Nevada imports almost 90% of the energy it uses from other states. Most of its petroleum is used for transportation and natural gas generates the majority of the state’s electricity.
In addition to natural gas, Nevada is one of the few states that generate electricity from geothermal resources. Of the 18% of electricity generated by renewables, two-thirds comes from geo-thermal (2015).
Natural gas is the primary fuel for power generation in Nevada, and 7 of the state's 10 largest power plants by generating capacity are natural gas-fired. Coal-fired power plants supply less than one-fifth of the state's net generation.
Almost all of Nevada’s natural gas comes via pipelines from nearby regions. The Las Vegas area receives natural gas primarily by pipeline through Utah from Wyoming and a secondary supply comes from a pipeline crossing Arizona bringing natural gas from Texas and New Mexico. Other pipeline systems transport natural gas from Oregon and intrastate from Idaho. About half of the natural gas that enters Nevada continues to on to California. Three in five Nevada households use natural gas as their primary heating fuel.
Electricity consumption per capita in Nevada is near the national average, with the industrial sector as the leading electricity-consuming sector, followed closely by the residential sector. Nevada's electricity consumption, however, exceeds in-state generation, and the state obtains needed electricity over high-voltage transmission lines from other states.
Two separate transmission grids provide power to Nevada. One grid supplies the Las Vegas area and is connected to the Arizona, southern Utah, and California grids. The other power grid supplies communities in the northern part of Nevada, including the cities of Elko and Reno. The northern grid is tied into Idaho, northern Utah, and northern California.
Nevada is one of the few states that generates electricity from geothermal resources, which account for more than two-thirds of the state's renewable power generation. Most of the rest of Nevada's renewable generation comes from hydroelectric power plants, primarily the Hoover Dam, which is the state’s third largest power plant.
On a per capita basis, Nevada is one of the lowest petroleum-consuming states in the nation. Ninety percent of the petroleum goes towards the state’s transportation needs with the rest being consumed by the industrial sector. Fewer than 1% of Nevada's residents use fuel-oil for heating.
While Nevada is growing in its use of renewables, oil and natural gas and the energy infrastructure that supports it, will continue to play a vital role in powering our state.