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Why Nevada legislators are mostly staying out of the fray on solar energy

Despite lobbying by rooftop solar companies to restore lower rates for their customers, Nevada legislators appear reluctant to step in. Why? Because while several agree that existing customers should get to keep their old rates, they’re awaiting a decision from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada on the issue that could determine the next steps.

Last week, the national rooftop panel installer SolarCity, through a political action committee supported by several groups, proposed a ballot referendum to undo 2015 legislation giving the Public Utilities Commission authority to set a long-term rate structure. They argue that in approving increased bills for customers last year, the commission’s three members did not adhere to the legislation’s intent. The same PAC is calling on legislators to convene a special session.


Why We Don’t Want to See a Total Solar-Panel Eclipse Over Nevada

Every entrepreneur understands that overhead costs can sink a business, which leads many to find creative ways — such as bootstrapping to outright living in squalor conditions — to reduce them. One utility, electricity (power), is an essential part of running an office, warehouse or manufacturing plant. Unfortunately, power is expensive, and with few exceptions is one expense over which entrepreneurs have very little control.

So how would you feel if you knew that your competition had access to incredibly cheap and reliable power? Moreover, you knew their power was being subsidized by you — through your power rates and taxes? I imagine you would be hard pressed not to be a little miffed.


SunEdison’s major Hawaii solar energy farm could be nixed

SunEdison Inc.’s planned 50-megawatt solar energy farm on Oahu’s North Shore may be in serious jeopardy of not being developed, according to public documents filed this week. Hawaiian Electric Co., which reached a power purchase agreement with SunEdison on the solar farm, sent a warning letter to the solar company saying that if it doesn’t provide proof of getting financing for the project, the project’s power purchase agreement may be terminated.

“This letter serves an official notice that Kawailoa Solar LLC has failed to meet a substantial commitment milestone as required under [the power purchase agreement],” Shelee Kimura, vice president of corporate planning and business development, said in the letter to SunEdison. “Such failure results in an immediate right to [Hawaiian Electric] to terminate the PPA.”


SolarCity Corp: Elon Musk’s Big Idea for Solar Energy Is Simply Awesome

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) Chairman Elon Musk believes that all of China can be powered by solar energy.
Musk was at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum in Hong Kong last week. There, he spoke on the subject of solar energy development in China.

“China has an enormous land area, much of which is hardly occupied at all,” said the founder of Tesla. (Source: “China Can ‘Easily’ Support All its Energy Demand Using Homegrown Solar Power, Says Tesla’s Musk in Hong Kong,” South China Morning Post, January 26, 2016.)

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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