The Reno Gazette Journal ran an article on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 referencing how Waste Management has built a landfill gas-to-energy facility at the Lockwood landfill outside Reno, NV. The methane gas that is created by the decomposing garbage is captured by this facility and used to run engines and turbines that generate power. This facility launched in March and is generating 3.2 megawatts of electricity per day, enough to power 1,800 homes. It is considered an economical way to generate power without hurting ratepayers and it also has great benefits to the environment as it prevents some methane gas—one of the strongest greenhouse gases—from entering our atmosphere.
Governor Sandoval lauded the project and recently toured the facility. The article states that “Sandoval said he considers renewable energy a key part of his economic platform.” He says, “It’s a great opportunity for Northern Nevada, and it really complements what we’re trying to do (as far as diversifying our industries).”
With the extreme downturn of Nevada’s few key industries (gaming, tourism, and housing), the state has maintained one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and has been arguably the state most negatively impacted by the nationwide recession. To improve and diversify its economy, the state of Nevada commissioned a report called “Unify/ Regionalize/ Diversify: An Economic Development Agenda for Nevada,” a Brookings/SRI report, which identified 7 “target industries” with high growth potential. Clean energy is one of those industries and many experts argue it holds a lot of promise for job and economic development in Nevada.
However, for the short-term and long-term success of the clean energy industry in Nevada, higher education and K-12 education must closely align and prepare the workforce and entrepreneurs with the skills and experiences necessary to grow this technology and innovation driven industry. That’s where Envirolution comes in! As an organization focused on sustainability education, leadership development, and career advancement, Envirolution is beginning to play a crucial role in improving K-12, STEM-based, clean energy education in Nevada, and ultimately helping to grow a key industry to get Nevada’s economy back to a healthy level. We are excited and honored to be working in the realm and we hope you will join us in our effort to make Nevada more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable!