Nine laws that helped Nevada solar applications grow 450%

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The state of Nevada is seeing action both big and small in the solar industry. In 2018, we saw the lowest price for a solar power purchase agreement come from 8minutenergy in the form of a 2.376¢/kWh bid on a 300 MWac project. And we also got to see the continued rebound in residential solar power.

NV Energy has released its December 2018 RenewableGenerations Monthly Report (pdf). The report outlined the “ecosystem of clean energy projects” within the NVEnergy electric utility region.

Both solar power applications and total volume showed significant growth over a 2017, with more than 15,000 solar power net metering applications submitted and 5,582 systems being installed totaling almost 40 MW. In total, there are now more than 24,ooo small solar projects distributed in the NV Energy region.

RenewNevada put together a list of nine laws that helped move the state forward. AB 405, the restoration of Net Metering in the state, was the great driver of new installations as could clearly be seen in 2017 as the market grew 1100% versus 2016 in terms of total applications. And of that 1100% growth, more than 96% of it occurred after SB405 was signed.

Other laws include Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), energy efficiency programs, utility requirements to consider renewables first, and more.

Las Vegas installer Sol-Up USA CEO Frank Rieger suggested further legislative support that could push solar:

The Legislature should build on this tremendous success by fostering development of community solar gardens, which allow smaller and lower-income consumers to band together to produce their own solar power. They should also enact the strengthened Renewable Portfolio Standard voters overwhelmingly called for when they passed Question 6 last year.

However, Governor Sandoval has vetoed a Community Solar Garden program.

This rebound in 2018 was really just a return to normalcy after Warren Buffet-owned NV Energy pushed for the removal of net metering, leading to a collapse of solar power in 2016. Then the legal system and voters pushed back, with the first big step when the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada reinstated net metering to those who had already signed 20-year contracts.