Ground zero in the solar wars: Nevada
The Nevada Legislature has been intensively lobbied for months by both solar advocates and their allies on the one hand, and the state utility on the other, over how home solar users are credited for electricity they generate and give back to the power grid.
Current law mandates a limit of 3 percent on residential solar production, as a percentage of the utility’s historical peak load, as being eligible for so-called “net metering” credits. In other words, consumers who add solar panels to their homes are eligible for credits from the utility as long as the state’s total solar-generated energy falls under that 3 percent cap. But if the state’s solar energy begins to exceed the 3 percent limit—as it’s likely to do soon—then new solar panel users won’t get a credit.
On Monday, utility NV Energy and The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) announced a compromise that will slightly increase the size of the cap through the end of 2015 by defining “3 percent” as 235 megawatts. It also will push the decision on the future size of the cap to the state’s public utilities commission rather than its legislature.