Nevada governor vetoes popular RPS, community solar bills

Dive Brief:

  • Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has vetoed two bills that would have boosted the state's renewable energy profile, including a measure to increase the state's renewable portfolio standard to 40% and included a carveout for energy storage, in addition a bill aiming to develop a community solar program.
  • The vetoes cap off a successful legislative session for the state's advanced energy sector. RenewNV said while it was disappointed by Sandoval's decision, nine of the 11 clean energy and efficiency bills backed by the group had ultimately been signed.
  • The most high-profile of those signed was Assembly Bill 405, which restores net metering rates close to the retail level for rooftop solar customers.

Dive Insight:

After signing bills aimed at the growing solar industry, boosting the use of battery storage, and increasing efficiency, Sandoval's decision to veto two bills disappointed advocates but still left them with plenty of wins.

“After a legislative session filled with clean and renewable energy successes, we are disappointed Governor Sandoval vetoed the bill that would raise Nevada’s clean energy standards and boost our twenty-first century, clean energy economy,"  Sondra Cosgrove, president of the League of Women Voters of the Las Vegas Valley, said in a statement issued by RenewNV.

AB 206 would have raised the state's renewable portfolio standard to 40% by 2030, up from the current 25% by 2025 goal, while including a carveout for energy storage. SB 392 would have allowed neighborhoods to establish shared community solar systems.

Vote Solar's Jessica Scott said the community solar bill was supported by about 70% of the state's population. "While the Governor’s decision is a missed opportunity to invite new jobs and investments in the Silver State, we’re pleased that other bills have been approved that will begin to rebuild Nevada’s clean energy economy.”

In 2015, Nevada eliminated its retail net metering program in favor of lower compensation rates, which all but shuttered the residential solar industry. While regulators gradually reversed some aspects of the net metering decision, AB 405 gives rooftop installers the policy certainty needed to restart operations in the state.

Under the revised rules, rooftop solar customers will be compensated at 95% of the retail electricity rate for energy sent back to the grid for the first 80 MW deployed. The credit declines 7% in subsequent 80 MW tranches until it reaches a floor rate at 75% of the retail rate.

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: Wikipedia