A bill introduced into the Nevada legislature would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard fourfold, from the current 20% to 80% by 2040.
The bill, AB 206, introduced by Assemblyman Chris Brooks (D), calls for a phased-in approach that would increase the RPS goal by 4% every two years, starting in 2018-2019 when the goal would be set at 26%
The bill, under consideration in committee, also calls for the state’s Office of Energy to review the progress in reaching the RPS goal at least every two years.
Nevada is mostly desert and gets a lot of sunlight, but it also has been a battleground state for rooftop solar. In 2015, Nevada moved to significantly roll back its solar net metering program, even eliminating provisions that would have grandfathered existing rooftop solar customers.
After nearly a year of regulatory battles, the state’s PUC in September approved a deal between NV Energy and SolarCity that allows solar customers to retain their original retail rate net metering deal.
If the recently introduced legislation is passed, both rooftop and utility-scale solar power could get another boost.
The measure would remove the current requirement that 5% of the RPS goal come from solar power, but it would count solar power sent from homes to the grid toward utilities’ mandatory goals.
The bill is currently under consideration in the Committee on Commerce and Labor in the Nevada Assembly. Both the Assembly and the Nevada Senate are controlled by Democrats, traditionally friendlier to renewable energy interests, but Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has not indicated how he views the bill.
Though a Republican, Sandoval has positioned himself as a renewable energy supporter, creating a New Energy Task Force last year that helped bring about the deal between NV Energy and SolarCity.
Separately, bills introduced by Sen. Pat Spearman (D) and Assemblyman William McCurdy (D) would increase the state’s energy efficiency measures, PV Magazine notes.