission lines would connect with an existing transmission line between Las Vegas and Reno in the west to create an energy triangle.

Supporters of the bill said the transmission upgrades would allow Nevada to create and move power from solar farms or geothermal vents in rural areas currently not accessible to energy providers.

Dan Musgrove, representing Nevada's building trades, said the construction and maintenance of the transmission lines and energy sources would stir economic development.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs. Well, let's talk about getting out of a pandemic," he said. "This is important legislation."

"Those projects won't come if you can't get the electricity to the grid," Musgrove continued. "And the men and women of the building trades, who are a very diverse group of men and women, would love to have the opportunity to get those projects on the ground and electricity, green energy, into the grid."

Opponents of the bill included representatives of the Nevada Resort Association who believed that the cost of building transmission lines and EV infrastructure would increase their rates.

Other opposition came from environmentalist groups like Bison and Range Watch who said construction of transmission lines and energy production sources in rural parts of the state would threaten animal populations like a group of wintering bald eagles in the north.

Watch more on this story in Wednesday's Daily Debrief:

Daily Debrief: Massive energy overhaul bill awaits Nevada governor signature