Today I took a tour of all things renewable in the Reno Nevada area. It was quite a long day but a good experience to see all of the progress that Reno is making. Each of these individual pieces comes together to form the full energy picture for Reno. This list isn’t comprehensive, but it does give a nice look at the spectrum.
To start out my grand renewable tour I headed over the Verdi Hydroelectric Power Plant west of town. This is one of three hydroelectric power plants in the area which total 6.7 MWs. I was amazed to learn that the plant is actually over one hundred years old and it is still running on the original equipment. When I think about it, it actually frustrates me a little bit to know that we haven’t made very much progress over the last hundred years. It does show that if it has lasted for 100 years it must make sense, and it probably isn’t just a fad.
After stopping by the hydroelectric plant I stopped by a couple of organizations that are using solar panels to power their internal loads and sell some of the excess energy back to the grid. Both organizations I went to told me that they were negatively affected when NV energy changed its policy on buying back solar. Neither of the two solar locations were utilizing any storage capabilities, but that is probably because they are primarily open during the daylight hours.
electricity. A megawatt is enough energy to power about 1000 homes. All of this electricity gets sold to NV energy and eventually gets passed along to the consumers.
All in all Reno is moving in the right direction when it comes to renewable energy. More cites should take note. If you think your city has a lot of renewable energy let me know in the comments.