Nothing to see here, says Nevada. The governor signed AB 405, which reinstates net energy metering after the state had abruptly put an end to it in 2015 — a controversial decision that caused both high profile and small residential solar installers to leave the state or cutback operations. It also left customers in the lurch, who had installed a system under previous rate assumptions.
Inside AB 405
The bill (AB 405) reinstates the Net Energy Metering mechanism, but with a discounted rate for customer-generated power that is exported to the grid. The bill is expected to bring back the rooftop solar market in Nevada, while also adding strong solar consumer protection measures and a “Bill of Rights” for solar customers that the industry strongly supports.
“Nevada is one step closer to a policy that will allow it to get back thousands of solar jobs that were lost. This bill is a compromise that doesn’t fully value the benefits of distributed solar,” says Sean Gal-lagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “It will, however, allow Nevada consumers and small busi-nesses who may have wanted to go solar, but found it uneconomic under the existing solar policies, to now proceed. The legislation also provides important consumer protections, ensuring that solar cus-tomers aren’t placed in discriminatory rate classes and giving customers 20 years of certainty when they sign up to go solar. We believe that it will be able to get solar companies back to business in Ne-vada, creating jobs and investment.”
Nevada lost more than 2,600 jobs after the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada eliminated net me-tering in late 2015. AB 405 will help bring those jobs back by spurring increased demand for solar.
Vivint Solar returns
Vivint Solar, a full-service residential solar provider, has already said it plans to re-enter the Nevada market.
“We are very pleased Nevada officials have recognized the broad public support of rooftop solar and reestablished the state’s commitment to the future of renewable energy,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “This bill demonstrates the power of building consensus across stakeholders to find a win-win-win solution for the residential solar industry, utilities and Nevada consumers. We look forward to bringing jobs, consumer choice and affordable solar power back to the state of Nevada.”
Vivint Solar expects to create up to 60 jobs in Nevada in the coming months and approximately 100 total jobs once it fully resumes operations in the state.
— Solar Builder magazine