Gibbons praises efforts on expanding electric transmission system |

Gibbons praises efforts on expanding electric transmission system

Gov. Jim Gibbons said Tuesday the Renewable Energy Transmission Access Advisory Committee has taken a major step in Nevada’s efforts to expand production of renewable electric power.

The committee is now reviewing maps designed to spell out where new transmission lines should be built to connect potential geothermal and areas most suitable for wind and solar projects to the power grid.

“Right now, Nevada could be generating enough solar, geothermal and wind power to make the state energy self-sufficient if the power grid in sparsely populated Nevada can be expanded,” he said.

He said Nevada has excellent geothermal, solar and wind resources. But those resources aren’t typically near the urban areas that consume the power.

“The real challenge has been getting the transmission system upgraded to capitalize on those resources,” he said.

Gibbons pointed out that the state has set a goal of producing 20 percent of the power used in the state from renewable sources by 2015.

He has made energy independence one of his goals. He wants to go beyond that, arguing the state should be able to sell power to California and other states instead of importing electric power, which the state now does.

“The geothermal and wind energy potential in northern Nevada is enormous, as is the solar energy potential in southern Nevada,” he said.

He said the added advantage is that renewable energy project in the state create permanent jobs for Nevadans.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.