Interim Finance to establish renewable energy authority |

Interim Finance to establish renewable energy authority

The Interim Finance Committee meets Thursday to establish a new state agency dedicated to renewable energy and conservation.

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Authority will be headed by a new Nevada Energy commissioner.

Director of Administration Andrew Clinger said the office will be funded from a portion of the mill tax collected by the Public Utilities Commission. The budgeted amount is $250,000.

The legislation creating the authority also created the Fund for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation Loans and charges the director of the authority with administering the fund. It allows partial abatements of certain property and local sales taxes to facilities that generate electricity from solar or geothermal sources and for the transmission of renewable electric energy.

The enabling legislation also requires the PUC to adopt regulations establishing improvement districts for construction of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The IFC agenda also includes 185 work programs, many of which make relatively minor adjustments to this year’s budgets necessary before June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

But the list also includes programs accepting a number of federal grants.

The largest on the list is the $13.8 million Justice Assistance Grant funding contained in the federal stimulus package.

For the first time, IFC also will weigh in on consulting contracts, a new requirement imposed by lawmakers who raised concerns state agencies were employing too many consultants when they weren’t actually needed.

Clinger said more than 30 contracts that could be considered consultant contracts have been included in the agenda.

The meeting begins at

9 a.m. Thursday in Room 4100 of the Legislature Building.