Friday, June 16, 2017

Tesla Moves into Nevada as the State Enacts Progressive New Solar Policies

Ivanpah solar thermal installation just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a handful of new solar and energy related bills today in Carson City to help the state pivot away from the anti-consumer, anti-solar net metering regulation that forced SolarCity out of the state in late 2015.

The bills were signed at the Tesla Energy warehouse in Las Vegas, which was no accident, as the sunny state of Nevada that is also home to the Tesla Gigafactory has tasted the jobs and economic value coming from Tesla’s operations.  As a result of that, Tesla lobbying (we presume), Tesla’s popularity, and citizen demand for solar, Governor Sandoval made a wise and brand-savvy decision.

The new net metering agreement, Assembly Bill 405, reinstates net metering regulation for residential solar installations, which course corrects the policy back to a more reasonable rate.  The 2015 change to net metering slashed the credit homeowners would receive for solar power sent to the grid, cutting it from the retail rate of roughly 12.5 cents per kWh down to the wholesale rate of 2.5 cents per kWh.  See the problem there?

The new regulation creates 4 phases that work to drop the credit owners receive as more solar is added to the grid.  This provides more incentive up front and allows the credit to drop over time, which is a more reasonable agreement for utilities.  At the final stage, owners would still get credit for solar sent to the grid at 75% of the retail rate, which ensures that solar continues to be a viable long-term investment for owners.

In addition to correcting the unhealthy policy, the new regulation opens Nevada back up for business for solar installers, which brings us back to the Tesla Energy warehouse.  Tesla has shared that it will begin selling rooftop solar and residential storage products in Nevada now that the state policy is supportive again, effective immediately.  This is vindication for Tesla (and the former SolarCity units that had been operating in the state) as Tesla/SolarCity looks to scale operations back up, bringing more jobs and more clean energy to the state.

Read more at Tesla Moves into Nevada as the State Enacts Progressive New Solar Policies

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