Sen. Mike Schneider introduces first of green energy bills at Nevada Legislature | NevadaAppeal.com

Sen. Mike Schneider introduces first of green energy bills at Nevada Legislature

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, Tuesday introduced the first of what he said will be a series of bills dealing with Nevada’s energy policies and the development of renewable energy resources.

SB114 requires the governor’s energy director to work with the Desert Research Institute to better determine how much energy Nevada needs and how best to fill those needs with renewable resources.

“”We need to try to look and see what our energy demand is and how we can forecast that demand better,” he said.

The legislation also expands homeowners’ rights to use systems for solar and wind energy by prohibiting property covenants that unreasonably restrict or decrease the performance of a solar or wind system. The bill defines unreasonable as any restriction that reduces the efficiency of a system by more than 10 percent.

The legislation also charges the energy office with reviewing policies dealing with development of the state’s geothermal resources and making recommendations to state and federal agencies on how best to develop those resources.

It makes that office responsible for seeking grants from the federal government to promote energy projects which enhance economic development in Nevada, expand the use of renewable energy as well as conservation measures.

In line with that proposal, Schneider introduced SB115, which would begin the process of creating a light rail transportation system in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The bill would let local governments in that area establish a corridor for light rail from Henderson to North Las Vegas, about 25 miles, and begin to acquire rights of way within that corridor.

A light rail project, he said, “may be the big stimulus project for Clark County.”

“Where light rail goes, the city redevelops,” Schneider said. 

He said systems are operating in Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix, and other areas including in Colorado are trying to build similar systems.

“And if Harry Reid and Barack Obama like the idea, we can move faster,” he said. “It would take thousands of cars off the Strip.”

Schneider said he will have several more pieces of legislation dealing with renewable energy issues, encouraging projects and removing obstacles to making Nevada a leader in producing green power.

The bills were both referred to the Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation committee which Schneider chairs.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.




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