NV Energy: Nevada net metering could cost $1.3 billion

The Nevada Senate is now considering AB 405, including the issue of net metering, following the passage of the bill in the Assembly last week. However, NV Energy is pushing back, arguing against the principle of retail-rate net metering.

“Assembly Bill 405 requires NV Energy to purchase excess energy from private solar generation systems at legislatively mandated pricing, not a price set by a market,” the utility stated in a presentation to the Senate.

“The total cost obligation created by existing private solar generation coupled with the proposed private solar generation additions in Assembly Bill 405…is $63.3 million annually or approximately $1.3 billion over the minimum 20 year term specified in the bill,” NV Energy estimated.

The utility complained that while it is now contracting for solar energy at a cost as low as $31 per megawatt, “NV Energy currently gives a credit to grandfathered residential customers of over $110 per megawatt hour for energy from a private generation system in southern Nevada.”

NV Energy also complained that “Customers with private solar generation are allowed to receive electric services at below cost rates…For example, a customer with private solar generation uses the electric grid as a place to deliver the excess energy produced by their solar panels and also gets to rely on the electric grid to back up the private solar generation whenever they do not have enough energy being produced.”

NV Energy currently has 479 MW of solar generation in development in Nevada, which helps it meet the state’s 2015-2019 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement of 20%. In its 2016 RPS Annual Report, NV Energy said that its northern Nevada network had reached a 26.6% renewable energy generation, while its southern Nevada network achieved a 22.2% share of renewable energy in its mix.