News Releases

Sierra Pacific Donates Solar Electric System to Desert Research Institute

Sep 26, 2000

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Bob Sagan
Phone: (775)834-4834

For Immediate Release

Sierra Pacific Power Co. has donated the company's photovoltaic system ("photo" meaning light;"voltaic" meaning electricity) to the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno. The system converts solar energy into direct current electricity, and will be used for short- and long-term studies at the Institute.

The new photovoltaic (PV) array will join two existing PV arrays and two wind turbines at DRI's Northern Nevada Science Center. The equipment has been employed in a feasibility study, using wind and solar energy to produce hydrogen for generating electricity with fuel cells in remote communities.

"We welcome this addition to our renewable energy program," said DRI President Stephen G. Wells."This is developing into a substantial resource that will provide practical benefits to our immediate electrical requirements, and a long-term opportunity for DRI scientists to study the integration of conventional power systems with renewable energy systems under many variations."

Sierra Pacific first installed its PV in 1998 as an experimental project to operate the irrigation system at its Neil Road headquarters."The PV also has an interactive kiosk to allow the public to interact with the system and to provide additional information, both technical and non-technical with respect to photovoltaics," said Rod Sloan, contracts consultant for Sierra Pacific.

The Desert Research Institute is a nonprofit, statewide division of the University and Community College System of Nevada. DRI pursues a full-time program of basic and environmental research on a local, national and international scale. The Institute employs nearly 400 full- and part-time staff scientists, technicians and support personnel.