SEIA | December 19, 2014 — With the addition of another major solar power plant supplying clean, renewable energy to America’s sunniest state, Nevada was second in the nation in added solar capacity during Q3, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) most recent U.S. Solar Market Insight® quarterly report. The Copper Mountain 3 project added 171.4 megawatts (MW) to Nevada’s solar portfolio.
“Today, Nevada ranks sixth in the United States in installed solar capacity, as it capitalizes on its unlimited potential to expand the use of clean, reliable solar energy, creating even more new jobs and helping to power the state’s economy,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “The growth of Nevada’s solar industry is paying real dividends, as average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices have fallen by a quarter in the past year. Contributing to the falling prices and rapid growth of the industry nationwide are smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which allow consumers the opportunity to choose clean, renewable solar energy.”
In 2013, $108 million was invested in Nevada to install solar for home, business and utility use, and there are currently more than 161 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Nevada, employing 3,100 people. The 656 MW of solar energy currently installed in Nevada is enough to power 100,000 homes.
Nationwide, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly billion a year into the U.S. economy. But solar also benefits the environment.
“The 17,500 megawatts of solar energy currently installed across the United States can generate enough pollution-free electricity to displace 20 billion pounds of coal or 2.2 billion gallons of gasoline,” Resch added. “That’s the equivalent of removing 4.3 million passenger cars from our roads and highways. Every 3 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight the battle against damaging carbon emissions by flipping the switch on another completed solar project.”