Nevada PUC approves renewable energy deals for Apple, Switch

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved three renewable energy agreements that add 129 MW of solar power capacity in Nevada and assist the efforts by Apple and Switch to run their data centers with 100 percent green energy.

The PUC approved a stipulation signed by all three parties in four consolidated applications for power purchase agreements to build two new solar power centers – the 79 MW Playa Solar 1 project owned by First Solar and the 50 MW Boulder Solar II facility owned by SunPower.

Both projects will be located in Clark County near existing solar projects. Apple and Switch will buy the portfolio energy credits from each of the new solar plants.

“This innovative structure enables additional renewable development, reduces gas and coal purchases, and facilitates Clean Power Plan compliance, all at prices that do not negatively affect ratepayers,” said PUC Chairman Paul Thomsen.

With its approval of the 20-year power contracts, the PUC has in the past five months added 329 MW of new solar generation to Nevada’s portfolio of renewable energy resources, the PUC said in a Jan. 25 news release. The prices average less than 4 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The PUC also said that the plants are owned by non-utility independent power producers, so ratepayers will not incur risks associated with construction.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants.

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