RENO, Nev. (NEWS 4 & FOX 11) — Solar power is making a comeback in the Silver State after struggling for nearly two years.
More solar companies are moving to Nevada after Gov. Brian Sandoval signed AB 405, a bill to reinstate favorable rates for customers. It will restore the rates close to its original retail rate and gives customers the right to self-generate.
With net-metering in place again, residents and businesses are jumping back on board with renewable energy. One executive says the “solar revolution” in Nevada will allow the state’s economy to boost along with its workforce.
Solar Energy International board president Paul Bony said, “There’s going to be a lot of jobs created as people put more solar on their homes and businesses.”
Companies and residents are taking advantage of the financial benefits for making the green switch. There is a 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit incentive (ITC) for users. It can also be combined with utility rebates on top of other grants.
The ITC then declines to 26 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021. After 2021, the residential credit will drop to zero, while commercial and utility credit will drop to a permanent 10 percent.
Grants may cover up to 25 percent of project’s eligible costs:
- Renewable energy systems: $2,500 minimum grant request; $500,000 maximum grant request
- Energy efficiency projects: $1,500 minimum grant request; $250,000 maximum grant request
- Loan Guarantee: up to 85 percent of a commercial loan. Rates and terms are negotiated with lender
- Combination Loan Guarantee and Grant: combine assistance to cover up to 75 percent of eligible project costs
NV Energy will pay $0.15/watt up front to its ratepayers when they go solar as a part of its renewable generations rebate program.
According to the National Weather Service, Nevada gets an average of 300 days of sun throughout the year.
Escape Adventures Inc. owner Jared Fisher said, “Why isn’t every rooftop on business and residential plastered with solar, clean and renewable energy and reducing our dependency on foreign oil? That’s the question everyone should be asking.”
Solar panels are designed to reduce carbon emission but can also save consumers the extra dollars. Fisher said his net-zero energy building is producing all of the energy on site.
Fisher added, “We actually send extra back into the grid. We haven’t had a power bill for over five years.”