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Bill seeking to re-establish rooftop solar industry goes to governor

Updated June 5, 2017 - 12:04 am

CARSON CITY — A bill seeking to re-establish the rooftop solar industry in Nevada is on its way to Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The Assembly late Sunday agreed to an amendment to Assembly Bill 405 added by the Senate, the final step in getting the measure finalized by the Legislature.

The net-metering bill would provide homeowners who invest in rooftop solar a credit of 95 percent of the retail rate, or what the customer would have been charged by the utility for each kilowatt hour of excess electricity generated by the rooftop system.

The 95 percent credit rate for the first tier of new rooftop solar customers would drop in future phases as the amount of electricity produced by rooftop systems hit benchmarks of 80 megawatts.

The bill was amended and passed unanimously by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. It passed the Senate on a 21-0 vote Sunday and the Assembly action followed.

Sandoval has indicated that he supports the effort to bring the rooftop solar industry back to Nevada.

The amended bill includes an introduction saying the bill is necessary for the immediate re-establishment of the rooftop solar market in Nevada, both for job creation and the development of renewable energy.

Rooftop solar companies view AB405 as a shot at restoring their fortunes, which plummeted after state utility regulators adopted less generous payments for the excess electricity generated from rooftop systems starting in 2016.

Alex McDonough, vice president of public policy for the rooftop solar company Sunrun, said in a statement: “This is a victory hard won and a testament to the overwhelming support for rooftop solar in Nevada. Nevadans have made it clear they want the right to generate their own clean energy, and they want the good jobs and clean air that go hand in hand with a thriving solar market.”

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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