Regulation, Solar - June 16, 2017
Nevada governor restores net metering, vetos clean energy standard, community solar bills
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on June 15 signed Assembly Bill 405, restoring the state's net metering rates close to retail for rooftop solar customers.
, which had been reduced in 2015 after a highly contested debate between the solar industry and Nevada's largest utility, NV Energy. The 2015 decision to reduce net metering rates in the state had resulted in a number of residential solar companies exiting the market.
At least three solar companies had announced plans to restart operations in the state once the legislation was signed into law, including Tesla's SolarCity, Vivint Solar and Sunrun. The Solar Energy Industries Association applauded the governor's decision to sign the bill, noting the economic impacts associated with the return of solar companies to the state.
"Nevada lost almost 2,600 jobs after the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada eliminated net metering in late 2015," the association said in a June 15 statement. "A.B. 405 will help bring those jobs back by spurring increased demand for solar. The bill incorporates a discounted rate for energy that is sent to the grid, allowing all Nevada homeowners with rooftop solar to get credit when they export electricity back to their utility."
Update on June 19, 2017: Separately, two significant clean energy bills that Nevada's Legislature passed this session have been voted by Gov. Sandoval. A.B. 206 sought to increase to Nevada's renewable energy standard to 40% by 2030 from 25% by 2025, and Senate Bill 392, would have launched a statewide community solar program. The governor did sign two other energy bills on June 15, S.B. 146 related to distributed resource planning and S.B. 150, requiring the state utility commission to set annual goals for energy savings resulting from the implementation of energy efficiency programs for each of the state's utilities.
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