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2875 Idlewild Drive Unit 9
Reno, NV, 89509

The Regulatory Champ

Piles of papers in neatly organized stacks span the L-shaped desk within a coveted office that overlooks the greenbelt, and beyond, a geothermal plant. This is  the office of Bryce Alstead, named one of the The Best Lawyers in America© by Real Estate Law from 2012-2016.

In fact, when you look at his land use and transaction wins for both solar and geothermal sites in Nevada, you can quickly see the increasing amount of interest the state has garnered in regards to renewable energy. Bryce points out that most of his solar sites are in Southern Nevada, and the geothermal sites are mainly located in the middle of nowhere, (Nevada).

Now would be a good time to mention that most of the state is Federally owned land, which is easily rented out to geothermal and solar projects for a flat fee, or a percentage based off what the site produces in energy. While a few of these sites actually generate energy for the state, most of  the energy is exported to California, which has a law requiring that 1/3 of energy use should come from renewable energy.

Bryce mentions that Nevada has more energy than we know what to do with, and even some innovative renewable concepts for which he put the deals together. For example, he hands me the contract regarding the solar thermal project in Tonopah known as the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project engineered by NV Energy, which continues to crop up even 6 years after the 2009 date on the front page. The verdict is still out on whether this project actually works (if it does, it could be a game changer), as it takes years to collect viable data from the site.

We take a  ten-minute drive from Mr. Alstead’s office to visit  the geothermal site we viewed at the beginning, and see these massive pipes used to pump hot and cold water in and out of a well, generating steam that signifies a currently productive site. The energy from this process, similar to solar, is then sent to a grid which distributes the energy accordingly. We are cautioned not to get too close as the chemical used when pumping the hot water is flammable, and so my photographer and I reluctantly put away our torch blowers and cigarettes we had so hoped to enjoy on site.  

After only an hour, we gleaned more knowledge about renewable energy than we would have by simply sitting in a classroom. In a way, Bryce’s brain power can rival that of a renewable energy site. His experience has built a vast amount of information about key people, places, technology, and most of all, legislation, making renewable energy sites happen here in the state of Nevada.