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October 25, 2014

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Committee pushing green energy learns solar system down on its garage

CARSON CITY — A Nevada legislative committee promoting the use of more green energy found out today that a solar system atop its own garage has been shut down for the last four months with a mechanical problem.

It was revealed today at a hearing of the Legislative Committee on Energy that a 160-panel solar system atop the parking garage next to the legislative building in Carson City is out of service. The system supplies electricity to the Nevada Supreme Court building.

Churchill County resident Marcia Litsinger, who was at the meeting to voice her support for renewable energy projects, said she discovered the system wasn’t functioning when she visited the legislative building nearly two months ago. An employee told her there was a missing part, she said.

“There is no excuse for this,” she told committee members, who were attending the meeting via video conference in Las Vegas.

Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Council Bureau, which oversees the parking garage, said his agency has notified the Public Works Division several times since December about the problem. The division is in charge of maintenance.

Public Works Director Gus Nunez said that there was a ground fault problem with the system but taht he was only notified about it today. An electrician was dispatched to find a solution.

The solar panels are on the upper level of the garage adjacent to the legislative building and the court. It is used by lawmakers and the public.

Committee Chairman Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, did not comment on the broken solar system.

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