Reid Gardner Coal vs. Energy Efficiency

A study commissioned by the Sierra Club found it is cheaper to shut down the dirty Reid Gardner coal power plant in the year 2013 and invest in energy efficiency measures than to keep the toxic plant running.  Despite the overwhelming benefits to health and economy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to consider allowing the coal power plant to run with marginal reductions in emissions, which inflict the nearby community of Moapa, and fill desert skies and National Parks with haze.

According to the study, shutting down all four Reid Gardner coal burners by 2013 would save Nevada residents $59 million dollars over the next 20 years, based on a scenario in which Nevada Power invested instead in enough energy efficiency upgrades to reduce power consumption by just 2%.  I suspect the report used a conservative estimate for the savings from energy efficiency measures. Consider California's requirement that energy vampires like cell phone chargers become more energy efficient will save California residential and commercial ratepayers up to 306 million dollars each year, and reduce electricity demand equivalent to the amount required to power 350,000 homes.  That's the same as taking the city of Bakersfield off of the grid.

Make these more efficient...

...and you can shut down this coal plant and save money on utility bills.
The study also found that investing in energy efficiency and shutting down the Reid Gardner plant would reduce the need for new transmission lines, which are not only expensive to build, but scar our natural landscapes and require immense amounts of copper and steel (not climate friendly!).

What is another solution that is friendly to the desert? Rooftop solar.  California alone has installed over 1,200 megawatts of rooftop solar capacity.  That is more than twice the amount of power generated by the dirty Reid Gardner coal plant, which belches out nearly 3,000 tons of carbon and  4,000 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions each year, according to the EPA.

Tell NV Energy and the EPA that you want energy efficiency, not coal!


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