— Governor Sandoval (@GovSandoval) June 15, 2017
What a difference a year (or two) makes. Back in 2015, Nevada became the enemy of rooftop solar advocates when state regulators arbitrarily ended all rooftop solar incentives, including for customers who had already invested in them with an expectation of a 20-year return.
But Governor Sandoval just signed AB 405, which will officially restore those rooftop solar rates almost back to where they were, with a slow phase-out to encourage more energy storage options (see his Twitter post above).
But more legislation is on tap, as the legislature has passed some ambitious clean energy bills. Specifically, AB 206 will boost the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard to 40 percent by 2030 (by comparison, California has a 50% target for 2030). And as Greentech Media reports, the innovative part of this bill is that energy storage can count for up to 10% of the portfolio, with special privileges for geothermal energy. Let’s hope the governor signs this bill, too.
While the solar industry had a lot to do with this win, environmental groups may also have played a key electoral role. Specifically, according to E&E News (pay-walled), the League of Conservation Voters spent more than a half-million dollars on state races in Nevada last year and helped flip the statehouse, paving the way for legislation like this.
It shows how effective political dollars can be at the state level, and how important state leadership is at a time of federal retrenchment on clean energy policies.