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NSHE Institutions Unite to Obtain Renewable Energy and Cut Costs

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents authorized negotiating a contract with NV Energy that allows all eight NSHE institutions throughout Nevada, as well as NSHE administrative buildings, to obtain energy from 100 percent renewable sources and save the system hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

The arrangement would authorize NSHE to take advantage of the new Optional Pricing Program Rate offered by NV Energy, and allow the entire system of higher education to become a national leader in its commitment to renewable energy.

“This opportunity not only best meets the energy needs of our institutions and the renewable and sustainable energy goals of the Board of Regents, but it also comes at a significant discount,” said Regents Chair Kevin J. Page.

Under the new proposal, the cost of energy at southern institutions will decrease approximately $630,000, while the cost at northern Nevada institutions will increase approximately $250,000.  However, this amounts to an estimated overall savings of about $380,000 that would be passed on to benefit all NSHE campuses statewide.

“Because we are approaching this decision as one system, we will see a cumulative annual savings of several hundred thousand dollars for all NSHE institutions,” Vice Chair Jason Geddes said.  “This meets Nevada’s clean energy and environmental sustainability goals and allows our smaller institutions to benefit along with our larger ones.”

In 2018, NV Energy proposed the construction of several new solar projects in Nevada. In March, NV Energy offered the new program and long-term fixed renewable energy rate to certain qualifying large-scale customers and government entities.  NSHE timely applied with NV Energy to receive the new rate. Negotiations of a final contract with NV Energy have yet to occur and are contingent upon the outcome of proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.  It is currently anticipated that the new rate may begin as early as 2022.

The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Board of Regents.