Nevada Governor Sandoval vetoes RPS increase, community solar bills

One step forward, two steps back.

Those who think that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) is a friend of renewable energy for his signing of a bill to restore net metering – 18 months after regulators he appointed abruptly dismantled the policy – can think again.

Only days after the high-profile signing of a bill to return net metering to the state at a Tesla warehouse in Las Vegas, Nevada Governor Sandoval quietly vetoed two other bills which would have advanced renewable energy in the state, through increasing Nevada’s renewable energy mandate and creating a community solar program.

Clean energy advocates mourned the death of AB 392, which would have made Nevada the 16th state in the nation to establish a community solar program. “Governor Sandoval’s disappointing decision to veto community solar access is at odds with the more than 70% of Nevadan voters who supported energy choices in November’s election, and with the overwhelming support for community solar from national security experts, faith communities, small businesses, and clean energy advocates,” stated Jessica Scott, interior west director at Vote Solar.

AB 206, the proposed increase to the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was also struck down by the governor’s pen. The bill would have increased the state’s renewable energy mandate from its current 25% by 2025 to 40% by 2030. This would have been the 8th-most ambitious RPS of any state, and would have provided additional incentives to energy storage.

However, the bill was opposed by Republican politicians, with only three Republicans legislators supporting the bill in the Nevada Assembly.