NV Energy and a group of solar installers, including SolarCity and Sunrun, asked the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to extend a solar net-metering deadline through July 1. The extension, if allowed, would help the utility and solar companies enroll up to 8,000 eligible rooftop solar customers in NV Energy’s grandfathered net-metering programs.
It could add a number of customers to its net-metering, which gives solar customers credits of 11 cents per kilowatt hour for the energy their systems put back on the grid. They would join the 23,000 customers who were automatically enrolled in the grandfathering program. The 8,000 additional customers were either approved for solar installation or in the middle of construction prior to December 2015 when the commission abruptly ended net-metering in the state.
The filing of the request comes as a result of the PUNC’s fall 2016 reversal of its decision to end net-metering in Nevada at the end of 2015. The reversal allowed homeowners to retain their original net-metered rate structures for their rooftop installations.
Still, less than 30 percent of the remaining 8,000 customers had opted-in to the program to take advantage of their original net-metering agreements when a Feb. 28 deadline passed. With the PUNC’s approval, the additional time will allow all parties to work together to ensure that the remaining eligible customers pursue the completion of their rooftop solar arrays and join the program.
With the original debacle over net-metering over, Nevada has been forging ahead with solar power on different fronts, including community solar. For instance, State Senator Mo Denis (D) recently introduced Community Solar Bill SB392. The bill, if passed, would help expand solar power to renters, low-income households and others that can’t install solar on their homes. The bill would require PUNC to incentivize utilities with up to $2 million a year to utilities that develop and install community solar projects that with carve-outs for low-income to moderate-income customers.
Similarly NV Energy recently made its own proposal for an renewable energy subscription service like a solar garden. “NV Energy is committed to a cleaner energy future, and that includes finding ways to deliver solar and renewable energy conveniently to our customers,” said Pat Egan, senior vice president of renewable energy and for NV Energy. “Our subscription solar program gives our customers a choice when it comes to their energy mix–providing them with a simple, flexible and affordable way to reach their sustainability goals.”
The utility filed with the commission to create a subscription-based community solar program. Through the program residential customers and small to medium-size businesses could purchase 100 kilowatt-hour blocks of electricity from a solar garden for $2 a month in addition to their regular monthly bill. The program will not require long-term commitments or upfront costs to participate. NV Energy has already designated 10 megawatts from its Boulder Solar 1 facility to meet the proposed program’s needs.Tweet