Incase you have missed it, major US solar installer SolarCity is shedding many solar jobs in Nevada.
According to the Sentinel Source, 550 jobs are being scrapped in the state, as regulators have voted for new solar rooftop utility fees.
Obviously, SolarCity opposes such action, as they would see this as a major hindrance in solar’s growth within Nevada, making it not as attractive, despite having some of the best solar radiation within the US.
You think this smells like rotten cheese? You bet. Consider first, NV Nevada, is one of the state’s biggest utilities, and is owned by Warren Buffet’s investment group Berkshire Hathaway. According to the Sentinel Source, is looking to regain lost revenue from decentralized solar, like what SolarCity offers. Recently, NV Nevada won, and is now charging an extra $17.90/month as of this January to its solar customers.
Second, Nevada appointed Paul Thomsen, as Chairman of their Public Utilities commission last fall. Thomsen, was past director of business and policy development of Ormat Technologies, in Reno Nevada, with facilities in Israel. While Ormat Technologies does invest in solar, its big stake is within geothermal. Smell something wrong here? Perhaps a case of Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval falling to entrenched interests?
Don’t get me wrong, I think geothermal is great, but it’s not just as cost of effective as solar in a region where sunshine is plentiful. Consider solar costs are becoming much more competitive with coal, oil, and gas. Geothermal costs, on the other hand, drilling to have geothermal energy in place can be pricey.
At the end of the day, decentralized solar energy makes sense. A disruptive opportunity, thanks to SolarCity waits in the balance in Nevada. Places like where I live in Manitoba, would love to have the choice of which SolarCity and solar energy provides in many US states. When the hearings begin tomorrow on Nevada’s solar future, protesters in front of the building should take this chant and yell it out loud and clear tomorrow as Gov. Sandoval has done this: You’ve Sold Out!