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Special Announcements

Esmeralda County, NV


Esmeralda County is located in the southwestern region of Nevada with a population of 783 over 3,582 square miles and includes parts of Inyo National Forest and Death Valley National Park.  The County is situated in an excellent area for solar due its above average solar energy resource.  Esmeralda County yields 1,638 kWh/kW per year, which is more than 10% greater than the national average of 1,200 kWh/kW per year.

Solar Market Potential

In assessing the potential for solar PV installations in Esmeralda County, the SSTI team considered statewide renewable energy goals as reflected in the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires investor owned utilities to produce 25% of electric power via renewable sources by 2025.

Local solar project development keeps the economic and environmental benefits in the community.  Targeting development of half of the RPS goal through local/regional solar PV could have the following impact over the next 5 years in Esmeralda County:


Esmeralda County

All Western Nevada Jurisdictions (6)

Solar Viable Residences



Residential Potential (kW)



Total Market Potential (kW)



Annual Energy Production (kWh)



Equivalent Homes Powered



Economic Impact ($)

$3 million

$387 million

Workforce Impact (Jobs):



Environmental Benefit (acres trees)




Visit our methods and assumptions page for more information on these estimates.

Local Installation Requirements

For specific information regarding local solar permitting, zoning, net metering or interconnection procedures, contact the appropriate office listed below.

Permitting & Inspection Procedures

Esmeralda County currently does not require any additional local permits for retrofit solar PV systems.  Check with the building department for recent updates.

Net Metering & Interconnection Procedures

Nevada Energy and Valley Electric Association are the electricity providers for the County.  Solar related information is easily accessible online via the direct links below.

Local Solar Resources


General Solar Resources

Solar Roadmap

To facilitate efforts to capture the local solar opportunity, the Solar Roadmap team has worked in close coordination with the County to develop a customized, interactive solar roadmap as described and accessible below.  This solar roadmap contains specific, actionable steps that can be pursued to improve permitting and inspection processes and develop solar friendly municipal regulations and guidelines.

Solar Energy Development Draft PEIS Available December 17, 2010
The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States (Draft Solar PEIS) is now available for public review and comment on the Internet at the Solar Energy Development Programmatic EIS Information Center ( The public comment period for the Draft Solar PEIS is open. The Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Energy (the Agencies) have prepared the Draft Solar PEIS to (1) assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with utility-scale solar energy development on BLM-administered lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, and (2) evaluate a number of alternatives to determine the best management approach to mitigating potential impacts and facilitating solar energy development. Submitting Public Comments on the Draft Solar PEISThe public will have 90 days to review and comment on the Draft Solar PEIS. The Agencies will accept written comments on the draft PEIS postmarked through March 17, 2011, and electronic comments sent via the web site through March 17, 2011. Comments can be submitted electronically via a comment form available on the web site ( or by mail to: Draft Solar Energy Programmatic EIS Argonne National Laboratory 9700 S. Cass Avenue - EVS/240 Argonne, IL 60439 Comments can also be submitted orally or in writing at public meetings. The Agencies will hold 14 public meetings on the Draft Solar EIS beginning in Washington, D.C. on February 2, 2011.The dates, times, and specific locations for these meetings will be announced through local news media and through the project Website. Public meetings are currently planned for the following locations:
  • Alamosa, Colorado;
  • Barstow, California;
  • Caliente, Nevada;
  • Cedar City, Utah;
  • El Centro, California;
  • Goldfield, Nevada;
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico;
  • Las Vegas, Nevada;
  • Ontario, California;
  • Palm Springs, California;
  • Phoenix, Arizona;
  • Salt Lake City, Utah;
  • Tucson, Arizona;
  • Washington, D.C. - February 2, 2011
Additional Locations for Reviewing the Draft Solar PEIS Electronic copies of the draft PEIS are also available through the BLM and DOE websites, as well as in BLM offices identified in the NOA. Complete hard copies of the Draft Solar PEIS will also be available in the BLM offices identified in the NOA by December 27. For More Information To learn more about how you can participate in the PEIS process, visit the "Getting Involved" page of the Solar Energy Development PEIS Web Site (

Reid Announces Expansion of Lithium Mining In Silver Peak Project receiving Recovery Act funding for advanced batteries
July 12, 2010
Washington, D.C. -Nevada Senator Harry Reid joined Rockwood Holdings in announcing the expansion of its lithium production operation in Silver Peak. The expansion is being partially financed by $28.4 million in Recovery Act funding administered in a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of advanced batteries. The Chemetall Foote operation, which is the only operating domestic lithium operation in the United States, is the main economic driver in Silver Peak. "This is great news for the people of Silver Peak and Esmeralda County," said Reid. "The expansion of this project further demonstrates Nevada's commitment to renewable energy production and alternative power through advanced batteries. This development is especially important for rural communities where mining is a major employer. Chemetall's model of using renewable energy to power the operation is an excellent example for other mining operations in the Silver State." "At Christmas last year the people of the town of Silver Peak had experienced only bad news. Long time friends and co-workers were forced to leave due to layoffs; the economy was horrible. They felt hopeless and doomed to extinction," said Esmeralda County Commissioner Nancy Boland. "In my letter to constituents in Silver Peak I spoke to them about how important and abundant the natural resources here are for renewable energy. Shortly thereafter the town was alive with geothermal exploration drill rigs and Chemetall Foote slowly started to rehire and hire for new jobs. The expansion of the lithium operation will restore jobs and health to our community. I thank Senator Reid who heard of our distress and proactively supported our county to accomplish this expansion, which is important not only to Esmeralda County, but also to our nation as a whole." "The recovery grant money and the support we received from Senator Reid have allowed us to increase the work we are doing in Silver Peak," said Joe Dunn, Operations Manager for Chemetall Foote's lithium mine in Nevada. "Using Nevada's solar and geothermal resources to nearly completely power our operation, we are able to reduce energy costs and make the operation more efficient. Nevada is a rich source of this mineral and a welcoming state to the mining industry, so much of that has been the advocacy of Senator Reid." In the next few months, as the operation expands, Chemetall Foote will begin a well drilling program to double the capacity of its lithium carbonate production. The DOE grant will be used to install a geothermal power plant, in addition to existing use of the sun for solar evaporation, to make the operation self-sufficient for its electric power. This means more jobs in renewable energy. As of last month, 20 new jobs have been created either at Chemetall Foote or contractors directly working on projects for the site. During the peak of construction in 2011 and 2012, the project will employ 50 additional people. At the conclusion of the project in 2013 the site will employ fifty people, doubling the number of employees from 2009.
Sierra Geothermal Power drills first exploration well at Silver Peak
In a release by the company, “Sierra Geothermal Power Corp. provides an update on the exploration drilling program at its 100% owned Silver Peak project. SGP commenced drilling of a core-slim-well at its Silver Peak project. Well 38-11 being drilled to a maximum depth of 2,133 metres or 7,000 feet and targets multiple zones of high geologic interest. Well 38-11 will be the first deep well test at Silver Peak. This well follows SGP’s recent shallow temperature gradient drilling and geophysical surveys. Well 38-11 is funded on a 50:50 cost share basis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program grant which was awarded to SGP in 2009. Read entire story at
OSHA Safety Training Classes
Safety solutions for your business and workers bottom line. View CJ Flyer
About the Silver Peak Geothermal Power Project
The Silver Peak geothermal power project is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, 240 kilometres (150 miles) northwest of Las Vegas, and covers 7,233 acres. GeothermEx's independent analysis estimates a resource capacity of 15-40 MW of power. The Silver Peak property has two 55 kV transmission lines connecting to the Nevada and California power grids and a substation located on the lease itself. Many geothermal features are visible on the property including geothermal vents, silica sinter deposits and algae mats. Also present are shallow warm to hot wells with temperatures up to 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit) at depths less than 21 metres (70 feet). Chemical geothermometers that have been applied to the thermal waters suggest that temperatures may reach 200-230 degrees Celsius (400-440 degrees Fahrenheit) at depth.
BLM Auctions Geothermal Leases in Nye and Esmeralda Counties
An auction of 323,222 acres of public land by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for geothermal leases, including parcels in Nye and Esmeralda counties, raised $8.9 million. Read entire story at Pahrump Valley Times
The Senior Transportation Program
The Senior Transportation Program provides weekly service to Seniors 60 and over and to those under 60 on a space availble basis. Trips are provided to Tonopah Senior Center for hot meals, grocery shopping, banking and medical appointments. Shopping trips and social trips to other areas are scheduled as needed. For further information please call 775-482-7300.