NV Energy’s Renewable Generations Program: Solar Power and Storage

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NV Energy customers have a unique opportunity to increase their energy savings through this utility company’s incentives. The Renewable Generations Program PDF was a daunting, 48-page leviathan, covering incentive requirements for solar and all other renewable generation options in its Nevada service areas.  However, this program no longer exists. The NV Energy Clean Energy Program took its place.

This new program supports a variety of renewables and several customer generation options. While this program no longer provides incentives for residential solar power generation, solar-powered customers can still leverage its net metering and storage incentives.

Incentive Calculation, Reservation, and Claims

Reserving and claiming incentives determines how much these incentives will save. The solar installer should handle the technicalities of this process.

Residential Storage Incentive

The storage incentive comes at a time-of-use or non-time-of-use rate. The best rate for the homeowner depends on the energy habits of the property owner and its inhabitants. Those receiving the time of use incentive can receive up to $3,000, while those who opt-out of the time-of-use net metering can receive up to $1,500.

Two Commercial Storage Incentive Programs: Critical Vs. Non-critical

Non-residential solar customers who have critical infrastructures can qualify for up to $300,000, while non-critical commercial systems can receive up to $200,000.

Incentive Reservation Requirements

Property owners need a reservation notice to receive an incentive for their solar installations. When approved, the applicant, host customer, installer, and property owner get an e-mail informing them of their incentive reservation. This notice details the type of incentive and the amount awarded. Installations must be completed within 12 months of receiving this notice. A non-complete installation will result in a voided reservation. Customers with voided, reserved incentives are not eligible to apply for a new incentive rate. Those with energy storage systems fewer than 100 kilowatts in size can apply for up to two 6-month extensions. Storage systems between 100 and 1,000 kilowatts have 18 months to have the system installed and with up to three 6-month extensions.

How to Claim Your Incentive

Once customers receive their incentive notice e-mails, they can complete the installation. When complete, they can send in their incentive claim package.

Eligibility for NV Energy Storage and Low Income Solar Incentives

Solar homes in NV Energy’s service areas have an advantage over other homes in being able to store their solar-generated power for use at a later date. For example, during power outages, these homes don’t have to suffer the consequences of downtime, increasing homeowners’ energy independence from the grid. While energy storage options can add up quickly, NV Energy’s incentives help make energy storage and low-income solar arrays more affordable.

Energy Storage Eligibility

If homeowners add whole-house battery backup to an existing solar installation or install solar with their whole house battery, they’ll qualify for an NV Energy incentive. Different categories within the storage incentive have various qualifications.

Solar Energy Storage for Residential Customers

To qualify for the residential energy storage incentive, customers need to install storage that can output at least four kilowatts at a time, which equals a little less than one Tesla Powerwall. Homeowners can add up to 1,000 kilowatts of capacity. However, NV Energy will only incentivize up to 100 kilowatts. All residential-storage systems need the capability of charging at least 75 percent by renewable energy to qualify.

Solar Energy Storage for Non-residential Customers

Small-commercial solar covers between 4 and 100 kilowatts and large-commercial solar covers between 100 and 1,000 kilowatts. To qualify for the commercial storage program, customers need to install a minimum of 100 kilowatts. Like residential storage, these also need the capability to charge at least 75 percent with renewable energy to qualify.

Solar in Low-income Businesses & Non-profits

While residential solar no longer has incentives, low-income solar arrays still do. This incentive helps business owners who serve low-income individuals or provide low-income housing.

NV Energy’s Incentive Application Requirements

All incentive applications go through NV Energy’s online application portal. Each application has a $35 non-refundable fee. Equipment installers typically handle this fee, but it’s best to clarify whether the installer expects the customer to apply. NV Energy reviews applications in the order of submitted fees, so clarifying installer processes early on will expedite the process. Once NV Energy receives the application, it can take up to 10 business days to complete the review process. Applicants forfeit incentive holds, and application fees if application errors aren’t corrected and sent back to NV Energy within 20 days.

Required Documents for NV Energy’s Incentive Application

Although the incentive for which applications are submitted determines the necessary documents, customers installing solar arrays with energy storage or just energy storage alone must submit the same documentation. Energy storage incentives require five documents: These include a signed interconnection agreement, a signed incentive claim form, a copy of the fulfilled building permit, equipment, the labor invoice, and a PDF containing photos of the installed solar modules.

Energy Storage Sizing

For NV Energy to approve a solar-powered storage system, the power capacity solar-to-storage ratio must be at least 0.35. As stated above, the backup storage system needs enough renewable energy to charge at least 75 percent of the system.

Installation Standards to Follow

The RE-3 Standard reviews solar and storage one-line diagrams, which cover the utility’s design requirements for net-metered systems working with the grid. The RE-1 Standard has requirements for solar generators operating in tandem with electrical systems. The NFPA 855 Standard covers fire code regulations for energy storage systems, while the RPM-G Standard addresses the minimum manufacturing requirements for utility metering and service equipment. The RPI-G Standard provides NV Energy installation requirements. Rule 15 has relevant information about interconnection, operation, and metering requirements.

NV Energy Requirements for Sitting and Equipment

Once installed and the incentive claim package is sent, the system review process starts, which entails a review of several components. All PV and storage equipment must be new with standard warranties. Solar storage systems also need a permanent installation and connection to a net-metered solar array.

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