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Policy leaders in the field of clean energy discussed major issues just a few blocks from the UNLV campus. From Left to Right: Rose McKinney-James, Clean Energy Project, Moderator, Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Maryland Governor Marin O' Malley, Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Photo/Jason Thompson).
Policy leaders in the field of clean energy discussed major issues just a few blocks from the UNLV campus. From Left to Right: Rose McKinney-James, Clean Energy Project, Moderator, Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Maryland Governor Marin O' Malley, Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Photo/Jason Thompson).

Clean Energy Capital of the World

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Leading proponents of clean energy met to address the state of renewable resource programs in Las Vegas during the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0. in mid-August.

The main sponsors of the event included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, The Center for American Progress, and the Clean Energy Project. UNLV and MGM Resorts International also helped to host the event.

Meetings took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which has plans to install a 6.2 megawatt photovoltaic rooftop solar energy system and tourist attraction. According to MGM Resorts International, the system is projected to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.

Featured speakers at this year’s sixth annual summit included Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among business leaders from major traditional utilities. Last year, the event attracted President Bill Clinton.

Organizers again selected Las Vegas as an ideal location for the event, as it is a city rich with solar energy potential.

Wind turbines, solar energy projects, and geothermal plants were all featured as innovations upgrading our current inefficient grid system.

Harry Reid made the importance of renewable energy clear to the audience.

“The very future of our planet is at stake,” Reid said. He explained developments in recent history that show how policy makers are putting forth a clean energy effort. “In 2009 as the economy was struggling, the Federal government in our stimulus bill the American Recovery Act invested tens of billions of dollars to change what we do with renewables.”

In addition to energy projects and policy issues, water concerns were also discussed.

“We’re right now building the most difficult construction project on the planet,” said Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Pat Mulroy. “It’s the third intake project. It’s costing the tax payers of Southern Nevada over $800 million.”

Mulroy pitched the need for additional funding.

“What the Federal government needs to do more than anything else is invest in science,” she said.

Much of the day’s remaining discussions were related to climate change. Mulroy said new predictive tools for analyzing future weather patterns were needed.

This isn’t the first time this region has lead the way in energy innovations. In the 1930s, Hoover Dam was the pinnacle of energy engineering achievement. Nevada also led the world in nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

Click HERE to see all the clean energy projects Nevada Energy is involved with.

 

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