Renewable Energy for Federal Land Management Agencies in Southern Nevada

T. France
Eric Wiemers
Stephen E. Butterworth

Conference held: Jacksonville, Florida, USA, August 10–14, 2008


The National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the USDA Forest Service governmental agencies in southern Nevada have collaborated with the Center for Energy Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to explore the feasibility of becoming energy neutral by 2010. The three federal agencies have set a goal to offset their combined annual energy demand (currently supplied by local utility companies) with an equal amount of power produced by renewable energy sources. The study results indicate that the three federal agencies above consume just over 3,000 megawatt-hours of electrical energy per year in and around the Las Vegas Valley. Upon researching various types of renewable energy, it was determined that wind, geothermal, and biomass technologies either failed to have sufficient resources available in southern Nevada or conflicted with the resource management philosophies of the federal agencies. Solar energy is the most abundant feasible source of renewable energy within the study area, and it was determined that a 1.5 megawatt fixed photovoltaic (PV) system is best suited for this project.