Solar industry growing too fast for power company, state law to keep up
The battle between residential rooftop solar companies and NV Energy has pervaded the Las Vegas Valley this summer.
Like a family bickering over whether the temperature is too hot or too cold, NV Energy and the solar companies have been arguing about Public Utilities Commission policies neither thinks are right.
The rooftop solar market exploded in Nevada last year, growing by more than 1,000 percent to 6,000 jobs. About 3,000 Nevadans have installed solar panels to power their homes and receive credits on their energy bills for sending power back to the electric grid.
The utility argues the credits are a subsidy that costs the company — and ratepayers — millions of dollars each year. Every new megawatt of solar energy costs NV Energy more than $8 million, company officials said — and 20 megawatts come online each month.
Over the past decade, the state limited how many customers could receive the solar credit and set a cap on residential solar installation. The solar industry, led by rooftop leasing companies SolarCity and Sunrun, spent the recent legislative session battling NV Energy over an increase on the cap.