Nevada County Energy Planning

The Nevada County Energy Action Plan (EAP) passed in December 2018 provides an analysis of the energy use within the unincorporated county limits by the community and County operated facilities as well as a roadmap for accelerating energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy efforts already underway in Nevada County. It is designed to assist the County in implementing the energy and water-energy related goals and policies in the County’s General Plan and Housing Element, and inform the community of cost-effective programs and best practices that will help them save energy and money. It includes an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions now and projected in the future.

Nevada County celebrated the solar power generation of two of the five solar sites that are part of the County’s Solar Generation and Energy Efficiency Program: the Eric Rood Administrative Center, and Wayne Brown Correctional Facility. The program is projected to save $7 million in energy costs over the next 20 years, which will increase to $1.3 million annually in year 21 and beyond. In addition to the program’s five solar sites that include over five thousand solar panels, the County also accomplished $1.7 million in deferred maintenance costs with the replacement of HVAC units, lighting, and energy efficient building controls at seventeen different County sites.

Nevada County received the 2017 Exemplary Renewables Award from their local Climate Change Coalition and Sierra Club organizations for their efforts with the program. Nevada County’s new solar panels will be producing 4.4 million kWh per year, meeting around 80% of the County’s energy needs. This is the equivalent to removing the greenhouse gas emissions of 653 cars or 981 tons of waste that is recycled instead of landfilled.

“When the Solar Generation and Energy Efficiency Program came to the Board of Supervisors I was ecstatic, because I always believed and wanted solar at Nevada County,” said Supervisor Chair Hank Weston. “This is monumental because it follows Nevada County’s 2012 Energy Plan and goals to reduce our carbon footprint.”