Solar energy advocates call for action in Nevada

January 19, 2016 0 By Stephen Vagus

Advocates petition Public Utilities Commission to halt rate hike on solar energy

Advocates of clean power in Nevada have rallied together to condemn the state’s anti-solar energy endeavors. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission is considering requests from these advocates to halt a rate hike concerning solar energy that was put into effect on January 1. The rate hike has become quite controversial in Nevada, as it has lead to one of the country’s most prominent solar energy developers, SolarCity, to abandon the state.

Public Utilities Commission makes a controversial decision that may impact the solar sector

In late December 2015, the Public Utilities Commission voted to increase a monthly fee imposed on those using solar energy by approximately 40%. The agency also voted to reduce the number of consumers being paid for the excess energy they return to the state’s energy grid. Furthermore, the Public Utilities Commission decided to make these changes retroactive, which lead to Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, suggesting that the move would “destroy the rooftop solar industry.”

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Nevada is losing ground as an attractive home for solar power

Rooftop Solar EnergyThe changes introduced by the Public Utilities Commission has caused concern among solar energy advocates, especially among developers that have active projects in the state. Nevada is one of the most attractive markets for solar power due to its constant exposure to solar radiation. The state had offered significant incentives to encourage the development of solar energy systems, especially in the residential sector. Now, however, these incentives are gone, which may hinder the state’s environmental and sustainability plans in the coming years.

Sunrun announces it will be leaving Nevada following Public Utilities Commission decision

SolarCity is not the only company that is leaving Nevada due to the decisions made by the Public Utilities Commission. Sunrun, another prominent developer of solar energy systems, has also announced that it will be leaving the state. Together, these companies represent a significant workforce of nearly 1,000 people, all of whom will be losing their jobs. Investments made in the solar energy systems these companies had been developing will also have gone to waste, as they will no longer take form in Nevada.