Nevada Governor Considering Microgrid Demonstration in Legislation

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A Nevada gubernatorial task force is advising that Gov. Brian Sandoval file legislation to incentivize a distributed energy or microgrid demonstration in the 2017 legislation session.

The New Energy Industry Task Force made the recommendation last week as part of a larger clean energy package.

Sandoval will now review the task force’s proposals and decide which ones to send to the Legislature.

“Distributed energy technology continues to evolve and become more competitive in price,” the task force wrote in its decision. “As these technologies shift and change, the ability to integrate them seamlessly into the existing Nevada grid becomes more challenging.”

Pilot projects will help utilities “better understand these challenges and help them plan and enhance their systems to more appropriately accommodate these resources going forward,” the task force said.

The task force specifically advised that the Legislature fund one or more demonstration projects that would integrate distributed energy resources into Nevada’s electric grid. The group defined distributed energy to include microgrids, energy storage, electric vehicles, renewable generation and other clean energy resources.

The money may come from the state renewable generations funds or another source identified by lawmakers.

The project would have to be compatible with utility data platforms, security, operations and control, communication systems, and interconnection requirements.

Gov. Sandoval issued an executive order in January 2016 reconvening the task force and charging it with providing recommendations on best energy policies for the state.

The Governor’s Office of Energy Director serves as the chair of the task force, which also includes representaives from industry, utilities, environmental groups, the Nevada Legislature, and other stakeholders.

Other recommendations made by the task force include setting energy storage procurement targets and requiring that utilities take into account storage in plans for generation, transmission, and distribution.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.