Solar Companies Return To Nevada With Promise Of Job Creation

Two years ago, Nevada passed legislation making it tough for the solar industry by limiting credits for those that sent green energy back to the grid. That prompted companies like SolarCity to move out, but a new bill reels them back in.


Mar. 24 2020, Updated 1:39 p.m. ET

In late 2015, Nevada made it financially tougher for solar rooftops to be installed. With lower compensation and higher charges, SolarCity was forced to halt their service in the state and it affected over 2,000 jobs. All those opportunities have opened up again after governor Brian Sandoval signed energy bills that brought back normal credits this week.

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Utility companies now have to give full credit back to customers that are sending energy back to the grid from their solar rooftops. The prior bill that was signed into effect nearly two years ago didn’t make this a requirement. It was known as the dissolving of net metering, which ultimately creates a monopoly for utility companies. They could also charge residents with solar panels and rooftops additional fees

Now that net metering under Assembly Bill 405 is back into effect, the move brings back companies like Sunrun and Vivint Solar, along with the joint venture of Tesla and SolarCity. Sandoval signed the bill at Tesla’s gigafactory in Storey County. The governor wooed Elon Musk and his company to build the massive complex in Nevada back in 2013, which made the move just two years later.

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Sandoval is now firmly behind net metering. He said during the ceremony that the “bill restores the rooftop solar industry in Nevada by making sure rooftop solar owners are fairly credited for the clean energy they produce.” Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, praised the state’s governor for his actions.

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“Governor Sandoval deserves credit for his leadership on solar. History will show that today Nevada took an important step that will return it to its rightful spot as a top solar state. This law will give homeowners and businesses who may have wanted to go solar the assurances they sought, and we expect strong solar growth and jobs to follow.”

With the new bill being passed, Tesla will be selling their solar products immediately. They’ll also be busy hiring staff and increasing the workload. A process of building new factories is in the works for the Las Vegas area. That’s great news for the thousands that lost their jobs when the prior destructive bill went into effect almost two years ago.

Vivint Solar will be moving into the state during the summer and will bring around 100 jobs. No exact details were announced for Sunrun, but CEO Lynn Jurich said in a press release that she “can now say with confidence that Sunrun is coming back to Nevada.”


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