Vote Solar applauded legislative proposals to revive Nevada’s solar workforce and expand consumer energy choice in 2017. The announcement comes as the Solar Foundation released its annual jobs census finding that solar jobs grew by double digits nationally in 2016, bringing total U.S. employment to more than 260,000 workers.
“Nevada once led the nation in solar jobs per capita, and state lawmakers are now considering an ambitious suite of bills that will put Nevada back at the forefront of our new energy economy where it belongs,” said Jessica Scott, Regional Director, Interior West, at Vote Solar.
“We applaud Nevada’s leaders for their commitment to creating lasting job opportunities and expanding solar energy options so that Nevada’s families, businesses and communities can thrive.”
In contrast to the national growth trend, Nevada lost solar jobs last year. Advocates attribute this to a sudden 2015 decision to end the state’s once-successful net metering program for rooftop solar. Vote Solar and other advocates are backing bills this session that will ensure that solar customers are once again fully and fairly compensated for their valuable contribution of local clean energy to the grid. Advocates also support bills to increase Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard to meet 80% of the state’s energy needs with clean energy options like solar and wind by 2040. Advocates are also supporting a new community solar program to further expand solar access for families and businesses in the state.
“My colleague, Senator Pat Spearman [D-North Las Vegas], has joined me to introduce a bill that would enable the development of Community Solar,” said Nevada State Senator Mo Denis (D-North Las Vegas). “Community solar programs specifically address the physical and financial barriers to rooftop solar. This bill is an exciting opportunity to join 14 states and the District of Columbia where community solar programs are successfully underway.”
Solar is an increasingly affordable option for American energy consumers.
Yet a majority of Nevadans – including nearly half a million renters – are physically limited from going solar on their own rooftops. Low-income consumers who lack access to financing face additional barriers to solar participation. If passed, this new community solar program with strong provisions for low-income families will give more consumers an ownership stake in the state’s new energy economy. This allows them to participate in a local solar project and receive a credit on their utility bill for their portion of the clean energy produced.
VoteSolar is proud to be part of the RenewNV coalition. RenewNV is a partnership of organizations working to build and enhance Nevada’s clean energy economy.