SolarCity pulls out of Nevada

Two years after it opened its first office in Nevada, on December 23 SolarCity announced that it is quitting sales and installation activities in the state, effective immediately.

This announcement by the largest residential solar installer in the United States came the day after Nevada regulators announced sweeping changes to the state’s net metering policy, which include an increase in basic service charges, new rate structures and a shift from retail to wholesale rates for excess generation.

SolarCity lays the blame for this ruling on Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, who appointed all three members of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

“This is a very difficult decision but Governor Sandoval and his PUC leave us no choice,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive in a press release. “We have no alternative but to cease Nevada sales and installations, but we will fight this flawed decision on behalf of our Nevada customers and employees.”

Rive also alluded to the possibility of legal action, describing the ruling as “unethical, unprecedented and possibly unlawful.” Fellow third-party residential solar company, Sunrun has announced that it will file suit through the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), and was already suing Governor Sandoval.

One of the main points of concern for both solar companies and advocates is the retroactive nature of the changes, which will apply to both new PV installations as well as those that have already been operating under the state’s net metering policy.