Nevada reinstates key solar energy policy

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.

Nevada lawmakers passed a flurry of clean energy bills this session.

The 2015 move to dismantle net metering and departure of major national installers had clear impacts on the market, with Nevada's distributed generation market (community solar excluded) falling by almost half from 2015 to 2016.

The legislation reverses 2015 rules that sharply lowered retail credits and raised fees for rooftop solar customers, pushing out installers including SolarCity, Sunrun Inc. and Vivint Solar Inc.

PUC at the time imposed rules effectively ending net-metering, all but forcing electrical utilities to buy the energy produced by rooftop solar panels at near-retail rates.

Net metering returns to Nevada.

Rooftop solar system. Author: Martin Abegglen. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada subsequently softened its stance, approving a grandfathering clause and partially restoring retail rate net metering to customers in northern Nevada, but Sandoval signing AB 405 brings more policy certainty to the industry.

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill Thursday at Tesla Energy Warehouse in Las Vegas that he says will also restore hundreds of solar-related jobs. Assembly Bill 206 requires electricity providers in the state obtain at least 40 percent of electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030.

In addition to possibly boosting the state's renewables standard, Sandoval also has on his desk a measure to create a community solar program.

The Senate approved the measure 17-4 and the Assembly approved the measure 30-12.

  • Zachary Reyes