News Releases

Solar Panels Generating Power for Pyramid Lake Tribal Health Clinic

May 29, 2009

Dedication Ceremony on May 29

Media Contacts:
Karl Walquist, NV Energy (775) 834-3891 or (775) 771-3891
Tom Price, Black Rock Solar (801) 712-5371

Nixon, Nevada -- A new solar energy system is providing about half of the electricity needed to power the Pyramid Lake Tribal Health Clinic in Nixon. The 30-kilowatt photovoltaic array was made possible by a combination of donated labor and materials, and a program created by the Nevada State Legislature to encourage Nevadans to use renewable energy.
Labor and materials were donated by the nonprofit Black Rock Solar, and costs for the solar panels were offset by a $138,000 rebate from the SolarGenerations program, which is managed statewide by NV Energy.

A dedication ceremony for the solar project is scheduled for Friday, May 29, at 11:30 a.m. at the clinic, 705 Highway 446 in Nixon. The ceremony will feature remarks from project participants and the Tribe. (Please park at the convenience store lot across the road from the clinic.) 
The panels were installed on the ground in a fenced area next to the clinic and are expected to generate approximately 60,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, or roughly half the clinic's annual electricity consumption. This will reduce the clinic's annual electric bill by approximately $7,200 or $180,000 over the expected 25-year life of the panels, said John Hargrove, project manager for SolarGenerations.

Since the start of the program six years ago, over 2 megawatts of solar energy have been 
installed statewide, and over $8 million in financial incentives has been paid out.

The Tribal Health Clinic provides health care services to the communities of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation.

Black Rock Solar is supported by Burning Man and is focused on speeding the adoption of renewable energy by delivering low or no cost solar power to communities in need. Employing an innovative and collaborative approach to solar project development, Black Rock Solar extends Burning Man's spirit of creativity and environmental stewardship to affect real environmental change, according to Tom Price, executive director of Black Rock Solar.

This is the seventh completed project for Black Rock Solar, Price said. The group has installed solar panels at Natchez Elementary School in Wadsworth; the elementary, middle and high schools in Gerlach; Pershing County General Hospital in Lovelock, the UNR Joe Crowley Student Union, the new Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, and the Reno Seventh Day Adventist Church.

About Black Rock Solar
Black Rock Solar is a non-profit project of the Burning Man community, focused on addressing climate change and speeding the adoption curve of renewable energy.  By installing renewable energy at low or no cost, Black Rock Solar puts much needed funds in the hands of communities typically not served by the renewable energy industry, who then get to decide how to best meet their own needs. Along the way, Black Rock Solar creates educational opportunities for volunteers and beneficiaries, and sponsor training to broaden the solar power industry. Future projects will also include installation art that explore these themes.  For more information

About Burning Man
The annual art event known as Burning Man, which began on a beach in San Francisco in 1986, has grown to attract more than 50,000 participants annually, from every state of the Union and twenty-two countries worldwide. For the last 18 years, the increasingly popular and influential event has been held in the Black Rock Desert outside of Reno, Nevada. Based on corporate accounting and participant survey data, it is estimated that Burning Man contributes almost $20 million annually to the northern Nevada economy.  For more information,

About NV Energy
Headquartered in Las Vegas, NV Energy, Inc. is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, are doing business as NV Energy. Serving a 54,500-square-mile service territory that stretches north to south from Elko to Laughlin, NV Energy provides a wide range of energy services and products to approximately 2.4 million citizens of Nevada as well as
approximately 40 million tourists annually. 

Additional Quotes:

John Hargrove, Program Manager for Energy Efficiency& Conservation, NV Energy  --"We continue to be impressed by the progress of Black Rock Solar in working to bring renewable energy to public agencies and schools in rural Nevada. This installation on the Pyramid Lake Health Clinic is yet another step in that journey and for the customers of NV Energy"said Sierra Pacific Program Manager John Hargrove.  "The Nevada Legislature and state utility regulators have made a strong commitment to renewable energy by creating the SolarGenerations Program - one of the most aggressive rebate programs in the nation. This project is a yet another great example of what they're trying to achieve."

Tom Price, Black Rock Solar Executive Director– If we're going to address climate change, we have to rapidly expand the use of renewable energy, and bring it to places like Nixon where you wouldn't have seen it before. Cost should not be a barrier to participating in the renewable energy future, and thanks to the NV Energy rebate programand the stimulus bill, it's now more affordable than it's ever been.