– Solar jobs per 1,000 non-agricultural jobs: 4.5 (6,174 total jobs)
– Total installed megawatts: 4,244.9 (#6 nationwide)
– Number of installations: 75,379
In 2010, Nevada’s Silver State North Solar Project became the first-ever solar project approved on public land. The state, with its vast, sunny deserts, has been a hub for solar energy, but not without its hitches.
Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission drastically changed its net metering policies in 2015, resulting in higher fees and less reimbursement for generated solar power. There was an immediate backlash, with three solar companies saying they would leave the state, a blow to the state’s solar economy. After many back and forths, current net metering policies allow solar users to receive 75% of the retail rate for the additional electricity generated by their solar system.
Solar will almost certainly continue to grow in Nevada, as the Bureau of Land Management is considering three proposed solar projects that would power 520,000 homes. But that expansion has prompted pushback from tribal communities, conservationists and others who support clean energy but fear new construction threatens Nevada’s tribal lands and deserts.
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