News Releases

New Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences Is Among the 'Greenest' Buildings in Nevada

Oct 19, 2006

Media Contact: Karl Walquist, (775) 834-3891

Sierra Pacific Power has awarded $164,231 in rebates and grants to Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nev., for renewable energy and energy efficient features that were included in the newly opened Tahoe Center for the Environmental Sciences (TCES).
The 45,000-square-foot building could become the first building in Nevada, and one of only 22 buildings worldwide to earn platinum certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as an ultra-energy efficient“green” building, according to John Hargrove, program manager of energy efficiency and conservation for Sierra Pacific. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.  

The TCES, which celebrated its grand opening last week, will house a world-class center for scientists to study alpine lakes, particularly Lake Tahoe, and to learn what can be done to preserve their environmental quality. It's a partnership between Sierra Nevada College, The University of California, Davis, the Desert Research Institute and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Most of the dollars awarded to the college by Sierra Pacific - $102,856 - were for the 30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system comprised of 900 photovoltaic roof tiles installed on the roof. The college received the solar rebate through Sierra Pacific's solar demonstration program, SolarGenerations. 

The solar roof tiles are expected to generate 51,428 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, resulting in a $5,000 reduction in the school's annual electric bill.

Sierra Nevada College received $46,375 through Sierra Pacific's Sure Bet for New Construction Program, which provides rebates to utility customers for incorporating energy efficiency measures in the construction of new buildings.

Among the energy efficient features of the TCES are“light shelves” on the south side of the building to supplement artificial lighting with natural light, as well as energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

Grant for Lobby Display
In addition, Sierra Pacific presented the college with a $15,000 grant that will go toward a large video screen, computer hardware and software required to install a permanent visual display of the energy efficiency and renewable energy components of the building.