Simplifying the Solar Generations Program
NV Energy customers have a unique opportunity to increase their solar savings. However, their incentive requirement PDF is a daunting 48-page leviathan of valuable, but dense information. To help you out, we took a deep dive into NV Energy’s programs handbook and created this simplified guide.
Eligibility for NV Energy Solar and Energy Storage Incentives
To be eligible for NV Energy’s incentives, you need to keep the system for which you are receiving an incentive for at least 5 years. However, this is only if the system isn’t expected to last 5 years. This means NV Energy will deduct part of the incentive if it is removed before the majority of the warranty is expired, or 5 years.
Make sure your solar installer has an active C-2 or C-2g Nevada Contractor’s License. If this license isn’t valid, NV Energy will not give the incentive or hold your net metering rate.
Solar Incentive Eligibility
To determine solar eligibility you first need to determine into what category you fall as a utility customer. There are three types of solar incentives available through NV Energy under the Solar Generations Program: Residential, Small Commercial, Non-residential and Low-income/non-profit.
Residential Solar Eligibility
Your NV Energy bill tells you into which of these categories you fit as a customer. If you are a residential customer, you can qualify for the residential solar incentive.
A look at Non-residential Solar Customers
If you are a non-residential customer, you can also acquire solar incentives. What incentives you’re eligible for depends on your usage classification (small or large). Non-residential customers that are GS-2 or anything above LGS-1 are considered large commercial customers.
Low-income or Non-profits and Solar
To get low-income or non-profit solar credits you need to provide proof. There are several different ways that you can provide proof, but only one form is necessary.
Some of these forms of proof include ownership of subsided housing and qualification for the federal low-income housing tax credit. You can also show proof that your income is less than the low-income limits.
Energy Storage Eligibility
If you add battery backup to a past solar installation or install solar with your battery, you can qualify for an NV Energy incentive. If you are a non-profit or low-income customer, you will need to prove it with one form of documentation.
Storage for Residential Customers
The minimum for the residential energy program is 8-kilowatt hours. While you can get up to 1,000-kilowatt hours of capacity they will only incentive up to 100 kilowatts. All residential storage systems need at least 75 percent renewable energy to qualify.
Storage for Non-residential Customers
There are two different types of solar non-residential customers. The small commercial is between 4 and 100 kilowatt-hours. While the large commercial is between 100 and 1,000 kilowatt-hours.
The minimum for the commercial storage program is 100 kilowatts. The storage system also needs to be powered by at least 75 percent renewable energy to qualify.
NV Energy’s Incentive Application Requirements
All applications are submitted online through NV Energy’s application portal. Once the application is received it can take up to 10 business days for it to be reviewed. If the application is incorrect and not fixed within 20 days, the application and fee are forfeited.
There is also a $35-dollar non-refundable application fee. Applications are reviewed in the order of fee submission. If the fee isn’t paid within 30 days of the application, it will be canceled.
Applications for Differing Property Owners and Host Customers
If the host customer is different than the property owner, the property owner needs to be listed as co-applicant on the utility account or the installation contract. The host customer should be listed on the utility application; if the owner isn’t listed on the contract, the host customer should be.
Required Documents for NV Energy’s Incentive Application
Which incentive you are applying for determines which documents are necessary. Customers who are installing both solar and storage have the most necessary documentation.
Solar plus energy storage systems require six documents. These include the installation contract, a recent copy of the host customer’s electric bill, site plan, energy storage technical specifications, one line-diagram and evidence of host customer category eligibility.
In a storage-only application, you will need all the same documents except the evidence of host customer category eligibility. If you are only getting the solar incentive, you need all the above documents except the energy storage technical specification.
System Sizing Requirements
NV Energy is very particular about the size of your installation. Making sure that your system meets these requirements beforehand will save you time.
Solar Array Sizing
The size of system you need depends on the last 12 months of energy usage for the residence receiving solar. The maximum sized solar array you can install is determined by the highest usage for 12 consecutive months in the last 24 total months.
If you have only lived in the home for a couple of months you can still get solar. However, the sizing of the system will not be as accurate. Your array could be calculated based on the few months of energy usage you have. Or your array could be sized by either 2 or 2.8 watts per square foot depending on where you live.
Energy Storage Sizing
In order for NV Energy to approve a solar powered storage system, the power capacity ratio of solar to storage must be a minimum of 0.35. And, as stated above, the storage system needs to be at least 75 percent charged by renewable energy.
Residential storage needs to have at least 8 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity. Commercial systems need to store at least 100 kilowatts. Both residential and commercial systems can’t exceed 1,000 kilowatts.
Installation Standards Sitting and Equipment
NV Energy has standards for every aspect of the installation process. It is in your best interest to follow these standards so you can secure your incentives and net metering.
Installation Standards to Follow
There are several different standards in place for both solar generation and storage. These standards include the RE-3 Standard for Solar and storage one-line diagrams. The RE-1 Standard gives requirements for generators operating in parallel with electrical systems.
The RPI-G Standard provides NV Energy installation requirements. Rule 15 provides information about interconnection, operation, and metering requirements.
NV Energy Requirements for Sitting and Equipment
Once your system is complete and your incentive claim package is sent, your system will be reviewed. Below is the list of things that will be reviewed during this process.
NV Energy requires that all systems have approved azimuth. The solar modules and inverters need to be listed in the California Energy Commission list. All PV and storage equipment must be new with standard warranties.
Solar storage systems need to not be permanently installed and connected to a net metered solar system. They also need to operate parallel to the grid and have a minimum of 85 percent round-trip efficiency.
Incentive Calculation, Reservation and Claim
How much these incentives will save you and how you can reserve and claim them is a vital step. This is because the technicalities are taken care of by your solar installer, and requires experience and expertise to have it completed correctly.
Taking a Look at your Incentive
Before you dive into how to reserve and claim the incentive, let’s look at how much you are actually getting from it.
Residential Storage Incentive
The storage incentive can be given either as a time-of-use or non-time of use rate. Which one is best for you depends on your energy habits.
Those on the time of use can receive up to $0.22 per watt-hour. This rate, however, is dependent on the time of day and year.
Those who opt out of the time of use metering receive $0.11 per watt-hour no matter when it is metered. Each premise within which a storage system is installed can receive up to $3,000 in incentives.
For every million dollars of incentive that is given, this incentive decreases. Time-of-use (TOU) decreases by $0.02 per watt-hour. While the non-TOU decreases by $0.005 per watt-hour.
These incentives are currently set to decrease after one million dollars. And it will continue to decrease until TOU reaches $0.14 per watt-hour and $0.09 per watt-hour for non-TOU.
Two Commercial Storage Incentive Programs: Critical Vs. Non-critical
Non-residential customers with storage between 4 and 100 kilowatts can choose between TOU and non-TOU. Those who choose the TOU can receive up to $0.15 per watt-hour and the non-TOU can receive up to $0.08.
Non-residential customers that have critical infrastructure are given a higher incentive. They can receive up to $0.40 per watt-hour rather with a cap of the lesser of 50 percent or $300,000 dollars.
Non-critical commercial systems can receive up to $0.30 per watt-hour. They also have a cap of the lesser of either 50 percent or $200,000 dollars. Like the residential incentive, these incentives decrease.
NV Energy Solar Installation Incentives
For solar installations, the incentives look a little bit different. Solar arrays less than 25 kilowatts receive an expected performance based buy-down (EPBB). This is a one-time payment that is determined by the expected production from the solar array.
Residential commercial and industrial arrays below 25 kilowatts receive $0.20 per watt. Low-income non-profit and public entities can get $0.45 per watt.
Systems between 25.001 and 500 kilowatts receive performance-based incentives (PBI). This incentive is paid quarterly for the next five years. The amount paid is based on production during the quarter.
The incentive rate for residential commercial and industrial customers installing above 25 kilowatts is $0.0250 per kilowatt-hour. Low-income non-profit and public entities receive $0.0550 per kilowatt-hour.
Incentive Reservation Requirements
You need to get a reservation notice in order to receive an incentive for your installation. You will receive an email with your notice in it after your application has been reviewed and approved. This e-mail will be sent to the applicant, the host customer, the installer and the owner.
This notice will tell you what type of incentive you have been awarded and the amount. It is essential that installations are completed within 12 months after this notice is sent.
If the system isn’t installed within this time, the reservation will be canceled. It won’t be possible for the customer to apply for a new incentive rate if their reservation is forfeited.
Energy storage systems fewer than 100 kilowatts can apply for up to two 6-month extensions. Storage systems between 100 and 1,000 kilowatts have 18 months to get the system installed. These can have up to three 6-month extensions.
How to Claim Your Incentive
Once you have received your incentive notice e-mail you can complete the installation. When your installation is complete, you can send in your incentive claim package.
For solar and storage claim there are 5 necessary documents. These documents include a signed interconnection agreement, a signed incentive claim form, a copy of satisfied building permit, equipment and labor invoice and photos of the installed system are necessary documents.
The incentive claim for solar requires all of the same documents except the equipment and labor invoice and photos of the install. The incentive claim for just storage requires everything except a signed interconnection agreement.