Clinton & Others Challenge Nevada PUC Solar Policy Changes

Originally published on CleanTechnica

Nevada’s December PUC decision to cut net metering rates and increase the residential PV owner rate payable to the state utility, NV Energy, has brought reaction from many, including Democratic presidential challenger Hillary Clinton.

According to pv-magazine, she joins an outspoken group concerned with the fight to save solar in the state of Nevada, condemning in particular a move to apply retroactive charges for PV systems.

Hillary Clinton shutterstock_287370899Before Christmas, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission approved a the new plan sparking outspoken opposition, followed by news that two of this country’s largest solar installers, SolarCity and Sunrun, would pull out of Nevada, laying off hundreds of employees.

In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Sun, the Democratic front-runner called for more renewable energy, saying regulators should not be changing the rules retroactively.

“I know there will be a hearing about this decision in the next few days. I think it’s important we give investors certainty and we give consumers choice. We’re never going to transition to clean renewable energy if we don’t do that.

“Just look at the jobs that are being created. Nationwide, 174,000 jobs in the last few years. Here in Nevada, 5,900 jobs — 3,900 just last year. This is a win-win to move us away from fossil fuels, to diversify the grid, to give homeowners a chance to be empowered to do something about their own energy usage and put people to work.

“I hope there is a way that this state can figure out a path forward. Every state is somewhat different. Every state has different rules and regulations and investment climates, but I’m absolutely convinced we’re going to have to do more solar, more wind and more renewables if we’re going to have the kind of future we should.

“I don’t know all of the public utility rules in Nevada, but certainly people who acted in good faith should be given the benefit of that moving forward. I don’t think any change in rules should penalize people who were permitted and encouraged to do what folks have done. They shouldn’t see that investment absolutely destroyed. I’m hoping that there can be a sensible recognition of the benefits that this provides and the investments that people have already made.”

The Alliance for Solar Choice is planning a legal appeal to the changes, plus a group with backing from SolarCity is reported to be investigating the potential collusion between NV Energy and the Nevada PUC.

SolarCity reports the Nevada PUC will hear the first request of solar energy consumers and companies at a hearing today in Carson City. “I’m hoping that there can be a sensible recognition of the benefits that this provides and the investments that people have already made.”

Image: Hillary Clinton via Shutterstock

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