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Contact 13 looks at Nevada making a rooftop solar comeback

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 05, 2017

An alternative energy source is poised to make a comeback to Nevada. 

Contact 13 shines a light on the return of rooftop solar. 

Thanks to a new law just passed, rooftop solar will shine again in Nevada after spending nearly two years under a dark cloud. 

It wasn't long ago, hopes for renewable energy and a new Nevada industry were dashed by the state agency that's supposed to provide fair and impartial regulation of public utilities.

"We are in the very fabulous, but very empty warehouse of 1 Sun Solar Electric," says owner Louise Helton. "Right now, what I'd like to be showing off, is all of the pallets of solar panels that we're about ready to install on people's rooftops. Unfortunately what I have to show is an empty warehouse waiting for customers to come back."

Helton says that's because the Public Utilities Commission eliminated net metering and other incentives to invest in solar -- a decision many say burned customers and smoked out jobs. 

In January of last year, Contact 13 questioned Gov. Brian Sandoval, who appointed the commissioners.

"I'm not taking sides in this case," Sandoval told us then. 

Things are different today as many await Sandoval's signature on Assembly Bill 405 that will ensure solar customers get credits for generating extra electricity. 

"But now finally we have the bill passed from both houses and we're really hopeful we can get back to work," says Helton. "But now the trick is going to be to let all the people know that solar is back and better than ever."

Contact 13 also learned Tesla is excited about the news and provided the following statement:

Thanks to the work of Governor Sandoval and the bipartisan efforts of the legislature, today the State of Nevada is demonstrating to the rest of the country what a smart, fair approach to solar energy can look like. This legislation, which is supported by businesses and consumers alike, will not only bring back solar energy to Nevada and enable the industry to innovate and grow sustainably, it will create thousands of jobs and bring millions of dollars in economic benefits to the state. 

 Tesla will begin selling rooftop solar and residential storage products in Nevada, and we look forward to bringing even more jobs to the state in the years ahead to help provide residents with affordable rooftop solar and energy storage choices.  

--Tesla spokesperson