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North Shore company aims to provide alternative power

Patricia Hickson

INCLINE VILLAGE – In a community recently plagued with energy transmission problems and power outages, a North Shore company may provide a window into what businesses in renewable power see as a new energy future for the United States.

Since the Nevada Legislature passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2001, Nevada’s major utility, Sierra Pacific Resources, has been aware that a percentage of its power must come from a renewable energy resource or be saved using energy efficiency measures.

In June 2005, the Legislature set that renewable percentage to be 20 percent by 2015, meaning that 20 percent of any utility in Nevada must come from sources other than fossil fuel and coal.

Powered by Renewables is one company that is capitalizing on the Legislature’s mandate by aiming to provide renewable power for Nevada utilities to buy.

The company, founded 18 months ago by Tim Carlson, has been working on setting up a satellite office in Incline.

“We have an energy crisis right now, and I think it is an appropriate time to do something for our environment that helps reduce our dependency of fossil fuels,” Carlson said. “Primarily what (the company) is going to be doing is developing projects and selling the energy from those projects to the utility.”

Carlson serves as a governor-appointed representative for the wind industry on the Nevada renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Task Force.

He also is the owner of Nevada Wind Company, which will now fall under the umbrella of Powered by Renewables.

“(Nevada Wind) is in the process of building a 200-mega-watt wind project out in Ely,” Carlson said.

Earlier project canceled

In 2002, Carlson faced a defeat as a $130 million Nevada Test Site wind power project was canceled after Air Force officials said the turbine blades that generate the power would disrupt radar signals. Some $4 million in private money was spent researching the project.

Carlson said that wind is not the only renewable resource Powered by Renewables is looking to pursue.

“Right now we are looking at a solar project (and) a combination gas and solar facility in southern Nevada,” he said. “We hope to be doing the installation of some large solar facilities in the northern parts of the state.”

Carlson, who owns the office building on Mays Boulevard at the site of his company’s new location, said he chose Incline as the location of a satellite office for the company because “there is no better place to be in the north.”

One of Carlson’s current tenants is Kelly Houston, now the director of marketing for Powered by Renewables in Incline.

Appreciating independence

Houston, who also works for Smith and Jones advertising, said her interest in the company has grown over the past 18 months.

“As I researched deeper, I realized what energy independence can mean for this county,” Houston said. “As long as we have to rely on people from outside the U.S. for our energy and power needs, our politics are going to be a lot different than what they need to be.”


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