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Valley to hold town hall in Pahrump on net metering

Updated August 6, 2019 - 5:19 pm

Valley Electric Association Inc. announced the co-op will hold a town hall meeting on the topic of net metering. The cooperative’s board of directors is developing a potential change to Valley’s net metering policy that could affect current and future member-owners that have or plan to install a rooftop solar system or other renewable energy power-generation systems.

Valley will conduct a town hall meeting from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 5, at its conference center at 800 E. Highway 372 “to discuss issues revolving around the co-op’s net metering policy,” a news release from Valley stated. Both the public and co-op members are invited to attend and ask questions.

In a news release from the co-op, citing Valley’s Interim CEO Dick Peck, it was stated that “the meeting will be an open forum to explain what net metering is, how it works, who benefits and how Nevada state law affects VEA.”

Under discussion by Valley’s board of directors has been altering the co-op’s net metering policy and creating a tiered system for those with, and those who plan to install, solar and other similar systems.

Under the proposed change, the rate paid for excess energy sent back to Valley’s grid by member-generators would be reduced from 100 percent of the full retail rate of 11.9 cents per kilowatt-hour to between 75-95%, depending on when a member-generator interconnected their system with the co-op.

In previous interviews with Peck, he stated that the possible policy change would mirror Assembly Bill 405, which was signed into law by then-Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2017.

Valley’s board of directors could revise the co-op’s net metering policy by the end of 2019, according to the release. The co-op’s board members will be in attendance at the town hall meeting.

Proposed changes

The policy under review by Valley Electric Association’s board would create four tier levels based on the time of a member-generator’s application that was received by Valley.

Members who interconnected with Valley prior to the generation amount exceeded 1.25 megawatts will be considered being under Tier One; those members will receive 95% of the full retail rate of 11.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. The 1.25-megawatt threshold was crossed in 2015, according to a news release from Valley.

Members that brought the generation from 1.25 to 2.5 megawatts, which occurred in 2017, will be considered being under Tier Two. Under that tier, members will be paid 88% of the full retail rate.

The next tier, Tier Three, will give those in the net metering program 81% of the full retail rate for excess energy. This group brought the generated amount from “2.5-3.75 megawatts” in 2019, according to a release from Valley.

Under Tier Four, member-generators would be reimbursed 75% of Valley’s full retail rate.

“The majority of VEA’s generation of renewable energy by members comes in the form of solar, but some members generate power with wind turbines,” Valley’s release stated. “Since the total number of applications in house would bring the system size to nearly 6 megawatts, virtually all new applications would be reimbursed at 75% of the retail rate.”

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @MeehanLv

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