News Releases

Less Energy, More Savings for Nevada Mines

Mar 26, 2014

Several northern Nevada mines are using less energy and saving more money on their operating costs by participating in NV Energy’s Sure Bet incentive program. They have installed energy efficient lights and devices to make electric motors at the mines operate more efficiently.

Sure Bet provides technical assistance and financial incentives to commercial electric customers who make energy efficiency improvements or construct new facilities using energy saving technologies.  Incentives are based on the verified energy savings resulting from their improvements.

“These programs help our customers save money and reduce our costs as well,” said Pat Egan, NV Energy Senior Vice President of Customer Operations.  “We firmly believe that by helping our customers manage energy costs, we can improve their ability to compete.  Particularly in the mining business, competition is fierce and worldwide.  So, every dollar they can save is a dollar that can be reinvested here in Nevada to help support our economy and create jobs.”

During the past several months, the mines participating in the program have reduced their combined annual electricity consumption by approximately 1.4 million kilowatt hours, equivalent to the energy required to power 155 homes in northern Nevada for a year. They’ve also reduced their combined annual carbon emissions by 1,048 tons.

The Rawhide Mine, a gold mine 55 miles southeast of Fallon, installed variable speed drives (VSDs) on the motors for the mine’s new ore crusher and conveyor system that automatically control the motors’ speed and voltage requirements depending on the work load. In addition, they retrofitted an existing crusher motor with a VSD.

Rawhide also replaced several metal halide lighting fixtures at the ore crusher with more energy efficient light emitting diode lights (LEDs).

The improvements are expected to reduce the mine’s annual energy costs by approximately $76,900.  Rawhide Mining received incentives totaling $64,145 from the Sure Bet program for installing the new motor controls and lights.

Comstock Mining in Virginia City reduced its annual electricity usage by nearly 154,000 kilowatt hours by installing a VSD on a 100-horsepower pump used to process gold and silver ore. The new equipment is expected to reduce the mine’s annual electric bill by approximately $17,000. Comstock received an $8,613 incentive from Sure Bet.

For its Pumpkin Hollow Project, a copper mine under development near Yerington, Nevada Copper installed LED lights to illuminate the interior and exterior of the “hoist house” building for the mine’s underground mining operation. That’s where copper ore is lifted from the mine shaft to the surface for milling. The lights will reduce Pumpkin Hollow’s electricity costs by approximately $5,800 per year. Their Sure Bet incentive was $4,794.

The Coeur Rochester Mine near Lovelock has installed LED lights on a new building used to process silver ore. The lights are expected to reduce the building’s annual electricity usage by 8,414 kilowatt hours, and to reduce Coeur Rochester’s annual electric bill by approximately $2,450. Coeur Rochester received a Sure Bet incentive of $2,158.

At its Dunphy Mine near Battle Mountain, Halliburton mines barite, a mineral that’ s used as a “weighting agent” in oil and natural gas drilling fluids to prevent oil and gas deposits from rising to the surface uncontrollably. Halliburton installed energy efficient lights in a new building at the mine site that are expected to reduce annual electricity usage by 143,095 kilowatt hours for an annual energy bill savings of $11,900. The company received a Sure Bet incentive of $9,549.

Since the start of the Sure Bet program in 2003, more than 1.3 million megawatt hours of electricity have been saved by Nevada businesses through energy efficiency improvements.

NV Energy, Inc. provides a wide range of energy services to 1.3 million customers throughout Nevada and nearly 40 million tourists annually.  NV Energy is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, are doing business as NV Energy. The company is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Information about NV Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via

For further information: Contact: Karl Walquist (775) 834-3891