Senate Democrats

Reid Wins Funding For Research and Development of Renewable Energy

Nevada Projects Will Move U.S. Toward Energy Independence

Washington, D.C. – Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has set aside almost $40 million in the federal budget for projects that will help keep Nevada at the forefront of energy development and will help America move closer to energy independence.

The FY 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which was recently signed into law by the President, includes money for more than a dozen Nevada-based research and development projects on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The funding will go to both of Nevada’s major universities, to state agencies and utilities that are expanding their use of alternative energy, and private companies involved in partnerships with the government to develop renewable energy sources.

“Developing new energy sources is one of our most important national goals,” said Reid. “We’ll need a national effort to become energy independent, but as usual Nevada is leading the way. These projects will help harness renewable energy sources so we can break our dependence on foreign oil. This funding will eventually lead to lower energy costs for Nevadans, a cleaner environment, and stronger national security – and in the near future, it will create more jobs in our state.”

The bill includes funding for two projects to develop geothermal power. Reid has often called Nevada “the Saudi Arabia of geothermal power.”

The bill includes one million dollars for the University of Nevada Reno for its Geothermal and Renewable Energy Laboratory of Nevada on its Redfield campus. The project will generate enough geothermal power to heat the Redfield campus, while also allowing scientists to do further research with the high-temperature steam at the site.

The bill also includes $250,000 for the Gerlach Green Energy Project, which is working to build a plant to produce ethanol, a corn-based fuel that can be used as an alternative to gasoline. The proposed plant itself would run on geothermal power. The plant could create as many as 250 new jobs in Gerlach, Nevada.

UNLV will get funding for several research projects on hydrogen power, solar power, and biofuels. UNLV’s National Center for Energy Management and Building Technology will also get funding for research on building design and indoor air quality. The studies will help architects and homeowners create more energy efficient, clean, and healthy buildings.

A Northern Nevada company, PowerJet, will get funding to design and market another type of renewable energy project. The company is working to build wind turbines to harness the power of the air. PowerJet is based in Minden, Nevada.

A list of all the Nevada energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the bill is below.

NEVADA ENERGY FUNDING FOR FY 2006 — $35, 950,000

UNLV, for the National Center on Energy Management and Building Technologies – $4,000,000

UNLV, to study solar production of hydrogen – $3,400,000

UNLV, for research and development of hydrogen fuel cells – $3,400,000

UNLV, for a renewable hydrogen refueling station system – $3,400,000

UNLV, for development of biofuels – $3,000,000

UNLV, to study photoelectric chemical production of hydrogen – $2,500,000

UNLV, for photonics research for hybrid solar lighting – $2,500,000

UNR, for photoelectrochemical production of hydrogen – $3,000,000

UNR, for the Geothermal and Renewable Energy Laboratory of Nevada – $1,000,000

NREL-West, funding for Nevada renewable competition – $3,500,000

Southwest Gas, for development of gas engine-driven heat pumps – $2,000,000

Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission, for hydrogen fuel cell buses – $2,500,000

Southern Nevada Alternative Fuels Demonstration Project – $500,000

California and Nevada, for Oxydiesel demonstration – $500,000

PowerJet, for the Wind Turbine project – $250,000

Gerlach Green Energy Project – $250,000

Hydrogen Mine Loader Project – $250,000