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Economic Impacts of Expanding Utility-Scale Solar in Nevada
AdvisorHarris, Thomas R.
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Anthropogenic climate change has been, is and will continue altering the terrestrial environment. In 1997 Nevada adopted the Renewable Portfolio Standard, requiring 25 percent of its electricity to come from renewable sources. This thesis examines the economic impacts of further development of solar photovoltaic, utility-scale energy generation facilities in Nevada. It is important to understand the economic impacts of developing utility-scale projects. To estimate impacts, the models used in this thesis utilize an input-output and social accounting matrix produced by IMPLAN software, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s JEDI software. The intended contribution of this project is to use real world constraints to estimate the impacts of developing solar utilities. The constraints are based on available developable land in the Solar Energy Zones designated by the Bureau of Land Management. The estimated results are presented in terms of total impacts. Nevada’s economy could experience impacts ranging anywhere from $3.2 billion to $10.8 billion from construction, and annual O&M estimated impacts range from $1.9 billion to $5.8 billion. The distributed household impacts show that solar is a high income operation, there are few job but they are high paying. Nevada has the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions as well as expand its economy with further development of utility-scale solar.