Nevada’s Solar Energy Movement

Chances are pretty high you see a solar energy company truck around your neighborhood on a regular basis. With over 250 days of sunshine on average each year it’s no surprise alternative energy is on the fast track in Nevada.

The Silver State, believe it or not, leads the nation in solar jobs per capita. According to Solar Energy Industries Association, right now there is enough solar energy installed here to power 150,000 homes.  It’s a movement that is growing in popularity and controversy.

Solar Energy Debate

Currently, state law has a cap set at 3% on residential solar energy production. This means that homeowners who install solar panels are eligible for net metering credits (if they generate more power than they use) from the utility company as long as the state’s total solar-generated energy falls below that cap. If Nevada’s solar energy creeps past that cap, then panel users will NOT receive a credit. In August we officially exceeded that cap.

This has sparked a heated battle. One side argues that a net metering tariff would mean lights out for many solar jobs and opportunities. The other (NV Energy) claims the excess electricity produced by rooftop solar customers is neither needed or wanted by the utility, so it shouldn’t have to pay out more to homeowners.

NV Energy essentially wants to purchase the net-metered electricity at a wholesale rate.

A decision from the Nevada Public Utilities Commission is expected early next month and whatever the outcome, it will go into effect January 1, 2016.

It ain’t easy being green. Kermit’s been telling us that for decades and we’re now seeing exactly why.

What’s your take on the solar energy debate? Will a tariff on net metering be good or bad for the people of Nevada?

We’re pretty sure no matter what happens, there will be some interesting legal ramifications.  Stay tuned…

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