Nevadans with solar rooftops breathed a collective sigh of relief today as it was announced that they will again receive the benefits of net-metering, allowing them to receive the incentives they anticipated when they signed up for solar power. The unanimous decision by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) means that roughly the owners of some 32,000 homes in the state with solar power will receive retail rates for the energy that their systems send to the grid.
The decision will allow homeowners to receive the higher rates of 11 cents per kilowatt for the power produced by their solar installations but will decrease over time, according to Utility Dive. However, new solar customers in the state aren’t eligible for the higher rates. Late last year the commission chose to reduce payments for all rooftop systems in the state and add more fees for those with solar power.
“This is an important step to establish regulatory certainty in Nevada for customers who have had quite a roller coaster ride this year,” observed Sean Gallagher, the vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “We now must put policies in place that support new solar customers in Nevada so that solar jobs can once again increase, and the robust economic activity associated with solar development can resume.” The news comes on heels of the closing Solar Power International (SPI) convention in Vegas this week. The conference, which had 17,000 solar professionals show the strength of the industry.
The new ruling is at least partially attributable to Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) who asked the commission and large companies like NV Energy and SolarCity to come to meet with the commission to resolve the issues. “We thank Gov. Sandoval for his leadership and support and appreciate the steps taken by the PUCN to stabilize solar policy. We sincerely hope this progress continues,” Gallagher said.
"I asked the major companies involved in the issue of net metering to work together and reach a resolution that benefits Nevada ratepayers and solar customers and ensures Nevada maintains its status as the national leader in clean and renewable energy,” Sandoval said. “I am pleased with the result and believe it is in the best interests of all Nevadans. I am hopeful that the PUC will act quickly on this agreement. It is time to move on.”Tweet