Ranch gets a hand

The Young Brothers Ranch, owned by Ralph and Paul Young, became the first to receive a HydroGenerations rebate from NV Energy.

The Lander County ranchers will use the $232,500 rebate to offset construction costs of a 93-kilowatt hydroelectric plant in the Big Smoky Valley near Austin. Water will be piped in from the Toiyabe Mountain Range to a small powerhouse that will convert the water’s energy into electricity for the ranch. That water will then return to the Kingston Creek drainage, according to a statement from NV Energy. The project is expected to save the brothers $5,000 to $7,000 per month in electricity. Construction is slated to begin this fall.

Hydropower rebates are available only for agriculture purposes, and it’s the latest addition to the RenewableGenerations program, which also offers rebates in wind and solar energy. Funding for HydroGenerations comes from the utility’s ratepayers, whose electric bills include a charge of $0.0005 per kilowatt of electricity used.