Clean energy jobs coming to Nevada’s Latino, Asian, and Native communities

Over the past year, companies have announced 11,500 new jobs and $9 billion in investments in clean energy projects located in Nevada communities that have significant populations of Latino, Asian, or Native American residents. (Photo via Shutterstock)

By Isabel Soisson

September 6, 2023

Nevada’s communities of color are benefiting from major federal investments in clean energy related projects, according to a new report from Climate Power.

Over the past year, companies have announced more than $9 billion in investments in clean energy projects located in Nevada communities that have significant populations of Latino, Asian, or Native American residents. These investments are expected to create roughly 11,500 new clean energy jobs in Nevada’s communities of color.

These projects have come in the wake of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which became law last year. The law, which represented the largest ever federal investment in fighting climate change, established a mix of clean energy tax credits for companies and rebates for consumers in order to make the manufacturing and consumption of clean energy technologies and products cheaper.

The IRA is predicted to create up to nine million jobs nationally over the next decade, while reducing premature deaths from air pollution and helping the United States dramatically reduce climate change-causing emissions.

“The administration’s clean energy plan is a great first step in ensuring America’s clean energy boom is accessible to communities of color,” Antonieta Cadiz, deputy executive director of Climate Power said in a statement. “In just a year, thanks to President Biden’s clean energy plan, nearly three fourths of the clean energy job growth we have seen are in communities of color.”

The overwhelming majority of the new jobs and investments in Nevada are located in the state’s second congressional district, which leads all congressional districts in the number of clean energy projects nationwide.

One of these projects is the Tesla Nevada Gigafactory Expansion in Sparks, which is expected to create 3,000 jobs. Once completed, the factory will manufacture electric vehicles.

The federal government also announced a $2 billion loan commitment to Redwood Materials to build and expand a $3.5 billion battery materials campus in McCarran earlier this year. The company estimates that this will create an additional 3,400 construction jobs and 1,600 permanent jobs. The company also recently expanded its Storey County campus, which will result in 700 new jobs.

The Thacker Pass Lithium Mine Project in Humboldt County is expected to create another 1,500 new jobs, but has received some pushback from Native American tribes and conservationists who consider the area near the Nevada-Oregon border sacred.

These investments in Nevada’s Black, Latino, Asian, and Native populations come as a recent Department of Energy report found that the clean energy workforce is more diverse than the petroleum and natural gas industries.

Additionally, Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nevada) announced on Wednesday that the American Battery Technology Company has begun a multi-year project to build its first commercial-scale lithium hydroxide manufacturing facility in Tonopah, made possible through her Innovation State Initiative. Once operational, the facility is expected to create 100 new jobs in the state.

“Nevada is leading the nation in clean energy, and I’m proud to support our businesses who are creating good-paying jobs for our workers while creating a more sustainable future,” Sen. Masto said in a statement. “This program I established will help strengthen our critical mineral supply chain and help drive our state’s clean energy economy.”

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

CATEGORIES: CLIMATE | POLITICS

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