News

Study reveals local economic benefits of geothermal development in Nevada

Galena III geothermal power plant by Ormat near Reno/ Nevada (source: ThinkGeoEnergy)
Alexander Richter 18 Jan 2019

A newly released study on the local economic and fiscal benefits of renewable energy facilities in the State of Nevada, operating and new, estimates that a new 75 MW geothermal plant provides up to $8.9m annually beside $14.9m in total benefits during construction.

“Renewable energy generation facilities are important to the economic base of communities across Nevada, many of which are located in rural areas of the state.”, so a recent report on the economic benefits of renewable energy facilities in the state of Nevada.

Renewable energy capacity has grown rapidly in Nevada, particularly from non-hydroelectric renewable sources such as solar, geothermal, and wind. Since 2000, net electricity generation from non-hydroelectric sources in the state increased from 3.9 percent of total net generation to 17.3 percent in 2016.

A renewable portfolio standard, targeting 25 percent renewable energy in the state by 2025, tax incentives, and other state policies have boosted renewable energy investment in the state. Additionally, the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy technologies has also enhanced their economic viability.

The intent of this study is to estimate the economic and fiscal benefits to Nevada of the construction and operations of utility-scale solar, geothermal, and wind generation facilities that are located in rural areas of the state.

In addition to a statewide analysis, this study includes two case studies estimating the potential benefits a renewable facility could have in rural counties, demonstrating the potential benefits that can be realized in similar communities throughout the state.

The report looks at various case studies, including on on the “potential economic and fiscal benefits of a new 75 MW geothermal energy facility in Lyon County”.

“The total direct and indirect benefits of construction activity associated with a new 75 MW-geothermal energy facility in Lyon County could be an estimated $14.9 million in total output ($10.9 million direct output + $4 million indirect and induced output) produced by 26 employees (18 direct employees + 8 indirect employees) earning a total of about $2.3 million ($1.8 million direct earnings + $505,000 indirect earnings) during the construction period.”

“The total direct and indirect benefits of annual operations for a new 75 MW-geothermal energy facility in Lyon County could be an estimated $8.9 million in total output ($7.4 million direct output + $1.5 million indirect and induced output) produced by 42 employees (21 direct employees + 21 indirect employees) earning a total of about $3.1 million ($2.4 million direct earnings + $715,000 indirect earnings). The benefits will include an annual direct fiscal benefit to Lyon County of an estimated $323,100.”

The report provides a full analysis of the potential new plant based on the findings above (pages 9 to 13), as well as economic and fiscal benefits on existing rural facilities.

Source: Study – “The Economic Benefits of Nevada Rural Renewable Energy Facilities” January 2019 (pdf)