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Solar, Soccer - US Beats Them Again 
by Vice President Knight Allen
Originally published on August 13, 2015 - reprinted with permission

    I want to offer an update on rooftop solar.

    Missing from all the discussions were actual numbers regarding the cost of solar and how many are participating. That finally started to change with two articles in the RJ first on 7/20 and then on 7/24. A Wall Street firm says the cost of large solar projects runs between $60-$86 per megawatt hour (mwh). NVE reported its solar cost was about $137 per mwh in 2014. However, two new proposed projects are priced at less than $50 per mwh which is strongly competitive with natural gas and coal.

    The 7/24 article contained even more interesting numbers. Finally, NVE reported how many homeowners are participating in the solar rooftop program. The total number for Nevada is 9,571 with Clark County accounting for 7,990 as of Monday 7/20/15. According to the Assessor's office there are 498,114 single family residences in Clark County. 7,990 homes represent 1.6% of the total.

    Step back a bit. Think of the turmoil and turbulence that 1.6% is causing and you can see why:  1. NVE is so nervous and;  2. Why anyone who is not going to participate in rooftop solar as it expands should also be very concerned.

    Did you happen to catch the Women's World Cup Finals? I have to admit I'm not a soccer fan. I never played it as a kid and know nothing about the intricacies and mechanics of the game. However, I had been following the adventures of the USA team in the newspaper as they worked their way through the bracket. The dominant opinion seemed to be the women were not playing very well at all. That they were lucky to have beaten this team or that team. By the time they got to the semi-final versus #2 ranked Germany which had rolled through their games the consensus was the USA, even though it was ranked #1 did not stand much of a chance. It could hardly be called an upset when the US won 2-1 but the game played by the Americans elicited a sigh of relief from the experts because, finally, the team played up to it's talent.

    Then came the Championship game against Japan. Wow! In the blink of an eye it was USA 1-0, USA 2-0, USA 3-0. Then, Carli Lloyd who had already scored two of the three US goals was headed downfield and saw the Japanese goaltender was out of position and decided to "take a shot" (from 55 yards away!) and just like that, it was USA 4-0, Carli had a hat trick and it all happened in less the 16 minutes. As Bogey said in 'The Maltese Falcon,' "It's the stuff that dreams are made of."

    Much to their credit the Japanese refused to roll over. As the Americans backed off their attack mode and started playing more defense Japan closed the gap to 4-2. Then came what I thought was the most interesting goal of the game. No sooner had the score closed to 4-2 the US went back on the attack and less than three minutes after Japan's second goal it was US 5-2. It was as though, on this day, the US could score at will. The Japan team seemed to get the message and the rest of the game was just a matter of playing out the clock.

    So, why spend a column writing about a soccer game most of you probably didn't watch and don't care about? Because we live in an era of factional zealotry in which the public well has been poisoned with anger, hatred and a destructive kill or be killed mindset. I believe our country hasn't been this divided since the decade or so before the Civil War.

    To see the American women's soccer team playing together with such enthusiasm, joy, love and respect for each other was, for me, an emotional and uplifting experience. That soccer team represents the best of who we are as a people and who we will continue to be as long as we respect each other through our differences and we hold on to the dream of a nation dedicated to concept of human liberty.

Contact Vice-President Knight Allen