SunRay Solar LLC is a full-service solar energy systems integrator and is the leading installer for ground-mount in New Hampshire — but perhaps no longer. The Concord-based SunRay made the decision to layoff one-third of its workers and scale back operations because of New Hampshire’s solar net metering cap. This cap has been labeled arbitrary by many onlookers. Eversource is the state’s largest utility and hit the cap on Jan. 21, forcing the latest round of layoffs. Unless legislators lift the cap this session, more layoffs will follow.
“These layoffs are devastating to our employees and their families and are only a small sign of what’s to come if New Hampshire doesn’t lift its cap immediately,” said Michael Fay, Managing Partner of SunRay solar. “Allowing net metering to continue will allow SunRay and other local companies to keep these employees and continue hiring so we can bring solar, economic growth and energy independence to more New Hampshire homes and businesses.”
While legislators are currently working on a bill to address the net metering cap, the current version of the legislation would lead to a complete industry shut down in the near term. The bill, SB 333, offers a small increase in the net metering cap that the industry will exhaust quickly. In order to avoid a second round of disruption, continued layoffs and uncertainty, legislators should consider incorporating a small fix that allows net metering to continue to operate as it has for years while the Public Utilities Commission evaluates the net metering program.
SB 333 has a positive recommendation from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee but the full Senate can amend SB 333 on the Senate Floor to deliver a positive result for New Hampshire.
Net metering is a fundamental solar policy that gives fair credit to solar customers for the excess energy they put back on the grid. Utilities like Eversource sell this power to homes and businesses nearby at the full retail rate and save money because they don’t have to generate or transmit the power. All of the most recent studies by state regulators show that net metering is a financial benefit to all ratepayers.
This news, on top of everything happening in Nevada, is all very strange considering we were all just celebrating the ITC passing not that long ago. Didn’t all of these guys hear? Solar is about to explode.
— Solar Builder magazine