|Mandalay Bay announced plans to build one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the world atop its casino and convention spaces, taking advantage of empty spaces in our cities to generate clean, sustainable energy.|
passed a bill (S.B. 123) that will fortunately lead to the closure of the Reid Gardner coal plant, but unfortunately allow NV Energy to replace it with what will likely be 550 megawatts of new natural gas generation. The early version of the bill explicitly called for rooftop solar quotas, but it appears NV Energy's lobbying effort stripped that out before it was passed. The Sierra Club supported the final bill, despite these significant compromises.
As Nevada builds more natural gas power plants to replace Reid Gardner, it will also add up to 350 megawatts of clean energy. What form will this clean energy take? Will environmental groups in Nevada continue to celebrate dozens more square miles of habitat destruction, or will they demand smart and sustainable clean energy on rooftops and on already-disturbed lands. With large-scale solar and wind energy applications targeting the mostly-pristine Pahrump, Amargosa, and El Dorado Valleys outside of Las Vegas, ensuring a more sustainable clean energy path will require the kind of grassroots activism seen California. In California's Inland Empire, the Sierra Club's My Generation Campaign is creating local support for rooftop solar, and fighting back against utility companies that are lobbying against rooftop solar.
Utility companies will be quite happy to continue destroying our wildlands for whatever energy source we demand, as long as they continue to profit. As environmentalists, we should be demanding the overhaul of a broken energy system that does not value sustainability; our clean energy solutions should prioritize the protection of our wildlands and communities, and not trade one for another.