Rooftop solar cap reached; brand-new clients won'' t be connected to grid

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NV Energy website

A screen grab of the NV Energy cap tracker shows that rooftop solar is maxed out.

Published Friday, Aug. 21, 2015|2 a.m.

Updated 4 hours, 54 minutes ago

Brand-new customers will certainly be avoided from connecting their rooftop solar panels into Nevada’s power grid to get credit for energy produced, according to NV Energy’s online tracking.

The tracker projected Thursday the limit would be hit by Saturday, but it now shows that the cap is maxed out.

The news comes before the Public Utilities Commission today veterinarians a range of proposals that would impose new expenses on roof solar consumers but would keep the solar market alive. A vote is expected as early as Wednesday, opening the capacity of a multiday gap that could hurt the solar industry.

The meetings follow months of unpredictability about when the solar market would strike the state-imposed cap that limits the variety of customers who are allowed to receive credits for solar power under a policy known as net metering.

Over the next numerous days, the commission will certainly either be forced to adopt a short-term structure for continuing the net metering program or risk what lots of in the solar industry call a disaster in the burgeoning market for alternative energy.

Today’s meeting begins the fourth quarter in a battle that is likely continue till the end of the year. Right here’s exactly what you need to understand.

WHAT TAKES PLACE TODAY

Professional witnesses promoting the solar market and the power business will certainly offer proof to the PUC.

The solar market really hopes that when the cap is maxed, the market won’t halt and new customers will not be charged what it calls expensive fees. NV Energy wishes to develop a new rate structure for new consumers who want to get involved after the cap is struck.

NV Energy proposed a plan that would halve the credit it pays to customers for the rooftop solar energy they supply to the grid. It likewise proposed a new need charge and a user cost.

WHAT HITTING THE CAP MEANS FOR CONSUMERS

For the 9,171 net metering homeowners connected to NV Energy, completion of the cap might indicate little. But it’s a big deal for clients who wish to purchase or rent photovoltaic panels in the coming days. Once the cap is reached, NV Energy will certainly not send its workers to tie rooftop solar installations into the grid. The PUC might also vote to impose the pricing design proposed by NV Energy or it could craft an option of its own.

WHAT FOLLOWS THE CAP

Whatever the PUC decides on Wednesday is just an interim option.

NV Energy and the solar market made a gentlemen’s agreement (and a law) during the session where they consented to raise the cap completely in return for a brand-new price structure. Neither side expected the cap to be struck so quickly– triggering the present problem.

The PUC is charged with developing an irreversible option by December to end the cap fight.

WHAT THE CHIEF LAW OFFICER SIMPLY DID

Late Thursday, the chief law officer’s Bureau of Customer Defense– which represents ratepayers in PUC cases– requested that the commission not consent to NV Energy’s new fees as an interim solution. “Significantly, simply last year (NV Energy) testified in support … that the existing rate design was reasonable,” the bureau wrote in the filing.

NV Energy stated on Thursday that rooftop solar clients cost it money, which it is required to pass on to nonsolar customers– around $8 to $12 million in expenses for every single 3,000 new roof solar clients.

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