New law provides more certainty for energy markets
Nevada’s shifting energy policy may be a microcosm of wider U.S. policy, as Gov. Bill Sandoval this week signed a bill that reinstates net metering for photovoltaic solar power systems.
The Nevada Public Utilities Commission eliminated net metering in late 2015, which created uncertainty in the renewable energy market. The new law reinstates a framework for owners of solar panels in the state to get reimbursed for excess energy they generate.
Under the law, utility customers with rooftop solar will be compensated at 95 percent of the retail electricity rate for solar energy they put back into the grid. The credit declines overtime in 7 percent increments for every 80 megawatts of rooftop solar energy deployed, until it reaches a floor rate at 75 percent of the retail rate.
The bill protect Nevadans’ right to generate, consume and store renewable energy, as well as their ability to connect solar energy systems to the utility in a timely manner without being subjected to burdensome requirements. It also sets clear requirements to ensure that solar customers are fully informed before signing contracts.
The Nevada legislature earlier this year passed two additional renewable energy bills, Assembly Bill 206 and Senate Bill 392. 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. Senate Bill 392 instructs the Public Utilities Commission to adopt standards for the operation of community solar gardens. Both of these bills are awaiting a decision by the governor.