On an overcast day, with a few intermittent rain showers, the official dedication and ribbon cutting of the Lincoln County Power District’s 90KW Community Solar Project, the first in the state, was held.
The event occurred at the site just across U.S. 93 from the entrance to Cathedral Gorge State Park Oct. 5.
General Manager Dave Luttrell welcomed several dignitaries including Sarah Adler, Nevada State Director of the USDA Rural Development, and Angie Dykema with the Governor’s Office of Energy.
In addition to representatives from other rural electric energy companies and organizations and interested citizens, the seventh and eighth grade classes from the Panaca Middle School also attended and learned a little bit about solar power generation before the ceremony.
Luttrell also read a prepared statement from Sen. Harry Reid. “This project is yet another example of Nevada’s continued leadership in solar power and clean energy. I congratulate the Lincoln County Power District, the USDA and the Governor’s Office of Energy for their forward-thinking approach to providing power to residents. This project shows what can be accomplished with partnerships and illustrates that there is strong demand for solar power in both rural communities and large cities. Utility companies large and small – in Nevada and throughout the country – should take notice. Clean, renewable energy is good for customers, good for business and good for the environment. I look forward to seeing more projects like this one sprout up throughout the Silver State and the entire country.”
Luttrell said the power board is customer oriented and, “we have been looking for ways to satisfy our customers and for ways to diversify our resource portfolio.” He said, “This community solar project helps to accomplish both of those goals. The 90KW fixed access solar project over the course of the next year will generate about 155,000 kilowatt hours, about enough to serve 11 homes in Lincoln County their entire energy needs for one full year.”
More solar panels are being planned to be built in Phase II on the same location Luttrell said, and some additional solar panels on the upper end.
He explained over the course of the 25-year life of the solar project, “about 3 million kilowatt hours of power will be generated and it will help us take out of the air about 3½ million pounds of carbon dioxide and about 5,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide.”
State Director Adler said, “I am excited to be here and applaud you for undertaking this project. I am proud of you for stepping up and showing the rest of your rural electric colleagues how you can participate in a clean energy future. This is in record time, too, just one year ago when we first heard of the idea. We are thrilled with your accomplishment.”