- NV Energy has proposed rules and rates for rooftop solar customers in Nevada, but would apply the changes only to customers who apply after the state reaches the current 253-MW on net metering.
- While the utility said the new rules will allow the solar industry to prosper while avoiding unfair cost shifts between customers, green energy advocates say the changes will likely gut the state's burgeoning market.
- According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, NV Energy's proposal would more than halve the net metering credit, cutting it from 10.4 cents/kWh to 4.7 cents/kWh.
If the argument sounds familiar, that's because it is.
NV Energy is closing in on the 253-MW cap placed on net metering, and has proposed a new rate for customers with rooftop solar that the utility believes will keep the industry healthy.
The proposal would allow for a “smooth transition to the new net metering rules being established by the PUCN without interrupting the work being done by our state’s strong solar industry," NV Energy President and CEO Paul Caudill said in a statement. "Despite what has been widely reported, NV Energy has no desire to impact jobs at a time when the state's economy needs them..”
Caudill said the company simply wants "to establish an environment that is sustainable, and with the low cost of large-scale solar energy available in the market today, the current net metering subsidy is not."
NV Energy's filing contains a net metering rate and an optional time of use net metering rate. The company said the structure for both proposed rates contains three basic parts: a monthly basic service charge; a demand charge; and an energy charge.
"A three-part rate design better reflects the unique costs of serving our net metering customers and eliminates the unreasonable shifting of costs between those that can access rooftop solar and net metering and those that don’t," said Kevin Geraghty, NV Energy vice president of energy supply.
Not surprisingly, solar advocates disagree. And they say the utility's estimates of when the net metering cap will expire raise suspicions – NV Energy had initially estimated next year, but now it appears applications have increased substantially.
"NV Energy's faulty accounting puts thousands of local jobs and consumer choice at risk," Bryan Miller, co-chairman of The Alliance for Solar Choice, told the Gazette-Journal.
A spokesperson for the utility said applications have risen from about 300 a week earlier this year, to approximately 700 per week in July.