solar

BLACK ROCK SOLAR, FLICKR, HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY/2.0/
Noah Glick

A bill in the state legislature is pushing Nevada’s utility companies into providing half of their power from renewable sources of energy.

Voters To Decide On Energy Deregulation This November

Jul 12, 2016
Staffan Vilcans, Flickr, CC by SA-2.0

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has certified the signatures on three petitions submitted for the November ballot, two of which will put the debate over renewable energy to voters.  

The first petition, called the Energy Choice Initiative, garnered 77,000 signatures, 20,000 more than needed. That proposal seeks to amend the state constitution to open up the state's electricity market and give consumers more choices besides NV Energy.  

Elliott Brown, CC SA By 2.0

In the battle for hearts and minds over Nevada’s now defunct net-metering program, two new reports conclude the program actually benefits all utility users. But that won’t be enough to settle the issue.

Ever since the state’s Public Utilities Commission put an end to lower rates for rooftop solar users at the beginning of this year, solar advocates and NV Energy have been waging messaging wars.

Noah Glick

The Stillwater Hybrid Plant in Fallon, owned and operated by Enel Green Power, officially unveiled its solar thermal energy capability Tuesday, making it the first power plant in the world to combine that type of energy with geothermal and solar panels. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick was there.

Dignitaries including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi spoke at the ribbon cutting.

Julia Ritchey

Sen. Harry Reid says he supports two proposed ballot measures to boost the rooftop solar market and break up the power monopoly held by NV Energy. 

"Solar is good all over the country, but this is where it's pronounced," he said during a Reno stop on Wednesday to promote Saturday's Democratic caucus. 

Reid says he's even relayed his support for the two ballot initiatives to NV Energy President Paul Caudill. 

"They haven't been written or approved —and I'm sure everybody will file a lawsuit against them — but conceptually they're both great," he says. 

Regulators Phase In Rate Hikes For NV Solar Customers

Feb 12, 2016
ELLIOTT BROWN, HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY/2.0/

  The Nevada Public Utilities Commission will grandfather rooftop solar customers from higher rates after public outcry. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

Commissioners voted to phase in higher electricity costs over the course of 12 years, still less time than what solar advocates had wanted.

Those rate hikes were approved back in December, touching off a firestorm among net-metering customers who say the state has reneged on its promise to encourage renewable energy.

CoCreatr, Flickr, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

  Last week state regulators ruled against suspending rate hikes for rooftop solar customers, which industry advocates say have sparked massive layoffs. But even before this decision, the industry was not faring as well as some had hoped. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Truckee Meadows Community College started its solar technician training program about six years ago and quickly saw enrollments of between 15 to 30 students. 

But that didn't last long, according to Jim New, dean of technical sciences.

Black Rock Solar, Flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Nevada's Public Utility Commission has denied a petition that would halt recently approved rate changes for rooftop solar users. This is despite swift and angry backlash by both solar companies and their customers. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection had filed a petition asking to suspend the rate hikes that went into effect January 1st for customers.

Dozens of those upset customers spoke out during a day-long hearing in Carson City Wednesday, calling the commission's decision unfair and short-sighted.

Elliott Brown, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  [This story will be updated following the PUC meeting in Carson City this morning.]

The Public Utilities Commission is reconsidering a controversial change to rates for rooftop solar customers Wednesday, but companies including SunRun and SolarCity have already announced massive layoffs. And customers who installed solar panels are already seeing increases in their power bill. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey talked with some of those unhappy customers.

Last month the PUC gave NV Energy the OK to raise rates for existing solar customers.