Over the weekend, state politicians passed a measure that could have far-reaching effects on Nevada’s fledging solar industry.
It could also mean more expense for homeowners who want to put solar panels on their roof tops.
State senators unanimously passed the solar measure after adding it to a construction bill Saturday.
The amendment allows the Public Utilities Commission to add three new fees onto the bills of people with rooftop solar.
According to Kyle Roerink, a reporter for the Las Vegas Sun who has been covering the solar industry during the legislative session, there is no word on just how much those fees will be. He told KNPR's State of Nevada that it will most likely be close to what Arizona charges solar users, which is 70 cents per kilowatt hour.
The amendment also didn't lift the cap on net metering, which is when rooftop solar users sell excess power back to NV Energy. It is currently capped at 3 percent. The solar industry had wanted to expand it to 10 percent but a bill to do that died.
Under the bill, the net metering question will be decided by the PUC.
"I think the rooftop solar industry feels it is still in precarious position. this better than where they were a week ago but there is still a lot of uncertainty for them," Roerink said.
NV Energy said the people who are using rooftop solar are being subsidized by those who don't, which is why they want to keep the cap in place and want the fees added to solar power bills.
Solar industry supporters say that without a cap increase they'll have to slash jobs because they'll reach the limit by the fall.
Kyle Roerink, reporter, Las Vegas Sun
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.