Nevada net metering bill clears Assembly, heads to Senate

Dive Brief:

  • The Nevada Assembly last week voted 38-2 to restore net metering rates to a level very close to the full retail rate. The measure now heads to the Senate, which adjourns on June 5.
  • PV Magazine, which has been closely tracking the measure, says the Senate is likely to approve the bill and Gov. Brian Sandoval is expected to sign it. 
  • The legislation would raise export rates to 95% of the retail rate for up to 6% of the system's peak load, with declining rates for systems after that.

Dive Insight:

Nevada lawmakers appear poised to reverse the state's reputation for controversial clean energy policies. In addition to the net metering measure, several other bills focused on efficiency and energy storage have already been approved. But the net metering measure in particular is a highly-watched topic ever since a controversial decision issued at the end of 2015 to reduce its compensation rates for excess energy from rooftop solar arrays sparked a national backlash. 

The decision compelled two leading solar developers, SolarCity and Sunrun, to exit the state shortly after the decision, and Gov. Sandoval appointed an energy task force to look into it after condemning the decision. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada has since taken steps to remediate its decision by approving grandfathering the original rates for existing solar users and partially restoring the full retail rate net metering policy to a portion of northern Nevada residents. 

Other clean energy bills the state's legislature has approved includes Senate Bill 145 that aims to establish an incentive program for energy storage within the state's solar program, and to create incentives for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Senate Bill 204 would direct state regulators to consider requiring utilities to purchase energy storage in the next couple of years. Both are awaiting Sandoval's signature or veto.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Distributed Energy
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