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The Best-Lit Street in America How One Electric Company Keeps the Lights On

By Edited Aug 17, 2016 0 0

Who is responsible for keeping the lights on up and down the Las Vegas Strip—possibly the best-lit street in America, the world?  NV Energy is the energy provider for Las Vegas and its world-famous strip lined with hotels, casinos, and electric signs that light up the desert sky and lure travelers from far and wide.  Little did the company know that a little village called Las Vegas in 1906 would prompt its rise so that today NV Energy is one of the fastest growing utilities in the country.  With new energies and technologies fueling NV Energy’s innovations, it’s likely to remain a shining star among the nation’s top electric companies.


Spotlighting a Great Partnership

NV Energy, according to its reported history, “began serving Las Vegas in 1906 when the city was little more than a village at the end of a railroad line” (nvenergy.com/company/history.cfm).  Who would have believed that some redwood timber, copper wires, and a little generator could morph into the powerhouse energy supplier that NV Energy is today?  Back in those early days, Las Vegas was a speck on a map and the electric company responsible for its power was just a little startup in the Nevada desert.  Yet as the village grew into the city it is today, the electric company supplying it electricity also needed to evolve and grow to meet the challenges of supplying electricity to this entertainment and gaming capital of the world. 


NV Energy Today

That small generator of yesteryear has blossomed into an innovative powerhouse that serves 2.4 million Nevada residents and more than 40 million tourists each year.  With numerous generating stations and a commitment to supply affordable power to consumers, NV Energy has made great strides to construct efficient plants that produce lower rates of emissions.  Additionally, this electric company is also a leader when it comes to solar energy and geothermal energy.  Through innovative projects designed to promote eco-friendly initiatives among consumers and lower utility rates, NV Energy has become a model for other electric companies to follow.


NV Energy and Its Commitment to the Environment

While NV Energy continues to rely on fossil fuels to meet the immense demands of its consumers, it has also made great strides to “reduce its emissions on a per customer basis,” according to its recent Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.  On a per customer basis, the company has reduced its emissions by 29%.  Their strides surpass government regulations and their leadership in this area has garnered the company critical praise. 


NV Energy and Renewable Energy

NV Energy boasts various renewable energy projects.  The company takes a diverse approach to alternative energies by focusing on several types including geothermal energy, solar power, wind power, and energy derived from biomass, hydro, and recovered energies.  According to the company, its “customers will benefit from 23 geothermal energy projects, 18 solar installations, four biomass or methane projects, five small hydro facilities, two major wind farm projects and one energy recovery station.” 


In April of 2013, NV Energy was “recognized as a national leader in the integration and delivery of solar-based renewable solutions” in Washington by the Solar Electric Power Association.  Moreover, this past April was “the first time that NV Energy has received Top 10 recognition for the organization's solar adoption.” 



One of this electric company’s most exciting alternative energy projects is its Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station.  The station is located in southern Nevada near the town of Goodsprings.  “This project is southern Nevada’s first non-solar renewable energy facility and provides reliable renewable power around the clock.”  The station is a “7.5 MW” facility and one of NV Energy’s most recent and innovative sustainable energy projects.


Community Relations

Another reason NV Energy has maintained its great reputation is its willingness to work with the community and individual consumers to promote environmental initiatives.  One of the company’s most popular programs is incentive based and helps residents, schools, and public buildings to “go solar.”  Approved applicants to the program receive rebates for adopting solar power.  Between 2009 and 2010, the company received a 300% increase in the number of applicants wanting to participate in this program.


Another extremely popular eco-friendly program launched by the company promotes the purchase and use of electric cars.  Consumers receive “special reduced rates for charging electric vehicles during off-peak hours.  As more and more Nevada citizens purchase electric cars or hybrid vehicles, this program is expected to grow. 


How NV Energy Keeps the Lights On

Naturally, all these good business practices enhance the company’s ability to deliver power to Nevada locations like the Las Vegas Strip.  An important way to keep the power going strong is to avoid a lost-time accident.  In 2013, one of the company’s plants, the Fort Churchill Generating Station, received a safety milestone award for “operating 25 years without a lost-time accident.”  The last time the plant faced such an incident was in 1987.  As a company news release asserted, “Power plants are inherently dangerous places to work, as plant personnel deal with extremely high temperatures, extremely high pressures, and high-voltage electricity” (nvenergy.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=8838&item=136488).  This milestone was a reason for the entire company to celebrate its best practices.


In most recent news, the company is tackling a major overhaul for its plant outside of Las Vegas.  The Walter Higgins Generating Station will receive a multi-million dollar upgrade, according to KLAS TV Las Vegas.  The network stated that “NV Energy officials say they are combining air, heat, water and gas to make the plant cheaper and more efficient energy” (8newsnow.com/story/22147254/nv-energy-updates-major-power-plant). 


While no utility companies are without issues or complaints, NV Energy has, nevertheless, remained a national leader in the industry.  Delivering reliable electricity to one of the nation’s favorite cities and doing so with increasing renewable energies is behind the company’s long-term success.  As its green initiatives move forward and its programs find further favor throughout Nevada, the rest of the country will likely be taking note and encouraging their own electric companies to take note. 



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