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Nevada Legislature Passes New Energy Economy Bill, Driving Electric Transportation Growth and Supporting Regional Power Market

Posted by Cayli Baker on May 31, 2021

Previously approved by the Senate unanimously, Senate Bill 448 passes Assembly on vote of 32-10, creating new investment in transportation electrification infrastructure and a multi-state regionally interconnected electricity market to improve grid resilience

CARSON CITY, May 31, 2021 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) applauded the Nevada Assembly for passing Senate Bill 448* by a 32-10 vote following unanimous Senate approval on May 20. Demonstrating the bipartisan appeal of the new energy economy, this major bill will jumpstart investment in electric transportation infrastructure and require state utilities to join a regional transmission organization (RTO) by 2030, creating jobs and reducing energy costs for all Nevadans. The bill now heads back to the Senate for concurrence, and then will go to the Governor’s desk for signature. Its approval will drive significant short- and long-term economic development by spurring in-state critical energy infrastructure, renewable energy generation, and electric vehicle infrastructure projects. 

“SB 448 sets up Nevada for a clean, affordable energy system for decades to come,” said Sarah Steinberg, Principal at Advanced Energy Economy. “The bill will be a central component of  Nevada’s economic recovery after serious hardship from the pandemic. Investments in advanced energy can offer Nevada a six-fold return on investment, and SB 448 makes Nevada a leading candidate for private investment and job creation. Advanced energy and electric vehicle companies, as well as large employers and data centers, will be drawn to expand their presence in the Silver State.”

“AEE commends the legislature for passing this important piece of energy policy, and the Governor and Office of Economic Development for their unflagging support for the new energy economy” said Steinberg. “SB448’s ambitious near-term investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the framework for meeting longer-term electric transportation needs, will create jobs and expand consumer choice for Nevadans who want to drive an electric car or truck but are not able to charge at home. Moreover, as more consumers switch to electric vehicles, electric rates will decrease for all Nevadans, regardless of whether or not they drive an EV.”

SB 448 also makes Nevada a leader of the western region in the creation of a regional wholesale electricity market. Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) harness competitive forces and transparent planning processes to integrate more clean energy into the grid at lower cost, attracting private investment, and creating new jobs from energy developers and large energy users. 

“The western RTO provisions in this bill make significant progress towards the creation of a regional grid, which offers enhanced grid reliability during severe weather events and is key to a cost-effective clean energy transition,” said Steinberg. “In states throughout the region, interest is growing in creating a broader western market that shares the abundant renewable energy resources in the West, many of which will come from Nevada. Nevada’s leadership on RTOs and resilience in the west will make it a central player in market design.” 

“This legislation would help build a foundational network of electric vehicle charging stations, supporting a range of business models and equitable deployment,”said Thomas Ashley, Vice President of Policy & Market Development for Greenlots, a member of the Shell group. “These efforts will contribute to the job and economic growth Nevada has seen firsthand with the development of in-state electric vehicle component manufacturing.”

Other groups have already vocalized similar support for the bill. “Enel strongly supports SB 448, which puts Nevada in the driver’s seat for creating a vibrant energy economy and shows strong leadership for the creation of a coordinated Western electricity system,” said Mona Tierney-Lloyd, Head of State Public Policy, Enel North America.  “This bill creates opportunities for battery energy storage and electric vehicles, technologies that are transforming and enhancing electricity service, while creating economic growth and job opportunities for years to come.”

Background Materials

*Note: AEE offers free, complimentary access to its PowerSuite online platform tracking all federal and state energy legislation and regulatory filings, plus RTO/ISO policy action, to credentialed media. Sign up for a free trial and contact Monique Hanis (mhanis@aee.net) for permanent media access.

Topics: Press Releases