The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to develop the State's indigenous renewable energy resources, including abundant and widespread solar energy, in a manner that protects and improves the health and well-being of the citizens and natural environment of the State while also providing tangible economic benefits to communities, ratepayers and the overall economy.
The Legislature finds that the development of the solar energy potential in the State needs to be integrated into the existing energy supply and transmission systems in a way that achieves system reliability, total capital cost-effectiveness and optimum short-term and long-term benefits to the citizens of the State.
The governor felt obliged in his veto message to pay lip service to the concept of increasing the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), noting the proposal is very popular and has received positive news coverage in print and on television and online social media.
But he said that “although the increase in the RPS proposed at this time in AB206 is one that I would otherwise support, the consequences of approving this bill must be considered through the lens of recent changes to Nevada energy policy and those likely to be adopted in the near future.
Assemblyman Chris Brooks, the Las Vegas Democrat who sponsored AB206 and has worked for years in the solar power business, told the press, “AB206 would have made Nevada not just a national leader, but a world leader, in the next generation of clean and renewable energy sources that would have diversified our economy and created good-paying, high-quality jobs.” Actually an analysis of the current RPS — 25 percent by 2025 — by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University a couple of years ago found the costs far outweigh any supposed benefit.
In vetoing this past week a bill that would have increased the required percentage of electricity in Nevada coming from renewable sources — such as solar, wind and geothermal — from the current 25 percent by 2025 to 40 percent by 2030, Gov.
Brian Sandoval did the right thing but apparently for the wrong reason.
And for the first time electric utilities would be required to let state residents participate in a program called community solar. Pork Council, independent solar developers, municipal power agencies, rural electric cooperatives and others. “I’m not sure anyone thought we could get to this point in the process,” Szoka said.
The program lets residents purchase stakes in solar farms not located on their property, getting credit for the power their share generates, just as if the solar panels were bolted to their roof. North Carolina law currently prohibits a solar developer from owning a solar panel array on someone else’s roof and selling electricity directly to the owner of the property, which would bypass the electric utility.